Are you on a mission?

Jun 23, 2011 | Career Development

Part 2 in a 3-part “Career Reset” series including tips and strategies that will help you proactively engage in planning your career to take you exactly where you want to go.

If you missed part 1, click here to read more.

Mission statements.  I’ve never been so turned off by two words in my entire life as those two words put together.  These words invoke images of ridiculous team meetings and corporate off sites where you do a lot of talking about what the company’s mission should be, but then you all go back to work and many times there is no real connection made to the words that may hang on the wall and what you actually do every day.  Now I know it doesn’t have to be that way, and there are many companies that DO have meaningful mission statements that guide their company and its employees. But this hasn’t been the rule in my own experience.

If my first example has been your experience also, then the idea of writing a personal mission statement probably invokes an even worse picture in your head.  I can relate completely.  Nothing made my stomach turn more than when a speaker at a training seminar would try to take the group through a personal mission statement development exercise.  Are you kidding me?  Creating something this personal in a room with 100-200 of my closest strangers?  No way!  So I’d do what everyone else did and scribble some vague words with little meaning and do the bare minimum to get through the exercise and move on…as fast as I could.

It wasn’t until I started working with a success coach that I finally broke through the mental and emotional barriers I had with a personal mission and vision statement.  And it was ultimately the free tool on the Franklin Covey website that created the quiet, personal, inspirational setting for me to finally get some truly meaningful words on paper to help me articulate why I’m here doing what I’m doing with my life and career.   If you haven’t already, take a few minutes and complete this exercise now: Mission Statement Builder (Personal) through the Franklin Covey website at  It will give you a long version that compiles all of your thoughts in one place.  You can condense and tweak it from there to make it more succinct and memorable.  It’s an awesome tool and the BEST way I’ve discovered yet to get started creating your personal mission statement!

So why do you need a personal mission statement?  Because if you don’t know where you’re going and why, how do you EVER plan to get there?  This is what my coach helped me realize.  I was super frustrated with where my career was headed, and I had no idea how to get unstuck and back on track. Spending some time thinking about my mission in life brought clarity and focus back to my thinking and helped me start making proactive decisions to put my life and career back on a positive path forward.  It gave me direction.  It gave me inspiration.  It gave me a reason to get out of bed and attack the day.  What I originally created as my personal mission statement five years ago is still essentially the same today. But it’s not static by any means. I review this about every six months and tweak and hone it or adjust it as I become even clearer about who I am, what I want to do, and how I want to do it in this lifetime. I try to go through the Franklin Covey site tool every couple of years to see if anything new bubbles to the surface. As the site says, “Life is an ongoing process.  So is your mission statement.”

One more comment on mission statements: You do NOT have to share your mission statement with anyone if you do not want to. I’ve personally found that this is a very personal exercise (which is why this exercise RARELY works well in large rooms with lots of strangers).  If people don’t really know you or understand what makes you tick, it’s easy for them to make comments that may be discouraging and disheartening to you when you do share your mission with them …even though they may not have intended them to be so.  I may share bits and portions of mine with others as I deem it appropriate depending on the relationship we have, but this is a tool to guide me personally and it doesn’t have to be broadcast far and wide to be effective.

In part 1 of this series, I asked you to look at where you are right now (pgs. 5-6 in my free report). If you want to become even clearer about your individual strengths, passions, personality type, and personal brand, here are some excellent books and resources for you:


  • Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath (includes a Strengths Finder Assessment)
  • The Passion Test by Janet Attwood and Chris Attwood
  • Type Talk by by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen
  • Career Distinction By William Arruda and Kirstin Dixson
  • Make A Name For Yourself by Robin Fisher Roffer
  • Attitude is Everything By Jeff Keller


In part 2 this week, we explored looking at where you’re going (pgs. 7-8 in my free report).  There are some additional visioning questions to get you thinking as you develop your personal mission statement and begin mapping out the plan for HOW you’ll get there (which we’ll cover next week in part 3).

So here is your homework assignment for this week:

  • If you haven’t already, complete the Franklin Covey Mission Statement Builder (Personal) through the Franklin Covey website at
  • Begin reviewing the Mission Statement Builder results and edit it into a more readable and memorable paragraph or series of sentences for your ongoing reference.
  • Then begin thinking about and writing down the answers to the questions in the “Where are you going?” section (pgs 7-8 in the free report).

I’ll be back to share some final thoughts on this topic with you in part 3 of this mid-year “career reset” series next week.

Click here to read part 1:
Click here to read part 3:

© 2011 Julie Perrine International, LLC


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at

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