What’s Your Career Mission?

Even if you work for a large company, you are still a company of one. You are you own CEO, CMO, CFO and CIO, on ocassion, you’ll be your own intern but that’s a different story. Every great company has a goal, a mission, or a vision, to be successful, you should have one too.

During this rough economic time you should be doing some soul searching, the market has changed and you need to evaluate how you’ll position yourself –even if you’re still employed. Scrutiny abound, you should start to think about what your long term goal is, beyond filling in your weekly status report.

Do you have a career mission? What exactly is it that you want to do when you’re at the peak of your career?

I’ll start. My career mission is to help companies successfully use the web to reach customers, and this blog embodies that. While I’m focused on social technologies now, the web will evolve to something else and I’ll be there, hopefully leading. In retrospect, I should think broader to ‘digital’, but at least the next decade will have a strong focus on the internet.

We all get invited to events, websites, and activities of limitless ends, there are more events every single night in silicon valley then there is time to attend, as a result, we need to start getting focused on what our true goal is to achieve our needs..

Now your turn. Over the coming weeks, really think about what your long term mission is, everything you do to better yourself (training, reading, blogging, events) should align with your overall mission. We’re rallying our clients to be focused during this rough time, and I’m encouraging you –the company of one– to do the same.

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  • Very sage advice in these turbulent times. I enjoy your blog. Thank you for your generosity of information.
    Rich

  • My career mission is to help people succeed who having a burning desire to do so. It works for me — not just in my roles as a leader and mentor, but when I’m looking at what clients make sense. It absolutely shapes how I spend my time, because I’m constantly on the lookout for knowledge that I can transfer; insights I can hand off.

    Great question! Thanks for posing it.

  • You nailed it!

  • My career mission is to get people to do what they love and are passionate about instead of screwing around with some BS 9-5 job they just do b/c it pays the bills.

    Glad to read a blog from someone who loves what they do!

  • Jeremiah,
    Interestingly, this is the third blog to discuss goals and objectives which I have read so far today. Funnily enough, each has approached the subject from a slightly different angle.

    As Rich mentions above, your advice is particularly pertinent in a period of economic difficulty. As we read about increasing numbers of organisations engaging in layoffs on a near daily basis, the importance of establishing personal goals and having the strength to stick at them, even when things don’t go our way, is critical. Personal goals and ambitions are what keep us bouncing back, and I truly believe that the overwhelming desire to see them through will prove hugely influencial over the coming years.

    TLR

  • We are definitely turning into a freelance economy, whether you are working for a big corporation or a small start-up.

    I am in the marketing and sales consulting business and I take this trend very seriously in my advisory role. I am advocating marketing and sales departments to target customers with this in mind–does your product or service have value for the business AND the individual.

    Will buying this product, leading this implementation, or producing new results build their personal resume? Bingo, if you can build that image you have a sale!

  • You have inspired me to consider my own career mission! Thank you. I’m going to work on it. :o)

  • LOL: to be the last comment on a post! (?) … NOT! ;D

    My mission is to help people to find the information they are searching for.

    In the era of Google (web 2.0), this was widely considered to be a matter of the “wisdom of the crowds”. However, as the “miserable failure” brought about by Google’s algorithm shows, numbers are not everything (in the field of information science, this was actually observed decades ago, but very few people pay any attention to information science [one of my professors joked that classification in the field of information science was the “kiss of death” ;]).

    About 2 years ago I wrote a very off-the-cuff article about the “Wisdom of the Language” (see http://gaggle.info/miscellaneous/articles/wisdom-of-the-language ) — keyword indexing is the traditional method of providing access to information deemed “relevant” to a topic. In general, people searching for information approach the information retrieval process in several steps, and one of the first steps is to seek out “expert” information (for example: for health-related questions, you might focus on the advice of pediatricians or cardiologists rather than asking 100 random people you happen to meet what they think).

    Online, this is beginning to take form in the domains where people seek information: They might seek the short and sweet chirps of “commercial buzz” at twitter.com; or they might seek recommendations for software to download at download.com; or they might search for a hotel room at hotels.com, hotels.de, hotels.in — and so on.

    As the era of Google and/or web 2.0 draws to a close, I am confident that people will throw off the shackles of media companies that try to contain a brand-oriented affinity (e.g. “YouTube”) and more and more people will realize that the Wisdom of the Language is far more effective for building communities that can help each other solve the information seeking problems & issues on a case-by-case basis. After all: “movies”, “cars” and “homes” each require different search methodologies — and a “one-size fits-all” approach (as was used during web 2.0) will increasingly become a thing of the past — and soon we will be telling each other: “remember when…?”

    😉 nmw

  • Excellent point. Given the current state of worry and uncertainty, now is an excellent time to define and work towards your career destination which is exactly what we help you do at UpMo.com. I would encourage everyone to log on and take our free Network Readiness Evaluator to determine the health of your professional network in supporting you in a time of crisis.

  • Another excellent blog post! My current role is around management reporting as business manager for a large industry at Sun. However I have a vision that I can start a collaborative community that will take the interaction within the industry to a higher level. Also, the additional experience of using social networking tools will help my brand, should I have to search another job.

  • From the perspective of a start-up, it’s more evident than ever to me that yes, each person in a company is a “company of one.” Within the realm of human exchange, however, I think it’s imperative to note that no mission can be achieved without establishing a line of communications between the “ones” to create a unified “one.” Mission or no mission, you won’t achieve anything without finding a common understanding 🙂

  • Thank you for this post, Jeremiah.

    It’s true: with so many events going on in Silicon Valley/SF, it’s easy to be “busy” and yet not derive a lot of value from the time spent if one’s mission is not clearly defined.

    My long-term mission is to help non-profits and social activists with technology. This year I’ll be seeking opportunities to meet others with this shared interest, and will also be focused on growing my skills so that I can better help the nonprofit community.

    It’s so true that we are each a “company of one”. Especially in this economy, therefore, two important things we can do for ourselves is to: 1)make sure our skills are fresh, and 2)nurture relationships with the communities we are interested in.

    Thanks for sparking the conversation, Jeremiah. Happy 2009 to you!

  • Jerimiah,

    Can you as the president of your organization decide to partner with us? As a would-be Business Analyst, I’d like to be friends with you. If you’re not interested in friending with a 20 something kid, you may want to consider becoming my mentor. Care to read my CV and CL? 🙂 @anhhung on Twitter

  • Just as I was pressing the submit button, I realized it should be “Jeremiah”, bad first impression, poor typo 🙁

  • I enjoyed this post, Jeremiah. I’ve been thinking about my mission too, but I find it harder to nail myself down to one thing as a freelancer who juggles various kinds of work: journalism, seo copywriting and translation.

    I guess my mission is to help Swedish companies communicate more effectively with their English-language business communications.

    All the very best for the coming year.
    Jon

  • Anh thanks for the offer, one of the best ways to work with me is by interacting on this blog. I make most of my knowledge available for free on the blog and have been doing it for years. This is a scalable way for me to quickly share, thanks for engaging, I really appreciate it.

  • Darold Massaro

    I like that you encourage us to take a moment to reflect on our career mission, but why not expand the scope of reflection to what is our life mission. Why not elevate this to a more personal level? After all Social Media is about connecting with people on a human level.

    I feel sometimes we overly focus on our careers. We tend to excessively associate our identity with our line of work. But what are we really passionate about? How can we make a living doing what we love? What life dreams do we aspire for? Mine is to sail around the world. How can we find balance in our life, between developing our career, pursuing our dreams, and satisfying our personal responsibilities to family and friends? For me this is an ongoing struggle, but everyday I strive for this goal. What is your live mission – this is what we should pause to discover.

    I would like to close with an excerpt that is particularly meaningful in our current economic climate:
    ….What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.
    The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it the tomb is sealed.

    Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

    In Passing ~ Sterling Hayden (1916 – 1986)

    Happy New Year. I hope we all find our passion.

  • Megan

    My career mission is to make user interfaces as pleasurable to use as possible. Of course what constitutes “user interface”, “pleasurable”, and “as possible” changes per day, per project, per budget, per client…

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  • Some good food for thought. For someone in my craft (I lead business operations, a la Dir of Ops, for more mature startups), it is very important to develop a very clear value add mission statement. 99% of the founders will say they are doing great job running their operations while probably 75% are breaking some kind of laws, missing resource saving opportunities, missing deadlines, and are driving their employees and customers nuts. Someone needs to bring in the backbone for the organization and that is what people in my craft do. There are plenty of office managers, IT managers, and others who claim to be ops experts, most have no idea what the work entails and create bad vibe about the craft.
    That all said, in good economy you are hired on your previous titles, in bad economy you better dust off your value proposition and your passion. Otherwise you will just blend in with a crowd of wannabes.

    @apsinkus on Twitter

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  • #20: Apolinaras “Apollo” Sinkevicius:

    This quote is unbelievably accurate:

    “That all said, in good economy you are hired on your previous titles, in bad economy you better dust off your value proposition and your passion. Otherwise you will just blend in with a crowd of wannabes.”

    I dropped my single client at the end of October last year… with full knowledge of a possible full-blown depression looming. The quote above is exactly *why* and now I know how to say it.

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  • MY career mission for this time is to help those people who wants to find a job abroad especially in the middle east, for as we all know working abroad is on the job seekers list

  • Excellent Opportunity to Study

    Thoughts that arise from the blending of original self-knowledge and other forms of consequent experiential knowledge provide the motives to take action to realize them in external tangible form. This is why the best of human thinking begins and ends with how to manifest one’s uniqueness in the world. When you realize the beautiful vision of your heart, of your true Self, you will rise to manifest the greatness of your dominant thoughts in all of your actions……….

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    Original knowledge, once uncovered, is the clear awareness of your controlling desires and the content of your dominant aspirations. Consequent knowledge helps us identify the proper ways our dominant aspirations can be fanned into the flames of enthusiasm, ambition and accomplishment. It can also help us take the necessary steps to overcome the petty and self-limiting desires that yield the incomplete and unsatisfying outcomes we often experience throughout our lives…………

    http://www.sangambayard-c-m.com

  • Excellent Opportunity to Study

    Creativity is a blessing from nature but we can develop it by careful planning through education. This is all the more important in a country like USA where we accept even the mediocre to contribute their best and create something new.
    Hence, it is necessary that parents and teachers provide healthy conditions at home and the school. This would enable children to express themselves and contribute something new for the society, which may be termed as creativity……….

    http://www.sangambayard-c-m.com

  • Excellent Opportunity to Study

    Thoughts that arise from the blending of original self-knowledge and other forms of consequent experiential knowledge provide the motives to take action to realize them in external tangible form. This is why the best of human thinking begins and ends with how to manifest one’s uniqueness in the world. When you realize the beautiful vision of your heart, of your true Self, you will rise to manifest the greatness of your dominant thoughts in all of your actions……….

    http://www.sangambayard-c-m.com

  • Excellent Opportunity to Study

    Original knowledge, once uncovered, is the clear awareness of your controlling desires and the content of your dominant aspirations. Consequent knowledge helps us identify the proper ways our dominant aspirations can be fanned into the flames of enthusiasm, ambition and accomplishment. It can also help us take the necessary steps to overcome the petty and self-limiting desires that yield the incomplete and unsatisfying outcomes we often experience throughout our lives…………

    http://www.sangambayard-c-m.com

  • Excellent Opportunity to Study

    Creativity is a blessing from nature but we can develop it by careful planning through education. This is all the more important in a country like USA where we accept even the mediocre to contribute their best and create something new.
    Hence, it is necessary that parents and teachers provide healthy conditions at home and the school. This would enable children to express themselves and contribute something new for the society, which may be termed as creativity……….

    http://www.sangambayard-c-m.com

  • Online Degree

    One of the many great things about earning online degrees is that you can do the work from the comfort of your own home. This means that you don’t have to be in class at a certain time, disrupting your home or work schedule. Instead, you can do homework or take tests whenever you have the time during the day. That could be early in the morning, late at night or somewhere in between-whatever is optimal for you and your lifestyle………….

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