I have this strange set of skills that I use periodically—I’m really good at job searching, in particular for other people.
A combination of my mission-oriented attitude and anal organization skills seems to put me in a rare group of people that can actually enjoy this process. I have written a four-part series I’m calling Job Search for the Mindful Life highlighting practical advice that I’ve learned throughout the years to hopefully inspire you to find a career that you love.
First and foremost—know your personal and professional missions. These should be very closely related and ideally be the same mission. For example, I enjoy helping people find jobs that they love because I believe that businesses can be a force for enhancing our environment, community, and the greater world. The more people who are mission driven means more people who will demand a company that is also mission driven and thus create spaces that are great places to work. This, in turn, leads to great products or services, which improve the world!
See how I tied this random article on job search into part of my mission? That’s what you should be doing with your goals at work and in your personal life—tying them to your mission.
How do you find your mission? Here are a few tips that helped me brainstorm and refine my personal/professional mission.
- Write down observations and thoughts about what you have always been attracted too. This is a good exercise just to start you thinking mindfully about yourself.
- List your strengths and weaknesses. We are programed not to boast about our strengths and to ‘spin’ our weaknesses so they are positive. Do you recall the old job interview question with the answer: “My biggest weakness is I work too hard”? Well, forget that and really get into what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. I find it helps to ask a few people in your life: a close personal friend or family member, someone you’ve worked with and trust, and someone who you just started working with. These three people help give you a well-rounded perspective on your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you create a mission that is realistic for you as an individual.
- List the who, what, where, when, and how of your life and business. For example, who do you want to surround yourself with, both personally and professionally? If this is not lining up with what’s happening in your life, it’s time to make a change.
- Now look at why you do what you do. Simon Sinek has an excellent TED Talk about how the best businesses begin with the why. The why you do what you do often boils down to your basic mission statement. If you are in the Boulder area, a Startup Women Group I am a member of will be discussing Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why in late March.
Clearly, all of the work that you put into the above tasks is much more than a one-sentence mission statement, but I’ve found it to be a helpful part of the mission development process. Once you have your thoughts down, see if you can refine them into a paragraph that you can memorize and reference daily. I also encourage you to print your brainstorm document or write out some key components and have it visible to you on a daily basis.
Why do all of this? To help you create a mindful life and career that is in alignment with your core values. After this brainstorm session, either you will realize that you are in alignment with your values and you will likely see a little spark in mundane activities when they are on mission or you will realize you’re not in alignment and you should probably change your job or something else in your life.
In the coming series of Job Search for a Mindful Life I will discuss practical job search advice for moving onto a career that is in line with your mission. Next week: Building Your Network with Purpose.
Do you have a personal/professional mission statement? If yes, how did you write it and have you found it helpful in guiding your career?