L&D Careers - Amy DuVernet, Ph.D., CPTM

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to lead a workshop on crafting compelling learning and development (L&D) career stories at the annual Training Industry Conference & Expo (TICE). A well-defined career story can be a powerful tool in communicating your values, goals and skills — as well as advancing your professional career. Below, I’ve summarized some of the key points and tips from the workshop to help you showcase your L&D career achievements. 

Why Your Career Story Matters 

Telling a compelling career story goes beyond recapping your resume; it’s your chance to highlight who you are, what makes you unique and where you’re headed. A well-crafted career narrative can help you tackle some of the most common credibility challenges in L&D. A quick, impactful summary of the value you and your team bring can signal expertise and authority with business partners, stakeholders and executives. A more detailed version that includes your future goals can help you advance your career in interviewing settings or networking events.  

But the value of this exercise isn’t limited to helping you communicate with peers, potential employers and business partners. It also helps shape the way you think about your career. When you invest energy into developing your career story, you take the time to reflect on your experiences, consider your growth and celebrate (and document) your accomplishments. This career reflection can help you to identify your next career move and overcome the inevitable imposter syndrome that we all face from time to time. By focusing on your achievements and career growth, you’ll be reframing the story you tell yourself as well.  

Key Characteristics of an Effective Career Story 

Your L&D career narrative should align with your professional goals and showcase your unique value. Because your goals for sharing your story will vary across settings, your story should also be adaptable so that you can tailor it to highlight the most important elements for each context. Your narrative should promote 3-4 key achievements, skills or challenges and demonstrate connections across your transitions. Finally, your story should be memorable — showcase your personality and character. Tell personal anecdotes and share parts of your story that make you unique.  

To ensure your career story meets these criteria, organize it into significant components or chapters that can be assembled into different configurations depending on your context and the time you have to tell your story. Below are key elements to consider including:   

  • Current Role and Impact: Don’t just share your job title; focus on what you do and your impact.  
  • Early Career: Share what drew you to the corporate training field. 
  • Key Milestones: Highlight 3-4 major accomplishments or turning points in your career. 
  • Setbacks and Growth: Acknowledge challenges and how you overcame them. 
  • Expertise and Specialization: Emphasize your skills and areas of expertise. 
  • Goals: Share your aspirations and where you’re headed. This doesn’t have to mean what you want your next job or promotion be, but could, instead, be focused on your current interests (e.g., “I’ve recently been fascinated by the application of AI to the development of training”). 
  • Values and Passion: Demonstrate personality with stories that reflect who you are. 

To help get you started with a little inspiration, you can read examples of L&D career stories here. 


A well-articulated career story can significantly enhance your professional toolbox. It can open doors, build connections and help others understand your unique value. But crafting your career story is just the first step. You must also practice and refine it regularly to ensure your delivery showcases your personal growth and sets you up for professional success.