Career Trends: Uncertain of your next professional move? Develop a ‘life vision’.

4 min read

Edition: August 28th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Your next career move should take you a step closer to your ‘life vision’. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

A number of people are reassessing their careers in the wake of the pandemic and wondering if they should be doing something different. One of the things you can do to figure this out is to identify your “Life Vision”. 

You compare the life you want for yourself down the road with your current situation, and then come up with the steps to close the gap. This exercise can help you make strategic, thoughtful decisions that are more likely to result in a meaningful, satisfying career.

As you come up with these steps, you gain clarity on the things you need to do next in your career to achieve your life vision. Developing a vision for your life can inspire you into action.

How to develop a life vision?

To develop this vision, follow these steps:

  1. Pick a time at least five years from now to envision what you want your life to be like. Most people choose a point in time that’s further out, like 10 or 15 years.
  2. Imagine what you want your life to be like at this point in time by writing down the answers to a series of questions you ask yourself. That is, paint a picture of your life in words. Start out with a broad question, such as “What’s my life like at this point in time?” Write down as much as needed to answer this question. Then ask yourself more specific questions.
  3. Now move closer to the present and ask yourself the same set of questions. If you crafted a vision for your life 10 years from now, what do the answers to those very same questions need to be five years from now to get you to your 10-year vision.
  4. Now add additional points-in-time closer to the present, like 3 years from now and one year from now. As you get closer to the present, ask yourself an additional questions like: “What have I accomplished to get to this point?” By asking this question, you’ll gain clarity on the next steps you need to take now in your career and life to achieve the change you want.

Build self-awareness to take informed next-steps

  • You’ll want to be using your ‘motivated skills’ on-the-job to feel truly satisfied in your career, that is, the skills that you’re both good at and enjoy using.
  • Try self-assessment exercises to determine your motivated skills and then use the results to decide between career options.
  • The best career move will be consistent with your work-related values.
  • To come up with this list of values, brainstorm anything that you value related to work.
  • Then highlight the values on which you don’t want to compromise.
  • Make sure your next job, or the one after that if your next job is a stepping-stone, has these values present.

Be proactive once you know what you want to do

  • You’re more likely to get the best offers faster if you take an active approach to getting interviews. Go beyond just applying to postings.
  • List out the organisations where you want to work, start building relationships with people in a position to hire you in those organisations, and keep in touch with your network.
  • Assuming you’re communicating well, you’ll start to see a high return on your time investment in the form of interviews at the places where you really want to work.
  • Make sure you are having enough conversations with people in a position to hire you so that you improve the odds of having something work out.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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