This Year, Try Writing a Career Mission Statement

Q: How many readers out there have already fallen off one or more of their New Year’s resolutions?

CNW: I confess that this year I’ve already fallen off my resolutions – for example, getting this blog post out sooner. Inspired by a recent New York Times article, I am abandoning any remaining resolutions in favor of writing a personal mission statement. A personal mission statement is supposed to get at the “why” of change instead of focusing on the “what.” By identifying the reasons behind the changes you want to make, so the theory goes, you are more likely to stick with the program.

This makes intuitive sense to me. It is all too easy to experience a setback and never get back on track because you’ve already failed, right? There is also value in publishing your goals to the world as a means of keeping yourself accountable. So here goes:

2014 for me was all about my kids. But with my youngest now seven months old, it is time to refocus on my career. In 2015  I want to progress in my career by taking on new challenges at work. There is always so much to do that finding the time to identify and work on the areas of greatest impact can be a challenge. I resolve to give myself the space to develop those impact areas in 2015.

It has been some time since I’ve done any speaking or presenting outside of my organization, so I have accepted a role speaking on a panel at the upcoming Special Libraries Association conference in Boston. My ambition is to make that a positive experience and seek out additional speaking roles in the second half of the year.

Similarly, it has also been some time since I have published. My career move into knowledge management coincided with the arrival of my children and the commensurate shortage of time. Now it is time to start participating more deeply in the professional conversation through publication. That also means reading more professional literature.

Related to writing, I also want to nurture my creative side. Writing fiction has been a lifelong goal. It’s past time to get serious, so in 2015 I’ll be looking for ways to nurture myself in addition to my family.

And here are my LCP colleagues’ personal mission statements for further inspiration:

Susanne’s Personal Mission Statement:

 In 2015, I aim to seek out and discover new opportunities and collaborations on topics that are relevant to my role in electronic resources and collections. I want to narrow the scope of my professional development efforts and concentrate on more specific concepts, tools, and solutions. I want to learn from others who are in similar roles in different institutions, and to immerse myself into a (new) community of like-minded professionals. I want to feel engaged and challenged.

In an attempt to conquer chaos and doubt and to maintain my concentration, I intend to focus on my physical and mental well-being with the help of yoga and meditation. I want to slow myself down, and just breathe. In and out, in and out.

I will write more, because this is the activity that feeds my soul. I will commit to the practice of it, and to forming groups that support and nurture the writing life. And then I want to publish, to send my stuff out into the world and see what happens, in a concentrated effort to be more open to rejection and criticism, for the small possibility of success.

Tiffany’s Personal Mission Statement:

In 2015, I will accomplish great things.  I want to look back on this year and feel a sense of pride and contentment with what was accomplished and how my work affected the work and lives of others.  To achieve this, I will identify my priorities and put my effort there.  I will focus my work to what’s important and align my efforts with my endeavors.  I will try to reduce the number of email I send in the hopes it will reduce the number I receive.

I will also learn to say no.  In an effort to align resources with priorities, I need to know what’s on my horizon and I will need to learn to not take on everything.  This includes in my personal life.  Despite my wishes, I am not infinitely limitless.  I am bound by the same 24-hour day as everyone else and I need to remember that.  I also need to remember to make time for me somewhere within those 24 hours–to put on my oxygen mask before helping others around me who my need assistance.

And lastly, I will be thankful for everything I have and everyone in my life.  As a student of Positive Psychology, I will spend a moment every day giving thanks, being appreciative and building an upward spiral of positivity.  For those who want to know more about Positive Psychology, I highly recommend the work of Dr. Barbara Fredrickson.  She is currently teaching an online course on the subject, which is another thing I’ve checked off my 2015 To Do List—I’m currently participating in my first MOOC.  Starting the year strong with small successes!

To much success in 2015!

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