"So... WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?"
Pacing around your apartment, iPhone hot against your ear...
Or sitting (shoulders-back) on a hard, uncomfortable chair...
Reciting the lines you spent hours preparing...
Racking your brain to hit all the right points...
Listening to the words coming out of your mouth, and wondering:
... Did that make sense?
... Did that answer the question?
... Is that what they wanted to hear?
Thing is, outside this artificial context?
You are smart, skilled, capable!
By George, you're IMPRESSIVE!
You've worked hard to get here, and you deserve this opportunity.
But there's something about this dynamic...
About having to sing and dance to prove your value...
That gets under your skin...
And into your head.
Thing is, you KNOW you can do the job.
Even if you don't exactly have the right experience...
Ask you anything technical, and you'll know the right answer.
It's just those vague, behavioral questions that throw you.
The ones that DON'T have a "right" answer...
Because they're about YOU.
They start right away with:
"So, tell me about yourself?"
And then they just... keep coming.
"Why do you want to work here?"
"Why do you think you're right for this role?"
"Tell me about your greatest weakness?"
(Does anyone ever answer that one honestly?)
"Tell me about a time when you failed?"
"Tell me about a time when you had to influence without power?"
"... Why should we hire YOU?"
And with each gray-area question they ask...
You feel the confidence leaking right out of you...
So that, long before they say "thanks, we'll be in touch,"
You can already tell:
You're not getting the callback.
You won't have a fun new story to tell your friends and family over the holidays.
You won't be triumphantly updating your Linked In profile anytime soon.
You pitch face-first into your couch and start marathoning House of Cards.
But deep down, you know:
you'd rock that job,
If you could just GET PAST the interview.
But here's the truth:
No matter how "qualified" you are...
Or how hard you've worked...
Or how many results you've produced in the past...
No one will take a chance on you.
... UNLESS your story makes them WANT to.
What if you could breeze into that pressure-cooker conversation,
Feeling not just prepared, but powerful?
Thoroughly equipped to answer ANY question they throw your way?
So confident, so grounded in your value;
That the perceived "power dynamic" doesn't affect you... at all.
Imagine, when they lob the first grenade with:
"Tell me about yourself?"
You can catch it like a water balloon, and toss it back like a pro.
Relaxing your grip on the monologue...
Slowly building the rhythm of dialogue...
Until it starts to feel like fun.
Then hearing some concise and articulate answers...
A voice well-versed in truth and simplicity...
... It's coming out of YOUR mouth!
... But the best part?
Is when you STOP talking,
And hear in their response that lovely tonal shift;
That quickening, that musical thaw...
That says they're smiling.
And knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt:
You've just made your FIRST ALLY in the organization.
Which means you've got your foot ALL UP IN THAT door.
And that's all you ever needed in the first place.
Hi! I'm Jessica.
And among other things (adventurer, philosopher, wilderness guide; lover of mountains and metaphors and chocolate with fruit inside),
I'm a huge nerd about leveraging story to achieve "magical" results in business and in life.
And while there's a LOT I could tell you about MY story, I'll just tell you this one tiny bit:
Years ago, I packed two bags and flew from Rhode Island to San Francisco.
... With no job lined up, no apartment leads, and only casual acquaintances for friends.
But tucked away in my email inbox?
Were 3 people who had agreed to a meeting.
In advance, I sent a resume that showed a colorful pie chart attributing just one fifth of my education to "school" and showed up in a blue dress from Banana Republic.
Sitting across from the bemused CEO, a view of San Francisco Bay sweeping out to my right...
He asked me over tented fingers why I wanted to work there...
Given that I had no relevant experience to speak of.
I looked out the window, and gave it some thought, and told him a story.
A true story, about how backpacking in the woods made me realize how vital and needed it is to connect people with nature...
Which (I think?) was what the organization was all about.
3 days later, I was hired to do a job I was completely unqualified to do.
Despite having ZERO of the “5 years’ experience and NONE of the “demonstrated track record” that were "required" for the position.
Although I'd experienced the power of story before...
This was the moment my brain short-circuited, smoke wafted out of my ears, and I realized:
That if magic is "the art of changing consciousness at will," then...
Story = the most effective form of "magic"
anyone can practice.
That's when I got serious about putting story to work in MY career...
And building a business around helping OTHERS to do the same...
Which is how I landed the head-scratching title of "Head Story Coach" for General Assembly SF, where I've helped hundreds of graduates develop the personal stories that helped them
Pivot to new careers in UX design and Product Management
(often with just a portfolio, and no real work experience)...
Which turned into coaching M.B.A. students and alumni at
U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business
To craft original, concise and satisfying answers to the toughest interview questions at leading companies like Google and Lyft.
"I GOT THE ROLE AT THE COMPANY I WAS DREAMING OF."
“Incredible update — I got a product management role at the company I was dreaming of!! After believing that I “didn’t have enough experience”… It feels incredible!!! On top of that, I got a raise (insane) given the value I mentioned I could bring and the position the company is currently in. They just got a huge round of funding to build a product team, and I am the FIRST PM the new director has officially hired. What a gift our storytelling work has been! Thanks so much for your help and teaching. Will be pinching myself for a while!”
Brittany A., Product Manager
"I CAN GIVE A POWERFUL ANSWER
TO THE QUESTION *REALLY* BEING ASKED."
"Before the course I lacked confidence sharing stories in life and using them in business. Now, instead of answering questions directly (and boringly) I can share a story that gives a more powerful, meaningful, inspiring answer to the question *really* being asked. Others report feeling inspired and intrigued, like they've been invited to think critically and/or take a next step. I feel like I'm standing taller with the confidence and empowerment this course facilitated: confidence in the power of my own personal stories, and in my ability to share them in a way that feels authentic and meaningful."
Bailey S., Therapist & Coach
"A GAME-CHANGER... THIS HAS HELPED IMMENSELY IN MY CAREER."
“I’ve struggled with anxiety and speaking all my life, and constantly shied away from talking about myself with others.
Jessica's Own Your Story course was a game changer. It helped me develop a greater awareness of how to mine wisdom from what I've done and share it with others in a dynamic, authentic and respectful way. Its helped me immensely in my career. I've sat job interviews with more confidence and ease. I can speak to others with simplicity and power about why I chose chiropractic and how it might help them. I highly recommend this course. It will change the way you reflect on and speak about your life to others. Being a competent storyteller is priceless; the applications are endless.”
Nyn T., Chiropractor
Truly, if there is one thing I know, it’s this:
What YOU can achieve when you own your story?
Is limited *only* by
The only unfortunate thing?
Is that while some people talk about how to use YOUR imagination...
There's very little practical information out there, especially around the job interview...
... about how to engage the imagination of OTHERS.
That is, of course, until now.
OWN YOUR STORY
Master 4 Core career Stories
and qualify yourself for your dream job in 30 days flat
This 4-week masterclass has been thoroughly engineered to help you achieve ONE SINGULAR GOAL,
which is to ACE that behavioral interview...
And get your foot ALL UP IN THAT DOOR.
This course will walk you step-by-step through each of my
4 Core Story Blueprints
Designed to help you field 4 of the most anxiety-inducing behavioral interview questions with simplicity and power:
CORE STORy Blueprint #1
"Tell me about yourself?"
This is your first story-impression, and if you're using it to give a chronological play-by-play of your career history (which they can already see on your resume)? That's like taking a pile of raw data, plopping it onto the desk between you and the interviewer, and telling THEM to figure it out.
There's a difference between your story and HIS-tory: The former has a point, while the latter often doesn't. Not only does sharing your history create work for the interviewer -- who has better things to do than make sense of your experience -- but even more importantly, T.M.A.Y. is the ONLY question in the ENTIRE interview process in which YOU get to decide what to talk about. So why surrender the only shred of control you're going to get?
Instead, keep your first story-impression concise and high-level with The T.M.A.Y Blueprint, and start subtly oozing that elusive x-factor known as "leadership potential."
"IT BLEW MY MIND."
"... This feels so much more authentic, cool, positive and confident, compared to how I was doing it before. The T.M.A.Y. was received wonderfully; all 4 interviews went incredibly well."
- Matt S., M.B.A. student, U.C. Berkeley Haas
CORE STORY blueprint #2
"Why this, and why now?"
Whenever you dare to enter new territory, you must clearly state your intentions and what forces delivered you here. The same thing is true whether you are reaching for a dream opportunity, pivoting to a new role or industry, starting from scratch after getting the axe (or -- gulp -- rejoining the workforce after watching your startup fail).
But the details of HOW you arrived at your current desires are often NOT the most savory ones -- in fact, sometimes you know you CAN'T tell the whole story. How to explain that "not a good culture fit" means you couldn't stand being mansplained to every day, or that "a mismatch with management" means your boss was an idiot -- without coming off as bitter, disloyal, or worse -- untrustworthy?
Instead, put your questions to bed and use Core Story Blueprint #2, The Love Hate Create Blueprint, to give a graceful 3-step answer that's grounded in truth, while making your next move appear inevitable.
"IT. WORKED. MAGIC."
"I had a phone interview today with the top "Finance team" dog at a Series C company. I used what we learned in Module 1, demonstrated authenticity as best I could, and IT. WORKED. MAGIC. He was exuberant."
- Rachael K., Finance & Strategy Manager
CORE STORY blueprint #3
"Tell me about a time when you...?"
... failed... / disagreed with management... / had to influence without power... etc.
You're smart enough to know that "tell me about a time when..." is shorthand for "tell me a story." And if you've been using the S.O.A.R. (or S.T.A.R.) method to do so, the good news is that your stories probably follow a logical arc that keeps you on track til "the end," when you showcase your impressive RESULTS.
But lean in close and I'll tell you a secret: The story is not really about what happened. And it doesn't matter how brilliant your process or how impressive your results: if your story starts and ends with what happened, you're leaving valuable social currency on the table.
Instead, use Core Story Blueprint #3, The Coconut Moment Blueprint, to answer the question BEHIND the question, provide a vicarious experience of "what happened," and pique their imagination around what happens NEXT.
"WOW - SO MUCH CLEARER!"
"I just moved to New York, and a natural question I get on both coasts is: "Why did you move?" My response is usually complete *but* long-winded... Just applied the Coconut Moment Structure to my story and *wow* it's so much clearer!"
Bernadette C., Artist & Author
CORE STORY blueprint #4
"Why are you the right fit?
You know you can do the job -- even if you don't *exactly* have the right "qualifications." And you've left no stone unturned in your research -- you didn't need to linger at the floor-to-ceiling list of values painted on the wall behind the receptionist. You've memorized the mission statement, combed through their blog posts, and scrolled to the depths of their Instagram feed -- so you know the role and the company like the back of your hand. But the person you're talking to? They know the bigger story. And if you try to match YOUR story to theirs? They're going to nod politely until you're done, and then it's "thanks SO much, we'll be in touch!"
Instead, use The Reverse-Engineering Blueprint to respond in a way that demonstrates YOUR qualifications, values, and goals -- which (look at that!) just so happen to align (rather elegantly) with THEIRS.
"WHAT EXHILARATING RESULTS."
"Someone I work with reached out and asked about my coaching services. Instead of giving the straight answers to her questions as I would have done in the past, I used the Reverse Story Engineering practice to answer with a story... Her response: "The sense of relief and hope I’m experiencing right now...I can’t even describe it." And we have a call set up. What fun practice and even more exhilarating results!"
Bailey S., Therapist & Coach
What you'll get
When you invest in Own Your Story Career Ninja Masterclass, you’ll receive :
4 "Core Career Story" Video Lessons - Each week we'll tackle one Core Career Story -- breaking down the biggest mistakes that (even advanced!) professionals make when answering, revealing the key mindset re-frames that will change the way you understand the question, and introducing you to a new Core Story Blueprint to help you craft a concise, original and satisfying answer.
4 Printable Core Story Blueprints - fill-in-the-blank blueprints to help you master each story framework and easily adapt to your own true-story material.
Access to the private Own Your Story Facebook group, where you can connect and share victories with other storytelling ninjas.
The course begins on November 5.
REGISTRATION CLOSES ON OCTOBER 30.
... And I can't say when (or IF) it will be available again.
"HONE IN ON WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE."
"I've gained confidence in TELLING my story, as well as clarity around the meaning and purpose of my "story" in business. I see others being more engaged in conversation, with more back-and-forth, rather than saying "cool" and moving on. I feel energized (like a good version of butterflies in my stomach!), and I have a clear head. To me, “Owning Your Story” means having the confidence and energy to move forward and SHARE. I recommend this course to everyone... It will help you hone in on the pieces of YOU that make your business UNIQUE and give you the tools to communicate them so that you can effectively share that contagious energy."
Kendra R., Senior Engineer
TRUST ME ON THIS
You won't find this anywhere else.
I've spent years developing story-for-interview frameworks that are utterly unique and wildly effective.
They've been tested and refined in partnership with DOZENS of professionals, across a spectrum of different roles and industries.
And now I want to share them with YOU.
You don't have to get your M.B.A. to get the same competitive advantage they're getting.
You don't have to pay multiple thousands of dollars to become the master of YOUR story.
All you have to do... is decide.
"BE CONFIDENTLY IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT OF YOUR EXPERIENCE."
Before the course, I lacked confidence and fluidity when talking about myself, which was challenging not only in interviews but also when having to casually talk about my experiences. The course especially got me thinking about the currency in meaning making and creative license, which was very powerful for me. Now, i see a lot of potential in my own story and have a set of frameworks to help share my experiences in a relevant way. I feel like “owning your story” is… being confidently in the driver's seat of your experience, and once you can do that, you can do anything.”
Dana B., UX Designer
Perfect if you want to work through the 4 Core Story Videos + Blueprints independently and at your own pace. Includes everything listed in "What You'll Get."
Need your stories to truly shine? V.I.P. students get everything listed,
PLUS a highly targeted
90-minute 1-on-1 coaching session with yours truly ($750 value).
After purchase, check your email for the link to download your *official* Welcome Packet and video containing top-secret instructions for your first ninja-training assignment.
RISK-FREE Satisfaction guarantee
I want this training to fast-track your progress out of job-search purgatory and into rapport-building heaven. If you complete this training and don't believe you've gotten huge value from it, I'll give you your money back within 30 days of purchase. Just show me that you did the work, and you'll receive a full refund.
"I'M ABLE TO CONNECT WITH INVESTORS AND PARTNERS MUCH FASTER."
"Jess re-defined my "go-to story" from something that felt like a long-winded list of accomplishments to something that focused on what drives me. I was able to connect with partners and investors much faster, creating authentic meaningful connections with people. It truly shifted my personal intro and has made me a more approachable and investable entrepreneur."
Dasami M., Head of Product
What's the alternative?
You could enroll part-time at U.C. Berkeley Haas for $50K... but that's expensive and time-consuming and you probably have other things to do.
You could hire a career coach for $2-500/hour... but even the great ones won't have access to my Core Story Blueprints, which I've tested and refined in partnership with dozens of professionals across various roles and industries. If you ask about story, they'll probably point you to the dusty old S.O.A.R. model and say: "that's all you need to know!"
You could spend even MORE time trying to "figure it out" by yourself... but why waste your time (not to mention the interviewers'!) and risk getting even more demoralized about your future, by pulling the same broken lever and hoping for a different result?
also, Did i mention?
Register before Oct 30th and you'll also get:
Story Starter Cheat Sheet
A list of tried-and-true starter, segue and wrap-up phrases to start easily weaving your personal stories into any conversation -- the same ones my C.E.O. clients find "incredibly useful" in high-stakes investment and partnership conversations.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What happens after I register?
After registering, you will immediately receive an email with the link to download your Welcome Packet, which contains introductory goodies and a set of further instructions. The masterclass officially begins with the release of Core Story Module #1 on November 5th, 2018.
Q: Is this course for people who are already good at storytelling?
This course combines business strategy, social psychology, and practical storytelling technique into a single offering that is designed to help anyone tell coherent and impactful career stories while effectively building rapport with the interviewer. Whether you identify as an introverted, results-driven analyst -- OR if you are more of a people-person who is generally comfortable talking to new people -- I guarantee you will discover something of value for YOU in this course.
Q: Am I guaranteed to land my dream job As a result of this course?
Nope! Like their name suggests, frameworks offer the frame that empower YOU to do the work that will reward you with real-world benefits. If you're looking for a magic bullet, you're better off looking elsewhere.
Q: WILL THIS COURSE HELP ME PRETEND TO BE MORE QUALIFIED THAN I AM?
There is nothing about this course that's meant to help you fake anything. Rather, the goal is to help you get in touch with and articulate the parts of yourself and your story that demonstrate how qualified you truly are to do the job -- even if you don't technically have the "right" experience or past titles they're looking for.
This course is only for you if you are certain you can deliver huge value to the people who hire you. If manipulation for personal gain is more your speed, may I suggest you curl up with How to Make Friends and Influence People (if you haven't already).
Q: Will This help me tell better stories, generally?
While you'll get plenty of story insight, this is not a comprehensive course on the art of personal storytelling, but rather an extremely targeted training for people specifically looking to advance through the job interview process. If you'd like to get really good at personal contextual storytelling so you can watch it unlock OTHER amazing results in business and life, check out my other course: Own Your Story 6 Week Accelerator.
Q: I've already taken the Own Your Story 6-Week Accelerator. Is this course for me?
First, have I mentioned how much I LOVE YOU lately? ;)
Second, while there is some overlap in course content, the OYS Career-Ninja Masterclass has been thoroughly engineered to help you achieve ONE SINGULAR GOAL, which is to ACE that behavioral interview and get your foot ALL UP IN THAT door. If you have questions about whether this course is right for you, feel free to reach out via email!
Q: Will there be live Q&A's?
This course does NOT include live Q&A's. If you want personalized attention on your stories, you can unlock a 90-minute 1-on-1 coaching call with yours truly at a fraction of the stand-alone price by investing in the V.I.P. option.
q: Isn't storytelling a fluffy soft skill? Why would I pay for it?
Oops! You must be in the wrong place. I'm assuming you're exactly where you want to be in your life and career -- in which case, congratulations! If that's not the case, maybe come back after you've tried everything else.
"YOU'VE GIVEN ME AN INCREDIBLE GIFT."
"It feels like I've spent all morning with you as I injected my story with the 6 Techniques of Enchantment... And do you know what the end result was? I finally told the story of working through my mom's cancer and death. I've never really been able to tell it in the way that I actually experienced it and moved through it and grew from it. And I did just that. You’ve given me an incredible gift. Thank you."
Louise L., Neuroscientist
to your one wild and precious life
4 Mastery Videos
+ 4 Core Story Blueprints
+ FB group access
Includes Basic PLUS
90 minutes of
personal coaching with yours truly ($750 value)
After this one-time purchase, you'll immediately receive a link via email to download your Welcome Packet and video containing top-secret instructions for your first ninja-training assignment.
"THIS WILL BENEFIT YOU INFINITELY."
"This course has the ability to change how you inspire, write, teach, and connect with those in your personal and professional life. Think about it - if it gets you one more client, helps close one business deal, facilitates one more freelance gig, you've made your money back. And I can promise if you do the work, OYS will benefit you far more infinitely than a single deal."
Bailey S., Therapist & Coach