To complete your career vision, evaluate all of your options and establish a clear direction for your next move.
- You may have heard the saying, if you don't make a decision then someone else will make it for you. Nothing could be more true than when it comes to committing to a career direction. Choosing a direction doesn't mean committing to a 10 year plan, but rather helping yourself focus, so you can identify realistic actions to move you forward. Since everyone's strengths, values, and desires are unique your career vision will also be one of a kind. We'll start by working backwards.
A career vision will be a couple of sentences or a concise paragraph that summarizes who you are and what success looks like for you at the highest level. You can use your Career Map worksheet provided in the Exercise Files to jot down ideas and ultimately record your vision in part five. By reviewing your strengths, values, and potential paths you should be ready to state your vision. Let's take a look at a couple of examples of career visions from other learners.
The first example is to become a well-respected manager in the gaming industry, known for breakthrough innovation. The second is to turn my hobby of party planning into a new business. This business will help others translate their vision into organized and meaningful events. If you're still struggling to summarize your vision I recommend asking yourself a few questions to get you focused. First, what type of work would you do if all of your bills were paid and you had relatively unlimited money? Second, if absolutely no obstacles stood in the way, what would you most like to achieve in your career? And third, do you feel as though you have a gift or a calling? How can you share this gift or best answer the call in a way that will fulfill you? When I was at a critical career junction a colleague shared with me a popular activity to help me shift from the here and now to thinking about the near future.
She told me to write myself a letter one year in the future. The goal of this activity is to imagine the future one year from now, but the catch is that you do so by talking about it as if it's already happened. If you were doing this activity today you would date your letter with today's date, but one year later. For example, if today was January 2018 I would date my letter January 2019. Then write what you achieved over the last year that brought you to today.
Speak to the things you did, the people you met, and even the challenges you overcame. It's like taking a time machine to a year from now. Having done this activity year after year I found that I could go back to my story over and over and further refine it as new things came to mind. What I realized is that the more I put focused energy envisioning the future the more detailed that vision becomes. The more clear we are on what we want, as well as how we achieved it, the greater chance we have in taking action.
The goal is to create a career vision that's not only unique to you, but one you can take action against.
- How the workplace has changed
- Creating a career vision
- Creating short- and long-term goals
- Mobilizing: Identifying resources, mentors, and your online brand