When people launch a job search or career path, rarely do they start by discovering one of the most critical pieces of information necessary to their success: their personal mission.
Traditionally, our choice of profession and decisions about work have been guided by money, family influences, circumstances, the familiar, our known skills, fear, necessity, the market and perceived security. Some solid reasons, some not so much.
The pandemic has helped us realize that other factors may matter a lot more when it comes to living a happy life and enjoying our careers. We realize life is short and unpredictable, and there are loads of challenges that need to be addressed. As a result, more professionals are paying greater attention to:
Opportunities that offer greater flexibility and fulfillment.
Quests to innovate and problem solve.
Ways to explore their full range of strengths.
What they feel called to do.
How do we really do that? How can we prevent another year from passing us by without accomplishing our biggest goals and being filled with satisfaction and joy?
By spending time reflecting to understand what really means the most to us, what we’d most like to accomplish and how we want to live our life. By gaining total clarity of what we’re here to do, what we’re all about and how we can fulfill that. And by committing it to written words in the form of a mission statement.
A mission statement will help you clarify your purpose, guide your actions and give you a strong foundation for your job search, your career transformation and your life. Check out why it's so important to have a mission guiding your life and career. Here’s how to craft one.
5 Steps To Crafting Your Statement ...
Step #1: Consider What You Admire About Others
Think of everyone you respect and regard — friends, family, acquaintances, community leaders, history makers, changemakers, teachers, coworkers, bosses, public figures, advocates and entrepreneurs.
What qualities, approaches or accomplishments do you most admire in them? Be thorough and specific and list all the characteristics that come to mind as ones you’d be proud to possess yourself.
Step #2: Get Clear On The Big 8
Now it’s time to identify what’s most important to you in the eight areas of what's called your Wheel of life. Consider your ideal vision for each aspect.
How would you most like to experience each? Think about which mean the most to you, and reflect on how each one impacts your legacy: How you would like the important people in your life to remember you and talk about you? Jot down your thoughts and write a brief statement that captures these feelings in each sector.
Step #3: Identify Your Strengths
In the career success world, we consider the skills you have that you truly enjoy using to be your strengths. Write down every single personal and professional skill, talent and area of knowledge and expertise you can think of, even those you may usually overlook, such as being good at grammar or being able to connect with all types of people.
If you’re not sure of the breadth of your talents, take a skills assessment and ask for feedback from those who know you best. Bold the skills you enjoy most or find most fulfilling.
Step #4: Define Specific Ambitions
Based on everything you’ve written so far, what are some bold ambitions you have for your life? Think big, without being too concerned now with the practical steps you’d take to achieve them. Think broadly, referring again to the Wheel of life. Then go back and circle the ambitions that most energize, inspire and excite you.
And, ponder these questions and infuse your responses into the mix:
What would you do with your life if money were no object?
What challenge facing the world or your community do you ache to solve?
What would you most like your loved ones to say about you as they gather around you to help you celebrate your next big birthday?
Step #5: Write & Refine Your Mission Statement
You’re now ready to begin crafting your personal mission statement!
Keep it simple, clear and specific to you.
Write it as a statement or with bullet points.
Once you’re happy with your draft, in a few days give it a fresh edit. Repeat.
Much like building Rome, crafting a mission statement is not something done in a day. It requires a mindful, focused and positive mindset, a great deal of introspection and often several drafts before you produce it in a final form.
Activating Your Purpose ...
Once you are clear on your mission, the real fun begins! Now you can elaborate on your Core Values; establish your Vision (what you aspire to do and become) and convert your ambitions into goals (short-term and long-term achievements that will help you live your mission, optimize the eight areas of your Wheel of Life and claim your vision).
Establish one day every month to touch base with yourself on your progress, and tweak as needed. Before you know it, you’ll be living and loving your life, on purpose!