You've decided to create a career vision, you're going to become one of those people that has the career success plan.
But instead of a robust career vision board, you're coming up empty.
If that sounds like you keep reading, because in today's post, I'm going to ask you five questions that help you get clarity on what you want from your career.
What is a Career Vision?
In my last post, I told you about why a five year career plan is so necessary if you really want to be able to build the career that you dreamed of. The role of your career vision is it's actually a component of your five year career plan. It is a long term direction in terms of where you want to go.
Sounds easy, right?
Well, it's not so easy for the high achievers that I work with my Career Accelerator. Because here's the thing: when you're a top performer, you have so many options available to you, it's actually really challenging to pick one to really focus on. And that's why I'm going to help you narrow down your vision and discover what you truly want to get from your career by asking you five simple but powerful questions.
You are going to want to write down your answers, so either grab a notebook and a pen if you're like an old school type person like I am, or just open up a notepad on your computer or your phone and follow along.
Now let's get into it...
Question 1: What impact do you actually want to make in this world?
Now you don't actually have to pick only one thing, but for the purpose of this exercise, let's pretend that you do.
I'm going to walk you through this exercise, I invite you to take your time - close your eyes and visualize (Psst the video is linked above and I highly recommend listening to guide you through this exercise)...
You are being celebrated with a distinguished award for doing the work that you do. And you're not going to believe this, but Oprah is going to interview you. And she's going to ask you all about your journey and the amazing things that you accomplished along the way.
You can't believe that you're being celebrated and acknowledged for the contributions that you made to your industry and this world.
What contribution did you make?
Now open your eyes and write it down.
The first thing that came to mind might have actually felt a little bit disconnected. And that's not unusual. Like maybe you're a sales professional, but your actual vision is finding the cure for AIDS. While they may seem disconnected, they might not be entirely disconnected in terms of what your career is actually going to be and what your potential is that you want to capitalize on. For right now, you're just going to write it down.
Now goals for some of my clients have been they want to transform the accessibility of technology, they want to bring digital marketing into a more meaningful experience for their users, or they want to create schools in developing countries.
No matter what it is that you thought of no matter what came to mind, and how absurd or how linear it seems, write that thing down, because the first thing that came to your mind is is actually your truth.
And the point of creating your career vision isn't hide from your truth.
The point of your career vision is to help get you into your truth.
Question 2: Why do you want that thing?
Out of all the things in the world that you could have possibly thought to do, you picked that thing.
I want to know: why? And you want to know why.
And I say this without any criticism of why you chose that one thing. I say that because I think that you're so full of potential and that you can achieve whatever you decide to put your thoughts energy and effort into.
But what drew you to that one thing?
This is all about your motivation. And it's going to be very necessary in your vision in terms of having a sustainable effort in order to go and turn that vision into your reality. Your motivation can be totally random. It doesn't have to be selfless. Maybe you want to make bank because you dream of retiring on a yacht in 10 years, I have no judgment - I think yachts are great. Maybe you just want to transform communities or you want to build communities, maybe you just really want to help people that are need and you want to create a more equal and just world like I do.
No matter what it is, you need to figure out what your why is -- why do you want to do this one thing?
Listen, if bringing your career vision into reality was an easy thing, absolutely everyone would do it. The truth is, you actually work towards it, you're going to hit all sorts of obstacles, glass ceilings, walls, you're going to have symphony of people telling you that you can't do the thing that you want most in this world.
But as long as you understand why you're doing it, your motivation and what you're actually going to get out of this, be it a sense of well being be at the yacht, be it feeling like you're a part of something, this is going to be what truly carries you from today into your future.
Question 3: How do you feel when it becomes a reality?
I know you're rolling your eyes, because it's starting to feel like a therapy session. And when did your feelings have anything to do with your professional life, those two are supposed to be separate things...
That's why you're not allowed to cry at work. Even if it's in a closet on your break.
Here's the thing. Let's go back to our vision. Oprah is interviewing you there is a box of tissues and you know, she's going to make you use them via because you're so proud, you're so happy, you're so sad., you're full of rage... you're going to cry for some reason. What's the reason that Oprah is going to make you cry? Chances are you're not actually having an interview with Oprah today (and if you are I am so honored that you're taking time to watch this video in preparation for it).
But while the interview with Oprah isn't something that's happening today, the feeling that you have on that couch with Oprah, all of your dreams having come true, is something that is available to you today, it's available to you, then you can also feel that way today.
Okay, I'll admit, you probably won't have the Oprah level feeling on a day to day basis.
But what is your actual feeling when your vision becomes a reality? Are you proud? Do you feel fulfilled? Do you feel joyous? This is a feeling that you can lean into feeling on a daily basis, that feeling is available to you now and that is what's actually going to allow you to live in that future version of yourself as your present self begins to create it.
Question 4: If success was guaranteed, and money was no issue - what would you do?
There's no possible way for you to fail, and you're going to be at least financially safe in terms of the life that you're living and maybe not yet money, but like maybe you have a normal boat kind of money, financial security, what would you do in that case?
Would you set your sights a little bit higher up the corporate ladder, if you knew that you would be able to get into that role being a corner office or the C suite?
What do you actually transition into a new line of work, maybe you will be making them jump from marketing into engineering or from professional services into sales, whatever it is?
Or maybe you would just go and be a bartender in Costa Rica and live in a tree house? And the only problem that you would ever experience is the monkeys that throw feces at you during your commute - which is a really weird thing for you to have to stress out about. But hey, you live in Costa Rica with monkeys. And you're a bartender. And I think that's like, that life is pretty good.
Once you got it, write that down. Because once you're clear in terms of what you would do if your success in financial security were guaranteed, it's going to lead me into my last question...
Question 5: What is different from the last question that you answered from your first?
Chances are most of you answered the first question based on your current trajectory, the path that you're walking at work right now. And this is totally natural, because generally, you're going to be thinking within the lane in what you're already swimming.
But knowing what you would do if you weren't worried about having to succeed if there was no fear of failure, standing between you and your dream is actually very telling.
There are three possible scenarios of what you're in right now.
First, is that your first answer and your last answer were actually completely congruent - they were the same.
If that describes you, I give you a huge kudos. You have big, audacious goals, and you're not afraid to go after what you want in life.
The second option is that your last answer that you gave, like living in Costa Rica, is something that you one day want to achieve, but it's not the first thing; it's further down the path than what the first thing that you thought of.
So let's say that your vision is living in Costa Rica with the monkeys in the tree house live in the sweet life. But maybe, in order to get there, you want to make bank first so you can comfortably retire and only have to deal with those monkeys once or twice a week when you need to excursion out of your house for work. So maybe in order to get to that you have C suite dreams in front of it. Or you want to achieve a certain level in your career or your income, in order for you to save money and invest wisely so that you can actually get to Costa Rica one day.
The third option is that the two completely mismatch your dream guaranteed success track and what you're actually doing are completely disconnected in a way that you cannot plug them together.
There's a million reasons why those two might be so disconnected. But they really boil down to one of two things: Either you have a lot of limiting beliefs about what you're capable of, and what you can achieve in this life or you're just absolutely terrified.
Once you have answered those five questions, you will be on your road to bringing your vision to life.
It's much more fun IRL than in your dreams afterall.
But if youre struggling to find clarity or you already knew exactly what you wanted to do but are struggling to make it happen I have great news. No matter if you fall into the category of one, two, or three, I can actually help in my Career Accelerator. What we really help you do is dig down and get the clarity but once you have the clarity, we actually help you create the success plan and get you the tools and strategies that you need to absolutely thrive in your career whether a goal is getting promoted becoming an authority within your industry, making a career transition being a being a target for headhunters, we really help you achieve all of those things using our proven methodology.
Now, I'd love to know - what was your best life dream and what can you incorporate into your real world goals from it? Tell me in the comments!