Most people do not take the time to consider what the vision is for their career.
Most people do not take the time to consider what the vision is for their career. They simply show up, keep their head down, and do what is assigned. The next day the process is rinsed and repeated. Before you know it 10, 15, 20 years or more have passed and you are wondering what happened. To break out of that cycle consider the following tips to clarify the vision for your future.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Click To TweetProverbs 29:18
#1 Start Writing!
On episode 6 Jared Greer suggested a great way to get start is to sit down and write for 30 minutes about what you want your professional life to look like. As you do this consider the next 18 months. Consider areas outside of just your career path when you do this exercise. Think about it from what do you want your health to look like? What do you want your family life to look like?
What do you want your business associates’ relationships to look like? What do you want your community service to look like? What do you want your spirituality to look like? As you consider these areas write and talk about it as if it has already happened. There is a ton of value in the art of taking thoughts and getting them from inside your head to on the paper.
This forces you to be real with yourself and will help you get creative in your thinking. Consider what would be impacted with paths, promotions, and responsibility. While sometimes the path aligns well other times it does not. This is a fruitful exercise that will help create more actionable and focused goals as you move forward in crafting your vision.
Also, read Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Dan Pink examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.
#2 Fact Finding Missions!
The best way to get clear on a vision is to test it with real conversations. This takes courage as no one wants to have holes poked in their thinking. However as Christian leaders we know that the process of iron sharpening iron is hot, loud, and uncomfortable. The friction is what sharpens the iron and is critical to grow. Too often we look for the “yes men” or those that are going to tell us what we want to hear. Lions, treat fact finding as a mission just as a Navy Seal would and know that to get to the root of an issue often means digging several layers into the onion.
Consider reading The Proximity Principle where national radio host and career expert Ken Coleman provides a simple plan of how positioning yourself near the right people and places can help you land the job you love.
#3 Create Accountability
A great way to create accountability is to start keeping score. Let’s face it guys we have never played a game for “fun”. Men play to win and that is in the design that God created. As you lock in the vision for your career consider this:
Measure it, manage it, master it Click To TweetChris Grainger
You read that right – first find ways to measure success. In business that may be dashboards with concrete data that you can access, sales quotas or other measurable metrics that can be accurately measured. Once you have the data then you can shift to creating improvements in processes to manage your vision. As you begin to fine tune your process you are entering the world of mastery.
We are our worst critics. Before you go off the deep end if you are struggling to achieve you goal take the time to evaluate your position. Consider the following:
- Did you prioritize the goal correctly?
- Did you make poor assumptions on what it takes to achieve the goal?
- Did you pick the wrong goal?
All three of these are extremely likely, before you let Satan have that field day in your mind take some time to ask those questions. You may need to make some adjustments in your vision to realign to the actual target. You are human so give yourself some grace in this process. As you work on your vision for the future remember the importance of celebrating the inputs versus the outcomes! Most of us look at the scoreboard of life instead of the play by play. While a 4-yard run on 3rd down doesn’t sound impressive to the average Joe, it makes a world of difference to you when you had 3 yards to go on that play and now you have a fresh set of downs. The final scoreboard will come when you align the right vision to your actions.
Have courage to get after it and remember that Satan wants you to not act. He knows that if he can keep you waiting that will impact your testimony. Waiting quite often is the worst strategy you can have. Recognize that Lions create a vision for their careers and scripture reminds us that we need vision in order not to parish. Lean in here guys and unleash the Lion Within!