Podcast Episode 45: How to Set Your Career Vision

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Having a career vision is kinda like having a GPS for your career. Getting clear in your values, your WHY, and the goals you need to reach along the way will help you stay focused. 

In this episode we’ll discuss:  

  • Why a professional vision is important
  • How to create your career vision
  • Why a big career vision requires small career goals. 

A big career vision requires small career goals.  

Mentioned on the show: 

Amplify Your Strengths Group Coaching Program

Follow @jillGriffinOfficial on Instagram daily inspiration. 

Visit JillGriffinCoaching.com for free content and strategies to refresh your career.

Read the Transcript
Hey friends, Welcome back to the podcast. 

It’s that time of year when everyone begins to think about what goals did we accomplish this year and what do we want to tackle next year. 

Where are you in this process? Are you thinking about next year’s goals or are you working on a fiscal year and January 1st is just the start of a new quarter? 

Tell me all the things. 

Today I want to talk about how goals and vision support each other and why you need to get clear on both for your career. A big career vision requires small career goals.  

Think about a vision of what you want to accomplish in your career. Visions are not goals. 

Goals are the means to the end. They are the tactics. Goals get you closer to your vision. 

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You get what you see?” 

This phrase has been around for a long time. Even Lao Tzu said and I am paraphrasing..“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions” 

Designing a vision is a powerful tool for designing your career and life.

A vision is a connected, emotional statement or a visual queue of what you want in the future. 

A vision helps us imagine what a positive future could look like for us. 

Imagining a positive future is a helpful way to increase positive emotions and optimism

We already know that when we take action from positive mindset we increase our chances of success by over 30% 

Visioning is a valuable tool to gain clarity. The vision exercise is to act as compass or “north star” to keep you moving in the direction of your career dreams, no matter how many unexpected distractions you have to deal with in your day-to-day life

Doing visioning and brainstorming exercises around the career you want to have    is one of the most important tools I recommend for creating the career you want. 

Visioning starts with getting clear in your why. Often clients will say they want this or that opportunity in their career because it will bring in money. 

Money is not your purpose. It’s not. The end target is not money. 

The end target is lifestyle, freedom, security. It’s something else. It’s not money. 

So get clear in your why. 

Ask yourself why your career vision is important to you now. 

Your why is a sentence, it’s a thought. You repeat it and it becomes a belief. 

When you get clear on your why, your how will come. 

Some people like to save a photo as a screen saver or put a visual anchor near their desk. Something to remind you of where you are going. 

As an example, my last name is Griffin. 

A Gryffin is a mythological creature of a Lion and Dragon. 

It symbolises  wisdom, strength, courage, enlightenment, they are the protector of gold. 

So years ago, I drew an abstract Gryffin and kept it as the image on my home screen. 

Everyday I looked at that image as the vision for what’s to come. I didn’t need to know the what or the how in the moment, I just needed to stay focused on the vision of wisdom, strength, courage, enlightenment, gold which for me was about abundance. 

If your why is not aligned with your personal values, achieving these goals won’t provide the sense of satisfaction and well-being that you’re seeking. 

Ask yourself, what really matters to you? What gives you meaning? Who do you want to help? What impact do you want to make? And how do you want to spend your time? 

Keep these values-focused questions in mind because on the days when you get knocked down or you have a day filled with doubt, you are going to need to be clear in your why in order to keep going. 

And you may need different ways to articulate your WHY because the same phrasing may not work for you every day. 

Going back to the Money example, One day it may be to have sovereignty of self. The next day it may be about creating a bigger impact in the world. Both these WHYs connect, and your brain may respond to one vs the other depending on how you are feeling on any given day.  

When you know why, you can build your vision. 

I knew I wanted to inspire others and to be inspired. I always believed anything was possible. 

I didn’t know that that was going to result in being a career strategist and executive coach. 

Early on in my career I struggled and I always wished that I had someone I could talk to about the strategic & tactical details plus the political nuances of business. From strategic approach to a challenge to tactical execution. From the opportunities and dealing with politics in a matrixed corporate environment to the swirl and energy of a start-up. I wanted to mentor, a savvy older sister, and a strategic sounding board. I never thought I would create what I needed. I held the vision that work could be different. 

That well being could be honored and that I would have the tools to succeed. 

When I began to study the mind as a result of my head injury I began to apply what I learned in the workplace. My mindset was positive. I was more confident and resourceful. I was looking for a solution. My income and productivity increased and I began to gain the recognition I craved for the value I was bringing to the workplace. 

I had a big vision to create this type of success for others. But I didn’t know how to do it. I started to apply my strategy training to my vision. I would often explain to interns the difference between vision and goal.  

Let’s say you have a WHY where you want to have agency of self so they can create the life they want. 

And this delivers on your values of inspiration, connection, wisdom, trust, and achievement. 

You could say your vision is to lead a team and make an impact in the workplace. Then a goal could be to shape your career narrative so you can get clear  on your next career move. 

You may have a goal of positioning and selling yourself as the best candidate, so you’ll need to know your strengths, And yes, I said selling because getting a job is one big sales funnel

You may have another goal of ensuring you are aligned to an organization’s values and here it’s going to be your goal to get in touch with your own values. 

A vision can feel far away. A vision is big but it doesn’t keep you up at night. A vision doesn’t worry you. A vision feels possible. Exciting. Inspiring and fun. 

It’s the goals that worry you. Goals and the steps along the way are what keep you up at night. The goal is closer so the pressure is on. You need to achieve and be accountable. It’s why many people hire a career coach. 
When you work on the steps, or the goals along the way you get closer to your vision. 

The additional benefit here is that this helps your brain feel the smaller wins and accomplishments. 
The visions start to feel achievable. The smaller goals give you the micro win. They scratch the itch of your brain’s reward center. Otherwise you are only in the anticipation of the goal but never in the rewards along the way.  

I spent the first half of my career in goals. The tactics. Yes, sure I achieved things but I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know how to shift from only accomplishing goals to elevating into a vision. But when I made the shift, it was so empowering. I was no longer rudderless.

Today I show others that they have to achieve their smaller goals so that they are closer to their vision. 
Without a bigger vision you can get lost along the way.

The goals are the steps, they are the how. And you may not know how now but the answer to how is yes. You want the how, try it. 

One of my most powerful thoughts is: It’s done. And now I need to figure out how to do it. 

So how do you create a vision? 

It’s getting clear on your why, creating a vision. 

Reconnect with your values. These are going to be your co-pilot helping you navigate (check out episode 41 on why you need to get clear on your workplace values)

Spend time envisioning, thinking, dreaming about what you want your career to look like, who you will be talking too, the feelings you’ll have when you get there. Think about your vision as a  GPS analogy. You can let the GPS guide you and focus on your destination. The impact, the joy, the fun. Or you can choose to stay in the goals, and mental tactics along the way, and while you are accomplishing things it may feel less motivating  because you don’t get to spend time focused on the joy of the end destination. 

Then yes, you need to think about the goals, the steps and milestones along the way. You have to try and experiment in order to figure it out. Just make sure you balance the goals with your inspiration or you may lose connection to your why. . . 

Alright friends, Let me know what you uncover by implementing these tips. 

Before I wrap, I wanted to let you know that I am launching a career strengths group coaching program that will help you leverage your strengths, get clear on your skills and values, plus help you create your career narrative – which is essential especially if you are interviewing for a new job or making a career change.

I’ll put the link to get on the list for more information in the show notes. 

Have a great week and I will see you next time.