Have you found that you struggle to create an organized job search plan, let alone any career development goals? Perhaps you have too many interests and can’t seem to narrow them down.
Without a clear plan, it’s easy to take the next opportunity that lands in front of you without considering how it will affect your long-term goals. Instead, take some time to create your mission statement, examining how each opportunity aligns.
What Is a Personal Mission Statement? Definition & Meaning
For most of us, the term mission statement brings up visions of companies and organizations. You probably had to memorize one for your first job. A couple of famous examples are:
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” —Starbucks
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” —Google
These are straightforward, one-line statements that state their overall goal as a company.
Creating a personal mission statement holds similar value. A personal mission statement can help you define your dreams and streamline your goals. Think of it as the main topic you had to write for your essays in school. With each career choice you make, you’ll be able to determine if they support that central theme.
When Would You Use a Personal Mission Statement?
A personal mission statement is, firstly, for you. It will help you maintain your focus as opportunities are presented for promotions, career changes, and education. Reflecting on your personal mission statement, you can discern whether that promotion with a shiny corner office tracks toward your long-term goals, or is it simply a distraction that you’ll regret down the road?
Decision-making becomes substantially more effortless when you have a straightforward value statement to measure against. It’s easier to turn down promotions or extra duties that don’t help move you forward. Likewise, you’ll be more relentless in your pursuit of the ones that do propel you down the right track.
During a Job Search
You can use your personal mission statement to help you streamline your company research. Do their missions align with yours? Or, perhaps it’s not their mission but the opportunity for growth and learning that matches your statement.
You’ll also find ways to include your mission statement in your cover letter and your LinkedIn profile. Your clear intention will attract companies whose goals align with yours.
Throughout Your Career Journey
As noted above, promotions are a prominent situation to verify a choice compared to your objective. There are also numerous other chances to keep yourself on track.
When you’re asking for development opportunities or choosing volunteer options, if you launch a freelance business, or if you’re focusing on your networking efforts, you’ll have better success if you’re laser-focused on the desired outcome.
How to Write a Personal Mission Statement
Although not all that difficult, it can require some time to gather all of your needed data. For most people, a personal mission statement will result from brainstorming and feedback.
The shorter it is, the better, as it’s easier to verify if something is in line with a concise statement without many variables.
Goals or Actions: Begin by brainstorming your dream career goals. Do you love the idea of that shiny corner office? Or is your dream a work-from-anywhere job you do from an RV? Is there a salary you are focused on earning or a specific title?
Skills: When you ask your coworkers, friends, leaders, teachers, etc., what would they say your strengths are? If you’re not sure, you could reach out to a few of them. Perhaps you’re meticulously organized, creative, and empathetic. Are you calm under pressure with a natural ability to energize groups and facilitate training that adjusts to the learner’s needs?
Target Audience: Do you have a specific group you want to use your skills for? Have you always wanted to support small businesses or work with at-risk youth? Perhaps your passion is for conservation, animals, or military veterans.
Consider the legacy you want to leave with your career. Who is it that you’d most like to impact?
Personal Mission Statement Template
Once you’ve created your lists, it’s time to turn that into a tangible statement. We’ve got a simple template to get you started, and then you can expand as much as you need:
To use my [skills] for [target audience] so that [goals].
In practice, this might look something like this:
To use my accounting degree to help small businesses improve the success rate of women-owned businesses.
Personal Mission Statement Examples
We’ve created some examples to get your creative juices flowing.
- To use my design experience to provide enrichment opportunities for students in underfunded school districts.
- To be a teacher that inspires high school students to set productive life goals.
- To use my accounting skills to help military spouses launch freelance businesses.
- To create innovative healthcare solutions to help my patients live life to the fullest.
- To use my writing skills to bring awareness to the issues facing young girls worldwide.
- To use my business degree to create a stable retirement income while living as a digital nomad.
- To use my gifts as a trainer to inspire newly hired nurses to succeed.
- To create financial freedom so that I can donate my legal services to domestic abuse victims.
- To share my leadership experience to help new leaders create positive working environments for their teams.
- To use my engineering skills to inspire youth to envision new possibilities.
- To use my power of persuasion to become the youngest partner at the law firm.
- To use my passion for biology to help create solutions for the deforestation of the Amazon.
- To use my social media marketing knowledge to help support conservation efforts worldwide.
Create Your Own Mission Statement
This list could go on for days. There are as many different skills as there are audiences you might focus on supporting.
Whether your goals are focused on a tangible end goal, such as a title or salary, or your dreams are championing a cause you’re passionate about, a mission statement can help ensure you don’t drift off course in your career.
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