I've long struggled to craft a compelling and coherent professional story. I grappled with how to explain disparate experiences in my career. I didn't quite know how they fit together in a way that made sense, even just to me.
I suffered as a result. Consider this example. I had an interviewer comment negatively on a significant professional choice. I started consulting in public relations after a relatively short stint in the field (4 years). That decision struck her as ill-advised. I hadn't given the matter much thought, and didn't have the words to explain why I did what I did when I did it. I was not asked to interview further for this job.
It took time and many false starts, but I've since gained clarity about the arc of my career. I now have the language to confidently explain specific choices I've made.
Yet I continue to polish my story. I can make it clearer and more compelling. It's an ongoing challenge because as the world changes, I must continue to adapt.
The bottom line is that I know I need to be clear about my story. I know I need to continue to work on it, lest I fall into professional irrelevance.