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To Achieve Your Career Goals, Define Your Mission

Dr. Greg Ketchum, 04/09/05

In order to succeed in your career you have to know where you’re going and to know where you’re going you’ve got to define your life’s mission. Taking the time now to reflect on some basic questions about the purpose of your life and writing out a “mission statement” can save you a lot of trouble later on. You only need to watch the movie, Jerry McGuire, to see what I’m talking about.

Let’s talk about how to write your own mission statement, but first, here are some examples of critical mistakes and benefits of defining and living by your mission.

3 Critical Mistakes

  1. Never get around to defining your mission.
  2. Not making it achievable or relevant to your life.
  3. Writing it down and then forgetting it.

3 Key Success Factors

  1. Keeps us from getting mired in the trivial of each day.
  2. Working at something that you’re passionate about increases your success.
  3. Employers look for people who have a sense of purpose and goals.

Action steps to help you successfully define and live by your mission.

Action Steps

  1. Take the Time to Reflect on Four Basic Questions: What are my values, my talents, my purpose and my passions? Write down your answers and then shape them into your mission statement.
  2. Set Your Career Goals In Line With Your Mission: Set some long and short term goals. Make decisions around your career based on whether or not they line up with your mission.
  3. Build in Weekly Review Time: Taking time each week to review and reflect on your mission and goals is a key element to your overall success. Don’t be afraid to adjust your mission or goals where necessary. 

If All Else Fails And You Just Can’t Make Yourself Sit Down & Write

  • Talk to a Friend: If you just can’t get yourself to sit down and write your mission statement ask a friend if they’d be willing to sit down and discuss the four questions. Write down the results of your conversation. 

You know what they say, if you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there.

If you’ve got work or career topics you’d like to see us address, just send me an email at drgreg@talentplanet.com.


®2005 All rights reserved. Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Career Advice

Dr. Greg is the “KRON 4 (San Francisco) Workplace and Career Expert”

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