Are You Living Your Personal Mission Statement?
YOLO: You Only Live Once. For as funny as YOLO sounds, there is a lot of truth in it. We only live once. Time is our most precious commodity.
And, eight hours a day are spent at work. Are you spending that time like you want to? Have you ever given yourself the luxury to step back and self-examine? What are you doing when you are your most authentic self? What makes you happy?
Your company may have a mission statement, but do you have your own personal mission statement?
Developing a Mission Statement for Your Career
A mission statement is defined as “a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual (Oxford).” Businesses develop mission statements to unify and guide employees with core values, goals and objectives. A mission statement should be the best version of something, while also being feasible.
Taking this idea to a personal level involves challenging oneself with tough questions. When individuals come to Artemis Consultants seeking advice about major career changes, we advise them to interview themselves with questions like these:
- How big of a company are you seeking?
- What kind of culture do you enjoy? (casual, people-oriented, formal)
- You may be good at 5 things, but which ONE are you most passionate about?
- If you created a portfolio of your best work, what does it include?
- How important is salary compared to other factors like company mission?
- If you say you want to make an impact somewhere, what does that mean?
- Of the work you have done to this point, what makes you the proudest?
- If you had to envision a dream day at work, what would you be doing?
- If you were an older version of yourself and looked back on your career, what would you like to say you accomplished?
- Is there a particular organization you have always wanted to work for?
After thinking through the answers to these questions, we advise individuals to come up with a sentence or two which encompasses their professional goals. This is a personal mission statement and writing one can guide your job search.
Look at these inspiring company mission statements:
-Uber: “We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.”
-Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”
-Microsoft: “Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
These mission statements all tie back to the consumer and they all contain powerful verbs. Your personal mission statement might do the same: “I will accomplish THIS for THIS purpose using THESE skills.”
If you find that your mission statement does not align with your current role, are you willing to take a risk and make a change?
Taking a risk comes with cost. The cost may include severed relationships with former co-workers, financial cost from being out of work for a period of time, or the health cost of stress during the transition.
What is your risk tolerance for making a change? Patti Johnson, CEO of PeopleResults writes in Entrepreneur.com: “If you are unsure (of your change tolerance), ask yourself some basic questions. When hearing new ideas or game plans, do you focus on the obstacles or possibilities? How do you react when circumstances change without your influence or control?” Change may be a very difficult process depending on the individual, but do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Making a change also involves the right timing. Is taking a risk now better than dealing with regret later on?
Maybe you want a career change because in your current position you cannot clearly see how you are making a difference to other people. Maybe you feel like you are not really doing anything useful. Maybe you feel like your personal gifts are only making your manager look good, and you are not living your own career.
At Artemis Consultants, we want to support professionals as they take steps to live out their personal mission statement. We believe that being true to oneself will always yield the best results- for the individual and the employer.