Can You Visualize Work & Career Goals? Create A Vision Board
About a year ago, Oprah Winfrey did a show with a panel of psychologists who discussed the power of a vision board. A vision board is a large presentation board that included cut outs of pictures, words or key phrases from magazines, newspapers or anything form of paper to capture something you hope to achieve. (Note: Oprah.com has created an online version as well if that suits you better.) The message from Oprah is part of her overall programming idea to help you ‘live your best life’.
So why not create a vision board to help you live your best career? Your boss holds you up to goals they want you to achieve throughout a year, so give yourself the same courtesy and figure out what it is you are working toward. We know that you are probably exhausted after a day of work, and that you want to spend time with your family, friends and kids, or just have a few moments to sit on the couch and unwind, but why not give some time, no more than an hour, to visualize and think about where you want to go in your career. What would define achievement to you in your career?
Pull together a stack of magazines, newspapers and favorite websites, and let’s get started. Here are a few things to consider as you flip through the pages of print publications or scan the pages of some of your favorite online sites:
- What city offers you a chance to build out your dreams? Cut out an image that best symbolizes that location. For example, let’s say you want to start a business or work for a company in Miami, cut out a picture of the downtown strip.
- Do you want to work at a specific company? Feel like you would have a better chance to see your ideas flourish within a certain company? Look for their company logo and print out a copy and paste it to your board.
- Do you want to change careers? Look for an image or word that illustrates the area you would like to pursue. Perhaps you want to become a nurse or an architect – try to find some symbol that best captures the career you are dreaming about.
- Do you picture working in a certain style workplace? Are you working to be a top notch attorney? Find a picture of a person in a suit in a courtroom or in a law firm office. Do you dream of starting your own website and want a laid back atmosphere? Find a picture of a person in jeans surrounded by computers.
- Are there a few words that can inspire you? Research inspirational quotes. For example, maybe Buddha’s wise words will give you the right motivation, he says “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” Or, maybe Harding Lawrence’s quote is more moving to you: “Don’t set compensation as a goal. Find work you like and the compensation will follow.”
As Oprah says, the board should capture: What do you want in your life [or career]? What images represent your dreams? What words inspire you to move forward? It doesn’t matter what you put on the board, as long as you remember each aspects’ intention.
Lastly, it’s important to realize that things may not happen overnight, but by placing the vision board in a location that you see frequently, it can serve as a constant reminder of what you are working toward. It may surprise you when you look back a year later as you may have achieved more than you thought.