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Five Easy Steps to Creating a Personal Mission Statement

A large percentage of companies, including most of the Fortune 500, have corporate mission statements. Mission statements are designed to provide direction and thrust to an organization, an enduring statement of purpose. A mission statement acts as an invisible hand that guides the people in the organization. A mission statement explains the organization's reason for being, and answers the question, "What business are we in?"

A personal mission statement is a bit different from a company mission statement, but the fundamental principles are the same. Writing a personal mission statement offers the opportunity to establish what's important and perhaps make a decision to stick to it before we even start a career. Learn why mission statements are important by reading my article, Five Reasons Why You Need a Personal Mission Statement.

Furthermore, a personal mission statement helps job-seekers identify their core values and beliefs. Michael Goodman (in The Potato Chip Difference: How to Apply Leading Edge Marketing Strategies to Landing the Job You Want) states that a personal mission statement is "an articulation of what you're all about and what success looks like to you." A personal mission statement also allows job-seekers to identify companies that have similar values and beliefs and helps them better assess the costs and benefits of any new career opportunity.

The biggest problem most job-seekers face is not in wanting to have a personal mission statement, but actually writing it. So, to help you get started on your personal mission statement, here is a five-step mission-building process.

Steps Toward Personal Mission Statement Development

Step 1: Identify Past Successes. Spend some time identifying four or five examples where you have had personal success in recent years. 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 success stories. Write them down.

Step 2: Identify Core Values. Develop a list of attributes that you believe identify who you are and what your priorities are. 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 -- that most represents who you are.

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 personal goals, keeping them realistic and in the short-term (up to three years).

Step 5: Write Mission Statement. Based on the first four steps and a better understanding of yourself, begin writing your personal mission statement.

Final Thoughts on Developing a Personal Mission Statement

A personal mission statement, is of course personal... but if you want to truly see whether you have been honest in developing your personal mission statement, I suggest sharing the results of this process with one or more people who are close to you. Ask for their feedback.

Finally, remember that a mission statement is not meant to be written once and blasted into stone. You should set aside some time annually to review your career, job, goals, and mission statement -- and make adjustments as necessary.


EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall S. Hansen is an educator, author, and blogger, as well as founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com. Dr. Hansen has been helping empower people to achieving success his entire adult life. He is also founder of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EmpoweringRetreat.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, teaching business and marketing at the college level for more than 25 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on Google+, as well as Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.


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