My good friend and colleague told of her life story the other day and her journey left a few us awe inspired. Her story starts all the way back when she was 16 years old and in form 2 when she knew she wanted to be an Engineer. An interest that was fueled by her Physics teacher who saw and encouraged her towards this field. As soon as she understood and visualized what Engineering looked like for her, there was no stopping her. She worked hard to get the grades that would get her to the course she wanted in University and once she was in, she did not let the whims of campus life sidetrack her goals.
4 years later, she graduated with flying colors, looking forward to applying her learnings but the job market was nothing but brutal. She found herself tarmacking the land looking for any odd jobs she could take up (by this time, her expectations had been drastically lowered) but still, none was in sight. In her wait however, she kept herself relevant by doing industry courses that were aligned to her degree and her intended future. She had not lost sight of her plans or passion to be the best Engineer the world would see.
She finally landed an internship in a role aligned to her dreams and indeed after about 6 months of proving that she could deliver to the expectations of her superiors, she was given a full-time position. She had her vision in place and she stuck to it. I look forward to the day when she will make Director. Her many successes in the office make me believe that it is only a matter of time.
Having a clear vision gives a sense of purpose and creates a very strong picture of the intended future one seeks to achieve. When you are crystal clear on what you want and where you want to go, nothing will stop you.
Yes, sometimes life will curtail your plans, but what do you do when this happens?
You stick to your vision!
In Personal Branding, having a clear vision is an absolute MUST as it gives clarity on WHO YOU ARE. With a clear vision, you answer the questions: Where do I want to be? What does my dream look like? And what do I want to be known for?
To understand the vision for yourself, you must be introspective to determine the end goal. You must look at the bigger picture and see where you fit in in the grand scheme of things. Only then will you be able to define the actions you need to take. Say you want to be a director in your field in the next 5 years, what path do you need to take to get you there? What courses or certifications do you need to take up? What additional projects do you need to do to prove your skill / capacity to deliver to your peers and superiors?
With your end goal defined and an action plan in place, the other thing that needs to be done but a lot of us fail to do is stick to the plan. You can only stick to your plan if you are fully convinced that the path you chose is the right one for you. Otherwise, when the hard times come, you will find yourself folding and following the wind to a new destination. After almost 1 year of tarmacking, my colleague could easily have given up on her dreams and focused on ‘academic writing’, a job she did to give her income while she waited. But she kept at it and even went ahead to learn courses around her desired field.
Which leads us to our final lesson from this story. You must stay updated. Once an opportunity knocks at your door, you want to be ready. Will the opportunity find you well equipped with the skills that match up with what is happening in the industry at the present time? No matter how much into the vision you may be, if your skills are obsolete for the opportunity that is presenting itself, you will still not be able to move the needle.
Your vision is your life’s map. Without it, you will never have a set destination; and you will always be on a journey leading to nowhere. To avoid this, take some time to define your vision and #Standout4Growth.