If you have children—or ever were one—you know how powerful storytelling can be. The shame is that somewhere along the way many of us forget how to tell a good story. I think it happens as we’re taught to “get to the point.” But we’ve been encountering some circumstances at Argentum when the story is the point.
Our Senior Living Works program is one of those cases. Our goal is to help people think in new ways about senior living careers. There are dozens of reasons someone should consider when weighing a possible career: What are the compensation and benefits? What kind of education is needed? What is the schedule? Is there opportunity for career growth? All of these are important, and our website and resources provide the answers.
But the truth is that facts will only take you so far. It’s said that we might retain only 10% of what we read or hear—and a litany of facts and figures about senior living careers probably won’t have too much of an impact.
But what if instead of reciting facts, we’re telling a story? “I’m here today to tell you how I saved a life last week.” “I left a career as a lawyer and I’ve never regretted it.” “I love what I do every day and here’s why.” Those are the beginnings of riveting stories—even more so for people who truly do care about their future and are looking for mentors and examples to follow.
We’ve had a chance to document the power of stories in senior living and in other industries like hospitality and retail. Telling a relatable story is incredibly important in capturing the attention of young people, or really anyone thinking about career options. I’d venture to say that our stories are even more important, because everyone’s been in a shopping mall, hotel, or store, but a lot of people have no idea what a senior living community looks like. Start with the story and then invite them to come visit a community.
We have more than 600 Senior Living Works Ambassadors now—senior living professionals who are getting the word out about our careers and reaching students, parents, and teachers. You can be one of them, too—just sign up today.
We’ll arm you with facts, give you the tools, and even help you find schools in your area with the right education programs. What we can’t do is give you the story. That’s up to you. Draw from your own career and life experience. I promise it will make an impression.
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James Balda is a guest author for OnShift’s blog and the President and CEO of Argentum, the largest national association exclusively dedicated to senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve.