In First Things First, Steven Covey refers to developing a mission statement as “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it.” A personal mission statement helps job-seekers identify their core values and beliefs while helping to identify companies that have similar values and beliefs; helping them better assess the costs and benefits of any new career opportunity.
According to Dr. Jack Groppel “by creating a mission statement people can begin to identify the underlying causes of behaviors, as well as what truly motivates them to make changes. A mission statement becomes the North Star for people. It becomes how you make decisions, how you lead, and how you create boundaries.”
*Franklin Covey has a handy Personal Missions Statement Builder – which is actually pretty helpful if you like that sort of thing. Otherwise check out these Steps Toward Personal Mission Statement Development:
According to Jörgen Sundberg, your mission statement needs to abide by the following rules:
- You need to be able to say it in one breath,
- You need to have WOW factor,
- A child should be able to understand it,
- Yours and yours alone,
- It should be delivered with confidence,
- It should leave them wanting more,
- It should be catchy, memorable, and repeatable.
Step 1: Identify Core Values. Develop a list of attributes that you believe identify who you are and what your priorities are. Take 5 minutes to jot down a free-for-all list of what means a lot to you. The list can be as long as you need. Once your list is complete, see if you can narrow your values to five or six most important values. Finally, see if you can choose the one value that is most important to you. Some examples are:
- Achievement, fame, advancement, leadership
- Money, power, authority, economic security
- Having a family, children, love, community, friendships
- Nature, religion, public service, ecological awareness, healthy living, physical challenge
- Democracy, civic involvement, wisdom, integrity, truth
- Location, privacy, country, adventure, fast-paced living
Step 2: Identify Past Successes. Once you’ve reflected on what matters most to you, then take 5 minutes to think about how you want to be remembered. Spend some time identifying four or five examples where you have had personal success in recent years. How do you want to contribute or what goals do you want to accomplish for yourself or your career? These successes could be at work, in your community, at home, etc. Write them down. Try to identify whether there is a common theme — or themes — to these examples. Write them down.
- Career aspirations
- Volunteer interests
- Ways to make social impact
- Ways you want to grow in your career or personal life
Step 3: Identify Contributions. Make a list of the ways you could make a difference. In an ideal situation, how could you contribute best to:
- the world in general
- your family
- your employer or future employers
- your friends
- your community
Step 4: Identify Goals. Spend some time thinking about your priorities in life and the goals you have for yourself. Make a list of your short-term (up to three years) and the long-term (beyond three years) goals.
Step 5: Write Mission Statement. Based on the first four steps and a better understanding of yourself, begin writing your personal mission statement.