September 18, 2020 / Esther Choy

job search success

My daughter turned 12 recently. When I was pregnant with her, a friend asked me, “Are you like… the first female student in the history of Kellogg School of Management to get pregnant?”

Alina was born the summer between my first and second year as a full-time MBA student at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management. I found out that a colleague had been in the same boat, only 25 years prior. She couldn’t find a way to make it work so she dropped out and never went back to finish her degree. Luckily, times had changed. I graduated on time with all my classmates, including three other female full-time MBA students who also delivered their firstborns that same summer (something was in the water at Kellogg that year).

I didn’t do it alone. My husband has done more than his fair share of the 50% in parenting. The staff and faculty at Kellogg were supportive and understanding. No one is truly alone; help is around the corner if you look at the right place.

Storytelling for Job Search Success

During the Pandemic, the job search must also be a time to give and receive help. When I was speaking with data storyteller Brent Dykes recently, he noted how this played out for him after he was laid off. 

What did he receive?

Plenty of affirmation from his colleagues. They said things like, “I can’t believe they let you go!” or “It happened to Brent? That’s crazy!” Even his kids gave him words of encouragement, making sure he knew they had no doubts at all that he would find another job.

What did he give?

He listened to business ideas. He shared information about data storytelling. His networking perspective was always, “My situation is not awesome, but can I help other people?”


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Within a week or two, Brent’s networking paid off, with a job offer from Blast Analytics.

Bottom line: we can’t succeed alone. 

With that in mind, I want to be here for you. For those whose jobs have been eliminated and are fighting this challenging market, I’m offering a free storytelling webinar, Storytelling for Job Search Success, aimed at helping you mine, refine and tell your stories. Here’s more details.


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Esther Choy

Esther Choy founded Leadership Story Lab in 2010 to help others leverage the art of storytelling to create extraordinary opportunities.
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