Develop a Career Vision Statement in 7 Easy Steps

What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you still searching for the answer? Are you where you want to be in your professional life or does it feel like something is missing?

Developing a career vision statement will help bring your ideal career into focus. Unlike a career “mission statement” which puts the focus on where you are currently; a career “vision statement” helps you to create a mental image of your future self in the career you really want – the career that will bring you the most fulfillment and joy.  Your vision is a “picture” of what you aspire to, and what inspires you, in your work life. Your vision can motivate you to make changes today that will impact your future career; bringing you more satisfaction and fulfillment along the way.

The following steps, adapted from Randall S. Hansen of Quintessential Careers, will put you well on your way to creating a career vision statement that will inspire and motivate you.

1. Give yourself time. Career visioning cannot be rushed. The practice of visioning is something that may take several efforts before things begin to align and you start getting a grasp of your ideal future.

2. Review your mission statement and core values. Taking the time to write a personal mission statement allows you to identify and examine your core values and beliefs. It will give you insight into who you are now and what drives you today. It will also provide insight into what areas of your life or career might need to be changed, modified or worked on in order to align better with your value system.

3. Suspend logic. With a career vision, anything should be possible. Turn off any negative feelings or filters that might block you from thinking “big” and outside of the box. Open your mind to envisioning future possibilities outside of today’s reality.  

4. Try visioning exercises to help get your thoughts flowing. Contemplate the following question(s) and answer each as completely as you can:

  • How do you define career success? Do you feel that you are achieving some level of success in your current job?
  • What would you want to do today if all your bills were paid and you had somewhat unlimited cash reserves?
  • What would your career be like if you had the power to make it any way you wanted?
  • If no obstacles stood in your way, what would you most like to attain in your career?
  • Think of the people you most admire. What is it about them or their careers that earn your admiration?
  • Imagine yourself at a point in the future where you have achieved career success. What is it that you have accomplished? What does your career look like? How about your personal life?
  • Do you feel as though you have a gift or calling? Something special that you have to offer? How can you share this gift in a way that will fulfill you personally?
  • What's the one thing you love doing most? It should be something that energizes you and brings you joy. Is it currently part of your career? If not, how can you make it part of your current or future career?
  • Where would you like to be in your career in 5 years? In 10 years? In 15 years?

5. Assemble the pieces and put them all together. Consider writing a short vision statement along with a short description of how you currently see yourself accomplishing your vision.  What are the steps you might need to take to reach your goal? Begin making a list of necessary steps as well as locating resources to help you meet your goals and objectives.

6. Keep your vision visible. Once you've created your career vision statement, copy it and place it in various locations. Read it and say it aloud often. Imagine yourself achieving the vision you have for your career.

7.  Review your Career Vision Statement.  You should periodically review your career vision statement and make any adjustments that you feel are necessary. Keep in mind that it’s completely normal for a career vision to change as you move closer to it.

Ed4Career has hundreds of Career Training, Professional Development, Personal Enrichment and Behavioral Health and Human Services courses to help bring you closer to reaching your Career Vision. Visit our website today!