3 Steps to Create a Career Vision
Who is in charge of your career? Take a moment to really think about who is in the driver seat of your professional ambitions and goals. If you are focused on getting the job done and doing a good job but find yourself waiting for others to take notice or to advise you on your promotion or future possibilities, then you are a passenger on the career journey. This approach only takes you so far. Let’s put you in the driver’s seat.
Taking full control of your career trajectory will bring you both a sense of purpose and power. No longer waiting for someone to say, ‘today’s the day’, you’ll be able to set short-term goals and actions to make continual progress and feel consistent momentum. No one makes a large impact alone. You will need to build a network of people to mentor, support, and champion your vision, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
Let’s use a three-step model to quickly assess where we are and start tapping into the career that we dream about.
Step 1: Take a few minutes to review your current goals that you have set. The first thing to note is if you have only set professional goals for the process conducted at work. Are any of your goals focused on a 3-5-year career objective? Do any of them focus on the skills, experiences, or people you want to meet?
Think back to previous goals that ignited your interest and actual time in your day. What were they? Why did they excite you? What made you prioritize the goal to accomplish it?
Step 2: Let’s move away from the practical and take some time to journal your thoughts and daydreams. You can do this in one sitting, but I would recommend that you keep track of the ideas for a few days or even a few weeks. Capture the projects, tasks, topics you want to get involved in. Make a few notes of why they interest you and the impact you want to have.
Want to go a bit further? How could you incorporate these ideas into your current role or company? For example, if you enjoy working with others to teach a skill perhaps your company offers volunteer opportunities where you can pass your knowledge on to someone else!
Step 3. Look into the future. Ask yourself, if there were no obstacles or fears, what do you want to achieve in 5 years? What type of work will you be doing? What do you want to achieve? Who will you work with? Describe the setting, projects, your contribution and role, and how you feel.
Pulling together this information is a big step forward in figuring out the potential in your career and making the most of future opportunities. Let’s bring all three steps together into one simple statement that you can lean on and share with others to ensure people support your long-term vision.
Like an elevator speech you want your career vision statement to project the what, why, and the impact of your biggest goal. To help you draft your own here is mine:
I want to build an online development platform for women that gives them engaging content, resources, and the skills to achieve the careers and lives of their dreams. I want to remove any real or perceived blocks that women face professionally, inspire work cultures that offer equal pay, opportunity, and a safe environment for women.
Now that we have a vision or long-term goal, we need to implement it. Repeat this vision to yourself regularly, place it visually in your work and personal space as a reminder, and share it with others. You will edit it as you go along and that is normal. Allow others to share their ideas and impressions of your vision and support your actions. Most important – act. Find ways to move forward slowly and consistently. We’ll cover this in next month’s post!
Until then, are you ready to drive?