Meeting people every day can be a tiring experience, but I have found it to be the best part of my working life so far. I truly love the ability to work with people, asking them about their lives and hearing some great achievements they have made, and job seekers are always surprised at how many talents they have and forgot about. Sometimes the hardest thing for job seekers to do is to tell me about what they want to do next, and that is a tough question for job seekers to answer. One client in particular stands out, and to him I have to give credit for the personal vision statement idea. Earlier I wrote a topic on the birth of your personal brand, and that is a key idea to remember in this process. When I heard what he had decided to use as a new guide post for his journey, I really thought this should be step one for job seekers – write your personal vision statement.
I had been meeting with this client for several months, and we were at a bit of a crossroads. I had asked this client to take some time, and then to tell me what they really wanted to do next sometimes job seekers get confused along their journey, so it pays to take some time to think, and ensure you are applying for the right job the right way. After a few days, the client came back and declared he had decided what the next step in the employment journey was – “I want to stop working for A-holes!”. Well, I have to admit – we laughed out loud together – and then we talked about the power behind the statement. What came out of the discussion was that this client was designing their own personal vision statement, and it began with rough language, but it was emotional and honest. As the conversation went on, we decided that we had to simplify the process, and we came up with the three items you need to write your own personal vision statement.
- What do you want to do? This needs to be specific and direct, and is the target you want to hit. You may not be able to do this now, there may be training or education involved, and that is fine too – the process is to identify the goal. It may come easily, it may take some time – take the time you need to come up with something you are passionate about.
- What do you want to be seen as? As people are approaching you to network, do business, or ask questions and interact with you, what is the persona you want people to come expecting? Trust is built through actions and words aligning, so when people come expecting a certain experience, delivering on that builds trust. If you think what you want people to expect as they are coming to you, that is how you will behave. I suggest a list of adjectives and attitudes for this piece, such as empathetic, direct, honest, knowledgeable… etc.
- What do you want to be known for? This is the last part of the personal vision statement, and ties it all together. As you are interacting with others this is the piece to consider. Are you balancing what people expect with what you are delivering? This is important so that as others interact with you, they are taking to other people item #2 – what you want to be seen as. This is a consistent back and forth process, and if you measure it, you can manage it.
Companies have a mission and a vision statement, and the reason for that is so that all the workers in the organization understand what the company is trying to accomplish, and then align their efforts to accomplishing it. The result of this is that all the customers that interact with this organization know what they can expect, and that is why they become regular customers.
Having your own personal vision statement helps you to craft a reputation, and by writing it down it becomes real. It is one thing to say these items in your mind, it is something else entirely to write them down and commit them. When you commit your personal vision statement into what you do every day, it translates into the vision that others have of you as well. Think carefully, commit fully, and practice the intent and direction of your personal vision statement every day.