Like many others, I spend years going to work without having a purpose or a clear vision of what I wanted for my life and in my career. I had this day by day approach to the way I did things and just drifted along, letting other things and people steer my boat and life.
I don’t know if that sounds familiar to you, if it does, then this one’s for you.
When was the last time you were engaged in your job?
That →🤔 was how my face would have looked if you had asked me ten years ago.
Well, you’re not alone.
As I’m writing this, only 32% of U.S. employees are engaged in their work. Looking to Western Europe, it’s just 10% and topping the list in the Middle East / Northern Africa with a staggering 58% of employees that are engaged in their jobs, according to Gallups’ latest Global Workplace Report.
I know there can be a ton of reasons why people aren’t engaged in their jobs. But, I also bet that most of them don’t have a clear career vision for what they want to achieve and where they want to go. They’ve caught the drifting disease and are just going with the flow, trapped in the hamster wheel of life.
Think how much more productive and how much happier we could be if we just stepped out of that wheel. Figured out what it is we truly want in our lives and careers. Instead, we would get up every morning knowing we’re going to do something that matters in the long run and aligns with our values and career vision.
How cool would that be?!?!?
Be Intentional And Have A Clear Career Vision
It all starts with having a sense of direction, where you want to go, what you want to become and achieve in your personal life and your career.
If you don’t know what you want in your career, people can’t help you get there. Having a clear vision will help catapult you to the next level. But to go there, you need to know where you are and what you have to do to get to where your career vision guides you.
Doing this exercise with clients, I always have them visualize the day they retire. Seeing people they’ve crossed paths with throughout their career, some of them giving speeches talking about the impact my client has had on their relationship. Thinking about the impact and legacy you want to leave is a powerful way to help you set the course of your career.
The first time I did the exercise was when I read Stephen Covey’s book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People‘. There you have to write four eulogies from people you have in your life about the impact you’ve made on on them throughout your life. Doing that got me thinking about what I want my legacy to be, and it will help you do the same.
Looking back, doing the exercise helped me set the direction and to do what I do today.
Once you have that vision for your life and career, it will serve to be a GPS for your life and career. When you meet obstacles on your way, the GPS will help you with the detour, but it will get you to where you’ve set out to go in the end.
Action Steps To Getting a Clear Career Vision
Schedule to take some time out to reflect
Seeing the big picture of where you want your career to go will make it easier to focus on which details you need to take action on to get there.
- What do you want to achieve in your career?
- What would be your ultimate career goal?
- Which difference do you wish to make?
An effective way to get started is by visualizing how you want your career to play out. So take a few minutes to listen to the short guided visualization below.
Write a list of things you want to achieve
Where do you see yourself a year, three years, five- and ten years from now and when you retire?
Think about the relationships you want to have with people in your professional life
What kind of impact would you like to have on those?
Write four speeches to be held the day you retire
Write one from a colleague, one from a client, one from a manager/CEO, and one from your partner/spouse.
What would you love for them to say about you on the day you retire?
Set intentions to become that person and reaching your goals
Write down how you want to interact with the different relationships to achieve the desired outcome.
Doing this exercise shouldn’t be one you just rush through. To get the best outcome, you need to dig deep. You need to feel how you want to make an impact on those relationships. That will help you create a clear career vision to help you get to where you want your career to go.
Final Thoughts On Having a Career Vision
Once you know what you want to achieve in your career, it’s going to be so much easier to attract the right people to help you get there. But, it all starts with you putting some thought into what you want. That will make it easier for others to be able to help catapult you to the next level.
Building strong and genuine relationships with people will get you a long way. Which is why the exercise of writing those four speeches, is such a powerful way to help you set the intentions for every encounter you make on your career path.
I often take clients through a guided visualization, which is a powerful way to open up the unconscious mind. Often, they “see” unexpected things going through the exercise, so it’s something I can recommend you do as well.
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