Imagine you decide to get in the car and go for a ride and you don’t have a specific destination or preferred route; you just decide to go somewhere out of the city. While driving, you spot from a distance a bumpy road; it’s too late to stop and turn so the wheels end up hitting the bumps hard. As you drive through them you notice there are more bumps ahead but this time you find a U-turn so you turn and go back home.
Now imagine you get in the car because you want to head to a beautiful nature spot outside the city that you have seen in pictures and you promised your family that you would take them there. You encounter the same road but you know eventually it will lead to that spot.
Would you tolerate a few bumps or would you turn back and go home?
The same thing goes when it comes to your career path. When you have a clear desired vision of what you want to experience and create in your career you will more likely endure difficult times when you encounter them ( because you will!). When you know where you are going, you are less likely to give up as you might try different routes. In the example of the road trip, if you encountered a bumpy road you might try another path to get there or ask a few people what other roads you can take.
Here are 5 other main reasons why you need to have a career vision:
- It adds meaning to your present work.
- It keeps you motivated.
- It keeps you focused and on track.
- It helps you make better career decisions.
- It helps you identify the gaps.
Let’s explore each of these further:
Having a career vision gives meaning to your present work:
When you know WHY you are doing what you’re doing and what it’s leading to, you will no longer complain about difficult or tough tasks. Instead, you will enjoy them more by considering them as a challenge and a means to realize something greater and bigger. You will feel like every single task you do has a meaning behind it and is a piece of a bigger puzzle.
Even if you have a job that pays very well, if you sense there is no meaning behind it, you will not experience complete fulfillment.
We instinctively search for meaning in everything we do as it gives us a sense of purpose and importance.
A career vision helps keep us motivated:
There will be times when we will feel tired, frustrated, and unmotivated. If we don’t have something to look forward to, we might end up procrastinating or giving up as there is no exciting goal or milestone that will gives us the motivation we need to overcome these emotions.
A strong, clear, and compelling vision pulls us towards it which makes us experience an effortless flow. It also helps us plan out a roadmap that will lead us to realizing this vision. When we have a planned roadmap, we look forward for every milestone ahead with more confidence as we human beings love the familiar and we function better when we have a plan.
A career vision helps us stay focused:
In the world we live in today, it’s very easy to get distracted and tempted to explore many ideas and opportunities. If we do not give undivided attention to one task or idea, we will end up having several unfinished projects and experience more stress.
A clear vision, which we mentally and emotionally decide on, will help us focus our attention on whatever aligns with our goals. We begin to be more mindful on what we spend our time on and how we prioritize. We stop draining our mental energy on people, things, and content that does not serve our purpose and in turn become more selective in what we feed our mind on a daily basis.
A career vision helps you make better career decisions:
When you have a clear roadmap and specific milestones you want to reach, you’ll be able to make better decisions. The decisions could be as small as whether to spend the next hour replying to emails or making sale calls or whether it is worthwhile to network at this event or not. It could also be the big decisions like whether you will turn down a job offer or say no to a certain opportunity that arises.
We are constantly making decisions every minute of our life whether we notice it or not from what to wear in the morning to what color mug to drink from. Decision making can really drain our brain’s energy, the energy we need to complete other important tasks and resolve important issues. By being clear on what we want and on our priorities, we save our brain energy by asking ourselves: “Does this help me get closer to achieving my goals? “
A vision helps us identify the Gaps:
A career vision along with a planned out roadmap can help us identify what skills, strengths, and knowledge we need to develop to become the person we wish to be and achieve the goals we need to in our career life. You might realize you need to enroll in a leadership program, take a photography class, or practice public speaking.
If you assess your current work conditions in relation to the overall vision, you might notice that you need to expand your network or even change your location.
Crafting a career vision takes time and you might need to tweak it a bit every once in a while but you always need it to keep moving forward with drive and purpose.
After crafting your own, put in mind that you have to refer to it daily so that you never forget the big picture.
By, Loubna Sabbah, Career & Life Direction Coach