I’m an advocate for goal setting and ensuring you have a clear vision of where you're headed in your career and life in general.
With a vision or a set of goals — a career can be purposeful.
Most issues that young and emerging talent face as they rise into the industry can be solved with a vision-planning and simple goal-setting framework.
There is no secret drink to drink. There is no magic sprinkle which you throw over your MacBook Pro to turn ‘average work’ into award winning work.
There is though a framework to turn a job, a string of successful jobs and failures into a career that is purposeful and meaningful to you.
If you’re chasing a job to impress others, to prove something to someone else or to match up against other people, you won't find any help in this journal to do any of these things.
These reasons are false and self serving—and any successful person will tell you that they built their career by focussing clearly on what they wanted to achieve for themselves (and possibly their families) and nobody else.
My journal (The Business of Creativity) is a glimpse into what I have learned in the last 25 years of working in creative businesses from the time I searched for tertiary qualifications through to today as an owner of a Melbourne-based strategic design firm Tank.
I believe in, and am inspired by careers that are purposeful. Careers that are meaningful and have created impact in the world.
Who inspires you? (Drop me an email).
Your list of inspirational people should be broad and diverse, not narrow and linear.
Write down five people whom you draw immense, daily inspiration from. Who are the people you turn to when you’re looking for a push towards your career goals?
Are they a linear list of people in an industry similar to your own or are they a diverse group of people from all areas of the world?
My recommendation? Make this list diverse. Take your blinkers off and listen to people in other industries.
One of the most inspirational, life-changing books I’ve ever read was Cosmos by Carl Sagan. A book about science, space, human endeavour and the universe; and ultimately about me.
The book changed my life. It allowed me to open my mind and see things from different angles. It taught me to ask simple questions that were difficult to answer. But whose answer was critical to success.
It also made me angry at my high school science teachers who failed to make such a beautiful body of knowledge interesting to me.
Looking outward into the world to seek inspiration is where you will find the things that will propel you forward in a much more meaningful and surprising way.
Take your blinker off and get out there.
Have you ever thought of what you’re ideal day looks like?
Have you ever put effort into imagining and even designing your absolute, ideal day?
With your blinkers off, your view of the world expanded, turn around and focus on what the day you are working towards looks like.
This is a quick lesson in vision planning.
Whether you’re an emerging Designer, someone who’s looking to get into strategy or a student/graduate; it’s so important to have an ideal to strive for.
The clearer and more detailed this ideal is, the better. Draw inspiration from a range of sources.
Don’t imagine a day where you wake up, go to an award-winning agency to work and come home to sleep—repeating the process the next day. If this is your idea of a purposeful career—take the blinkers off.
This is a simple task, but a profound one.
Take the time to imagine your ideal day — the day that epitomises everything you wished for in your life. The ideal.
Don’t bullshit yourself — be true to yourself. Write down a paragraph describing the day, the people you interact with and how you feel being in the middle of this day.
Take your time. Do this alone and don’t allow for interruptions. If you’re interrupted. Start again.
Then, on a separate page, diarise the entire day from the moment you wake up, to the moment you get back into bed at the end of the day.
If you wake up at 6:00, start there. Describe everything in 30m intervals.
If you don’t have the discipline and focus to do this simple task, question your reasons for wanting a purposeful career.
Be as detailed as possible. Consider what you’re doing in the moments after you wake up. Who are you with? How do you feel? What will you have for breakfast? What time is it? What time will you be at work that day? How will you get there? When you arrive, what does it feel like? What are you wearing? What do people say to you when you walk in? Are they rolling their eyes at your lateness or are they celebrating your arrival with smiles?
Describe this day in immense amount of detail from beginning to end.
If you spend your day working, describe the work and the client you’re doing this work with. Describe your relationship with your client/s. How do they treat you? How do you relate with one another?
End this list with the time you're getting back into bed on this ideal day of yours.
Once you’re done, do these three things:
- Stop doing one thing that is holding you back from reaching this day.
- Move away from people in your life that are holding you back from reaching this ideal day.
- Start doing one new thing each day to move yourself towards this day. Just one thing.
- Surround yourself with people who will move you closer to this ideal day.
- Celebrate the smallest of wins.
If you’re expectation is that good things come to those who wait, or if you wish hard enough that you’ll one day get what you wished for — keep wishing and keep waiting.
If you want a purposeful, meaningful and fulfilling career, you have to go out there and make it happen yourself. No-one is going to hand this to you on a platter, especially those people who already have great careers.
They’re too busy making their own things happen