Think of Your Purpose as Your Personal Career Mission
Success Tweet: Think of your purpose as your personal mission; why you are on this earth. Your direction is your vision for the next 3 to 5 years. As a career success coach, I’m here to help other people succeed in realizing their purpose. I think this is a pretty mighty purpose. I may help someone who someday may become President, or a Supreme Court Justice, or find a cure for cancer, or just be a loving and caring parent. This purpose anchors me. It keeps me going when I get frustrated, or when I feel like quitting, or when I start to feel that it’s OK to be “good enough,” not great. The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my career success coach clients. We were discussing clarity of purpose and direction. She said she read a blog post on clarity of purpose and direction I wrote and got confused by all of the different words that came up when she thought about clarity – words like purpose, direction, mission and vision. This got me thinking. If she gets confused about the semantics of clarity of purpose and direction, I bet others do too. Below, I have defined these terms for you in a manner that will help you create your personal clarity of purpose and direction. As I begin, please note these are the working definitions I use with my career success clients. You may have seen other definitions for these terms. I am presenting these definitions here to help you better understand how I use them in my model – not as the “correct” definition of these terms. For our purposes here, I define the word “mission” as follows...
When I was in my 30’s my vision shifted. It became “to create a successful career success coaching, consulting and speaking business.” Your vision needs to be consistent with your mission. However, unlike your mission, your vision should change as you grow and develop in your career.
Finally, your vision should always be a BHAG – a big hairy audacious goal. I first saw this term in Jim Collins and Jerry Porras’ great book, "Built to Last." You need to create a vision that will challenge you and motivate you – it should be big and hairy and audacious. What’s a big hairy audacious goal for your next year? Five years? Ten years?
My current vision comes in a one year and a five year time frame.
My one year vision: Create a profitable internet business that will allow me to share my optimistic message on career and life success and help as many people as I can.
My five year vision: Make 100% of my income from the internet.
Notice how my one year vision is consistent with my mission of helping others succeed in their lives and careers. It’s also a BHAG – for me at least. While I have amassed knowledge about career and life success over a lifetime of work and study, turning that knowledge into information products that I can sell over the internet is something completely new for me. I’m learning about internet marketing as I go. With a little luck and a lot of persistence, I am confident this will be a breakout year for me as an internet marketer.
I’m also confident in five years; I’ll be doing almost all of my business on the internet. I’ll be traveling for business only when I choose to do so. This will be a radical departure from the 45 to 50 weeks of business travel I’ve done for so many years.
So where does all this leave us when it comes to thinking about clarity of purpose and direction? Here’s how I suggest you think about it.
Your purpose is your mission – your reason for living, your passion, what you are on this earth to do; something that is unlikely to change over the long run.
Your direction is your vision – short and medium term goals that define the direction you will take your life and career.
There is a common sense career success point here. Successful people define clarity of purpose and direction for their lives and careers. Your clarity of purpose and direction should include both a personal mission (your purpose) and a personal vision (your direction). Your mission is your reason for living, why you are on this earth. It is unlikely to change over the long run.
Your vision is a short or medium term goal that defines the direction you will take over the next three to five years. It will change are you grow and develop in your life and career. Your vision must be consistent with your mission.
If you want to read more of my career success tips, download a FREE copy of my latest book: "Success Tweets:140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less."
Bud Bilanich is a motivational speaker, author and blogger who will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.
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- Your reason for existing.
- Your passion.
- Why you are on this earth.
- Where you are going.
- What will you achieve in the next 1, 5, 10, 20 years.