One of the first things I like to do with new clients is get clear on their personal work vision. Just what exactly is a “personal work vision?” It’s your ideal vision of what your work life looks like. Why is it important? In order to set and reach your career goals, you need to know what it is that you’re working toward. If you’re not exactly sure where you’re going, you can’t effectively plan a route to get there.
This process often involves some deep introspection and evaluation in order to determine what a work life utopia looks like to you. While it’s up to you to put in the effort to find your personal vision, there are some steps you can take to help with the process.
1. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel
Give some honest thought to what is and isn’t working when it comes to your work life. If you’ve had a career for any period of time there are likely to be some things that you enjoyed doing and some that you didn’t. What provided a stimulating challenge for you? What tasks were fun for you? Which were unsatisfying? Shape your work vision to encompass the work that you’ve enjoyed, but find a way to move forward without the aspects that frustrate you, bore you or upset you.
2. Find a mentor
Working with another person gives you perspective and helps to shape your vision. Having a mentor is also valuable when it comes to identifying the stories about you that aren’t true. When we form false beliefs about ourselves, it’s often not until another person points out that they see things differently that we even consider the possibility that our belief may not be based in reality. It’s likely based on our perception, which may be far harsher and less realistic than what others see. Having someone who has accomplished more than you and is where you want to be can provide wonderful insight that will likely be far more objective regarding your strengths and weaknesses than what you come up with on your own.
3. Change your present work life
Take some steps to make your current work situation better. If you’re coming from a place where you’re completely miserable, you’re going to have a hard time finding the perfect situation – and taking a job out of desperation to leave your current role rarely gets you to where you actually want to be. By taking control of your present situation and starting to make small changes, you’re going to feel more empowered. It’s much easier to make strides towards where you want to be when you’re coming from a place of empowerment.
4. Identify the value in the tasks you enjoy
Think about the activities that are the most enjoyable and easy for you. What are you doing when time flies by? Then take it a step further – think about what values are involved in these tasks.For example, I went through this exercise with one of my clients who loved cooking. The art of cooking involves creativity, order, direction, thought, care, precision, attention to detail and an engagement of all your senses. All of these things can be explored as potential facets for work that you may enjoy.