Since it is get unstuck week, I wanted to share a post written by Tara Jacek about how she figured out her mission statement. Tara is a Graphic Designer based in Chattanooga, TN and blogger at Girl Seeks Career and TaraJacek.com. Do you have a mission statement? If not, hopefully this post will motivate you to write one!
I recently shared a post on my blogs about the discovery of Classy Career Girl. Before posting it, I emailed Anna to make sure she was okay with me quoting her. I was just being respectful of Anna’s writing. She had inspired me and I wanted to make sure to include why/how in my blog. I didn’t think of a mission statement out of thin air. It was a spark of inspiration in a time where I need direction. I am honored that Anna has asked me to share my mission statement on CCG. I hope I can inspire others with my work and passion the way she has.
One of the first posts I really connected with from CCG was a post on personal mission statements. Before I never thought of everyday people having a mission statement. I thought of businesses having a mission statement but NOT me. Anna really got me thinking. She wrote:
I loved the interview with Dan Miller, the Author of 48 Days To the Work You Love (which is on my recommended reading list). In the interview, Dan said that without goals of your own, you accomplish the goals of others. If you don’t have a plan, you are going to live someone else’s life. He said that no big achiever has ever woken up in the morning and said, “Let’s just see what happens.” If you want to be great you HAVE to be deliberate and make a plan to achieve your goals.”
It really helped that she appealed to my designer soul by including the mission statement of Holstee, a New York based eco-friendly clothing and accessory store. It’s a beautifully designed type layout with beautiful words.
When I came upon Anna’s blog about 2 months ago I was in a rut. I didn’t know what I really wanted to do and I felt like I had failed. I had given up on my dream. In fact, I was so embarrassed when a professional asked me: If I could do anything in the world – no limits – what would it be? (Not his exact words but along the lines). I couldn’t answer! The best I could do was be honest: I’m trying to figure it out, but I want to be proud of it. I want it to have purpose.
But really, what’s MY purpose? I felt ashamed about my answer.
At the same time, several other professionals mentioned their like of my work! I couldn’t believe professional designers and marketers were interested in little me. Yes, I’ve had my high points and even (somehow) earned the nickname “Little Leader” at one point but I was usually passed over. I expressed to my professors how I wasn’t as good as the other students. They gave me their kind words and encouragement and where to improve. Never did I take them seriously.
Maybe I needed to hear it from people who didn’t know me –could only see my work (Behance portfolio), writing (blog), or find something in myself.
So I read Anna’s blog post and thought to myself: I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I want to do. What really makes me happy? Am I just doing and being who other people want me to be? Will I allow them to mold me into what they want like a worker ant? What even makes me feel good inside?
I started putting all the parts together and searched for an online tool to help me write my mission statement because I didn’t know where to begin. Creating the mission statement helped me realized what I want to do: be in a creative field, creating things. I know it’s still vague but I can’t publicly state all my career goals at this time. My passion is branding and giving voices to things (businesses, campaigns) to connect them to their audience, to create a culture. I love branding. The statement makes sense to me and is helping me focus on what I really want to do.
I think everyone needs a mission statement – but honesty, if a professor told me to do it I wouldn’t have done it right. It needs to come from the heart. We only get one life, don’t let someone else mold it for you. What kind of life is that? Even if you can only get a few words on a postit note and stick it to your bathroom mirror. You need something to help you refocus on those bad days when the storm is coming in or when you feel lost.
I looked online for a mission statement generator and took what the generator gave me and added to it. Then put the words into Illustrator and got fancy. Below is my mission statement with a preview of my new personal branding. The purpose of this design is to display on my wall as a poster.
Tara Jacek – I am at most peace when I am creating – design, photography, art, crafts. I will do my best to stay positive and not let unfortunate situations bring me down. I will do a lot with a little. I will continue to think outside the box and ask questions. I will find work that is creative and allows me to express myself and help express the passion of others as well. I can do anything I set my mind to. I will race my car and blast my music. I will be a person who can inspire others to create and engage. I will no longer put off today what I can do tomorrow. There will always be tomorrow but I will start today. I will work towards a balanced life of professionalism, experience, creating, engaging and love.”