PHS071 Quick Career Tips - Here’s why you need to create a career vision for your life (and how to start), with Sujani Siva

Quick career tips: Here’s why you need to create a career vision for your life (and how to start)

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Today’s career tip is on career visions and the power that they hold!

Knowing what kind of career you want to one day have can give you a strong sense of control and peace of mind. It might not seem easy to conceptualize something that far into the future, but today’s Quick Career Tips episode will help you do exactly that.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What a career vision is
  • Why it’s important that you draft a career vision
  • How you can get started with drafting a career vision that guides your next career move!

Featured on the Show:

Other Resources:

Episode Transcript

Sujani 0:02
Welcome to PH SPOTlight, a community for you to build your public health career with. Join Us Weekly right here. And I’ll be here too, your host Sujani Siva from PH SPOT.

Sujani 0:20
Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining me today on another episode of the PH SPOTlight podcast, a space for you and me and everyone else in public health to share our stories and inspire each other. My name is Sujani Siva, the host of PH SPOTlight, and I’m here to help you build your public health career. So with summer upon us here in North America, where I’m recording from, it’s a bit of time to relax, maybe soak up some of the great sunlight we’re getting, and make the most of the warm weather with loved ones and friends. And then you know, where they actually do this the best in Europe. So much so that I’ve heard employers often give employees weeks on end of vacation time, so that they can enjoy the summer and not have to worry about work. It’s a reality we don’t really have here in North America. And obviously I say this with a total respect and a bit of jealousy. Of course, we’re and if you’re listening from anywhere in Europe, and you’d like to let us know how that feels, please do shoot us a message and let us know if this is true on your end. But you know, here in North America, what some of us are afforded in the summer is the luxury of having work, move maybe at a slower pace, and perhaps the ability to schedule in a bit of vacation, right? And if you’re anything like me, you immediately start to feel the benefits of disconnecting from work and recharging your batteries. I certainly feel more creative and excited, and so much more energized to tackle all that the future holds. And in fact, it’s right after these moments of rest, whether it’s in the summer, or I decide to do it. Maybe in the winter, that I find myself thinking about what it is that I want for myself in the near and far future. And where I start to revisit my career vision, which includes the future of PH SPOT and all the exciting things that we’re going to bring for you, of course, and you’re probably thinking one of two things right now. What’s a career vision? And two, what exciting stuff do you have planned for us here at PH SPOT? And both are excellent thoughts. But I will only have the luxury to answer the first question today, which I will be exploring in today’s Quick Career Tip episode. And the answer to the second question, we’ll have to wait a couple more months before we can reveal all the exciting stuff that we’re planning for you over the summer here. So going back to our quick Career Tip episode, and talking about career visions. If you’ve been on social media over the past few years, you may have heard of the term vision boards and the power that they hold. And the idea is simple. You know, you find a few images that represent the life that you want and the goals you want to attain. You either put them on a Pinterest board or physically pin them to a cork board, and use that board as a daily visual reminder of where you’re heading. And vision boards work great. Hence why people rave about them. Why there are so many YouTube videos dedicated to explaining the art and science behind them.

Sujani 3:52
But what if you wanted to get more specific and focus on one aspect of the vision board, like your career? So let’s talk about that. A career vision is somewhat similar to the vision statement that organizations or businesses develop in order to describe what they hope to achieve in the long term. But obviously a lot more personal. Right? So for example, at PH SPOT here, our vision is to help build dream public health careers. And that’s kind of what we’re here to do. That’s our mission. And that’s what we’re dedicating our time and energy and resources towards. So when you think about your career vision, you may want to answer questions like where do I want to be career wise in the future? What kind of career do I envision fulfilling for me, inspiring me or energizing me? In developing a concrete answer to these questions, you’ll be able to decide on what you truly want out of your career. And it kind of gives you a direction, right? Specifically, you’ll have a better idea of the kind of role you eventually want to play, the work that you’d like to one day do, and the values and goals you’d like to achieve in your career. You probably already have all of these ideas doing in your mind. But there’s a lot of power in putting them together into a succinct concrete statement or kind of identifying all of these milestones that you can refer to on a regular basis. More importantly, in crafting your career vision, you’re able to dive into a reflective exercise, unlike any that you may have done before, when you start to reflect about the future state of your career, you’re able to also reflect on the skills, the knowledge and the steps that you will need in order to get to that future state and become the person you want to, you know, one day be. In addition, your career vision gives you something to look forward to and strive towards at every stage of your career. It can also help you decide if specific opportunities are a good fit for you, based on whether they align with your career vision. In other words, your career vision reduces your anxiety and gives you a strong feeling of control. And so I’m hoping I’ve already sold you on the idea of a career vision and why it’s so important to have. And I’m assuming you’re either really eager to start on this exercise. Or you’re kind of hesitant, because maybe the thought of reflecting so far into the future is a bit unnerving. But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be that daunting, it’s actually not that hard. And all you need is a bit of passion, and time. And as the first step, what you can start with is a statement that describes that future state for yourself.

Sujani 6:45
So let’s talk about how you can take your first few steps in achieving this. First, you need to actively make time for this exercise. And if you have the ability to do so dedicate a specific day where you won’t be rushed and overwhelmed with other responsibilities. So that you can really work on this career vision statement, if you will. Once you’ve put aside that time, pull out some paper and pen and get ready to do a deep dive into your core values, your wants and your needs. And a key part of crafting your career vision is understanding what principles and values guide your decisions in life. These are the things that you prioritize the most in life, which for some people may be family, community, leadership maybe, or strong work ethic. Once you’ve thought about these values, and have written them down, start asking yourself, why is it that you want a career to begin with? And what does career success actually mean to you? Perhaps it’s to meet your financial goals and finance a lifestyle that you dream of. Or perhaps it’s to feel like an active contributor to society, or drive change in a specific sector. Maybe it’s you know, it’s got elements of all of these things. Whatever the reason is, make sure that you capture that on paper. By understanding your values as in who you are, and the place that a career has in your life, you’ll be in a good position to take a step back and ask a bigger question. Even more important questions like how do my life values and career desires align? And if they’re not in alignment, ask yourself, how can I get them to align, when you start aligning your beliefs as in your values, with your actions, in this case, your career you get closer and closer to visualizing a fulfilling future. If this is still too abstract, ask yourself what are the values and qualities that I would want to express at work? Think big. And don’t be overly logical when you’re trying to answer these questions, you definitely want your heart to guide the crafting of this vision as much as your mind. So don’t be afraid to loosen up and be creative with it and be bold. And before you know it, you’ll have a lot of ideas sprawled in front of you on paper. And you’ll have to do and you know, what you’ll have to do is just sum them up nicely into a few sentences that explain exactly what it is that you want to achieve in your career, who you want to be, what you want to do, and the impact that you would like to have one day. You’ll know that you’ve crafted a really good career vision when you know this like phrase or this feeling really rolls off your tongue quite easily. And you’re filling in are really really engaged in this statement. And you will especially know it’s a good career vision when it leaves you feeling inspired and excited about the future and you’re really itching to start planning on how you can get to that state. But as with any journey and you know, building your career is a journey. There will definitely be winding paths and bumps on the road. So make sure you keep an open mind. You embrace whatever change comes your way. And remember that regardless of how things unfold those, you know, exact steps, you will eventually get to wherever it is that you want to end up. So just trust yourself. And if you find yourself overwhelmed or anxious, just pick up your career vision, read it out loud. And you’ll be surprised by how fast it can work, it’s magic. And remember, you know, you’re gonna have to keep revisiting this career vision or this future state that you’d like to be in, over and over again, because you won’t have it perfected in the first time that you sit down to do this exercise. All right? So, you know, I hope this is the start to a great reflective exercise that you embark on, perhaps it is the summer when things are a bit slow for you, or maybe the winter months are much slower for you. So whatever time you choose to do this exercise, I really hope you’ll put your whole self into it. And like I mentioned, make sure both your heart and mind are guiding this exercise. And let us know how this exercise was, right? And you can do so by leaving a review wherever you are listening to this episode or sending us an email.

Sujani 11:17
And I hope you enjoyed this short episode spotlighting a Career Tip. And please do share this with your friends, your co workers because it’s a great exercise for everyone to do. And before you leave, I also wanted to let you know about a program here at PH SPOT that supports you in your career. So that you can develop things like your career vision, as well as the pathway to accomplishing your goals. We haven’t yet opened the doors to this program if you are listening to this episode as it’s being released in June of 2022. So be sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and you can do that at pHspot.org/signup and you’ll be the first to know about this program. And it’s a program that- that was built for public health leaders to have continuous access to the ingredients needed to build and navigate their dream public health careers which includes mindset coaching, a global public health community, and proven career strategies like developing career visions. So again, if you’re interested in knowing more about this when we do open up the doors, make sure you’re on our list at pHspot.org/sign. Up and as always, if you want to see notes or links from today’s episode, you can head over to pHspot.org/podcast. And until next time, thank you so much for tuning in to the PH SPOTlight podcast.

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About the Show

PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes

On the show, Sujani sits down with public health heroes of our time to share career stories, inspiration, and guidance for building public health careers. From time to time, she also has conversations with friends of public health – individuals who are not public health professionals, but their advice and guidance are equally important.

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