Do you have a vision for your career goals? In my article on Big and Bold goals, I wrote about taking the time to set goals that are beyond your wildest dreams. These goals are best imagined and defined by a vision.
A vision is the first step to bring life to your goals. It can allow you to experience what you want to accomplish using your senses. The vision is a way to help you to truly define and paint the picture in your mind’s eye of what it looks like through writing or other media.
Taking the time to create a solid vision of the future for your career and for your goals, enables you to really think through your options and priorities, and think of alternatives as you define the outcome. For example, I have a client who was laid off recently from his job. He is in Marketing and loves what he does, but he’s not sure what options he has or wants to pursue for the future of his career. I had to ask the question…”How do you want to rewrite the script of your career?” It’s a powerful question that invokes a Vision. A new vision for the future.
How do you want to rewrite the script of your career?
When it comes to careers, you can set a vision for your career overall…where you want it to go, what’s most important to you, salary, promotion, leadership (at what level?), remote worker, etc. That’s the first step. Know what you want your career to be. You can set a timeframe for this year, the next 5 or through to retirement. Whatever makes the most sense for you. I work with clients to paint this picture for their overall careers.
You can then set a vision for the big and bold goal(s) you set. Same process. What are all the details around the goal? How do you define it? What does it look like in all aspects?
It’s important to have the vision be yours and no one else’s. Certainly, you can set a vision with a partner, family, or team. But your influence needs to be a part of the vision for it to truly resonate for you.
The vision doesn’t need to be a goal, per se. It can also be visioning the outcome of an event. For example, if the goal is wanting a promotion at work then the vision can be all of the elements of the discussion with your boss…understanding all that you should prepare in advance, anticipating your boss’s questions or statements, lining up the business case for a promotion, or preparing good negotiation skills in advance. The vision can help you prepare for the outcome of successfully closing the deal on a promotion or more money, etc. and help you to see the outcomes you want and need.
Some ways to express your vision:
1. Work with someone to create the vision. The first step I request with all of my clients is that we set a vision for the future, for their ideal careers and the outcomes that they want to achieve.
2. Have something close by to remind you of it. In my office, I have framed my coaching certification. It always reminds me of the vision I had toward becoming a coach and building my own business. When the going gets rough, it’s so helpful to have that visual reminder.
3. A Career Vision Board: a collage of pictures and phrases that define your vision. You can limit to one goal or present all the goals for your life on the board. Simply cut out pictures and words and affix these on a poster board. A Vision Board can be created every year, defining what you want to pursue in that year, or you can limit it to one specific goal. It’s all up to you.
4. A Vision Statement. This is a declaration of where you want to be in the future. Companies do this at times to declare the organization’s objective, and it serves as a guide for decision making or prioritization. It can work the same way for you.
5. Wordle is an interesting way to present your vision. www.wordle.net It allows you to put key phrases and words together in interesting word clouds. A visual reminder of your vision and goals.
6. You can also write the vision out. I like to put my Vision(s) in journal formats, but you can also just grab the nearest pen and paper and write your vision down.
Anything you can do to both set a vision and remind yourself of it every day is important to focus on bringing it about. A career vision is really a dream made real to allow you to focus on and define the steps toward.
Take some time this week to set an effective vision for your career or for a goal or outcome. Use one of the methods above to define your vision and make it come alive.
Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.
For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com