You may want to sit down for this statistic: You will spend approximately 90,000 hours of your life working.
Based on this statistic, it may feel more critical than ever to develop a career that contributes to your overall success and happiness. That’s where aligning your career with your mission comes in.
But that’s not something everyone does or even knows how to do, so today, we’re sharing a simple process you can follow to define your mission as well as additional resources you can use to build a career you love.
First, What Is a “Mission”?
Before you make any life-changing decisions about your career, you need to get really specific in defining your mission.
Most people don’t take the time to outline their mission, but by proactively doing so now, you can give yourself clarity in the years to come.
By definition, your mission is the plan through which you carry out your purpose in life. Think of it as a global goal and declaration of intention that encompasses your life’s work; in other words, your mission statement is a written master blueprint for your life.
Your mission statement is important because it can help you answer three crucial questions:
- What do you intend to do with your limited time here on this earth?
- What do you value most?
- How do your values align with your principles and the corresponding code of conduct you intend to live by?
Why Your Values Matter
Your values — the core set of beliefs that guides you — provide you with the direction you need to develop a mission statement.
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When you live (and work) in alignment with your values, you maximize your chances of experiencing greater meaning and fulfillment in life. By defining your value-driven mission now, you can begin to live intentionally as the creator of your life.
If you’re not purposeful about choosing how you spend your time, however, other people will choose for you. Think about all the times in your life when you’ve been working towards someone else’s mission. A boss, family member, friend, partner, or even a mentor could, unintentionally, leverage you as a tool in their mission, if you neglect to follow your own.
While there’s nothing wrong with working for other people’s missions, it’s important to remember that our time here is precious, and we should only work toward missions that align with our values.
Why Is It Important to Align Your Mission with Your Career?
It’s important to align your career and mission because you’ll do most of your life’s work at work.
Studies have shown that mission-driven employees experience greater job satisfaction and are 54% more likely to stay on for at least five years at a company. Additionally, they are 30% more likely to evolve into high achievers at their organization, which can lead to career growth.
Working for a company that aligns with your mission is not only important to your success, however, but to your team’s success as well.
Employees who are mission-driven perform better, and working alongside mission-driven people can be highly motivational. Together, you can make even more of a difference while working toward your mission.
Consider this quotation from Tony Robbins, who shared what it’s like working with exclusively mission-driven people during an episode of Tom Bilyeu’s podcast.
“When somebody doesn’t own it, you’ve got to call it tight, and you’ve got to move on,” says Robbins. “Otherwise, you’ll have a few weak people, or weak organizations, or weak structures that will destroy the rest of your mission.”
Of course, you can also “work” on your mission on weekends and evenings; but if you use one-third of your life working toward your mission, you can ensure a higher return on your time.
How to Create a Mission Statement for Your Career
People sometimes get nervous when thinking about embarking on a journey like their overall mission. They may wonder, “What if I do it wrong?” or “What if I screw up my career?”
One way to mitigate such fears is to break down the mission statement process into various areas and categories within your career. In the Arootah 10 Step Success Formula, created by Arootah CEO and founder Rich Bello, we provide you with simple, straightforward steps you can take to create a mission statement in every area of your life. But for now, let’s apply this to career-based mission statements.
- Identify your roles: We all play roles in life and in our profession, but our roles aren’t just limited to our job title or position at a company. Consider how you contribute to your field: Are you a leader, mentor, visionary?
- Identify your values: In your career, what do you value? Passion, creativity, and service are all examples of values. When you specify your values, keep in mind they are usually specified as one word.
- Identify your principles: Your principles are mindsets or beliefs that provide you with the guidance you need to make judgments about how to live a life consistent with your values. Principles should take the form of a statement.
- Get specific on your code of conduct: A code of conduct is a set of standards of consistent behavior that are aligned with your values and principles.
- Decide on your ultimate purpose: Considering all of the information above, decide what your ultimate purpose is in your career.
- Using this information, craft your mission statement: Your mission statement can be as short or as long as you like but you should base it on your roles, values, principles, code of conduct, and ultimate purpose. This level of specificity will provide you with clarity as you make decisions about your career.
Here’s an example of what a career mission statement could look like:
I will focus on passion, mentorship, and continuing education. I value balance, fulfillment, and impact, in my roles as leader, executive, and colleague. I believe that my career can inspire positive change in the world, and I will treat everyone I work with as a collaborator for inspiring positive change.
The Bottom Line
By putting in the work to craft a mission statement, you can provide yourself with tremendous clarity as you make career decisions in the years to come.
So many people show up to their jobs every day to get a paycheck and go home, but by aligning your career and mission, you’ll experience greater fulfillment and satisfaction every day.
Looking for support in aligning your mission statement and your career, advancing in your field, or changing your professional path altogether? Schedule a free introductory session with an Arootah Career Coach to see what your next step should be.