When you think about elevating your career, what visions come to mind?
Do you picture a bright new office, or working with a team of dynamic individuals? Maybe you picture the car you’ll drive after you move to a job with a higher salary. Your career goal could involve moving to a role that allows you to slow down a bit, or to one that will be full of adventure and excitement.
Taking some time to create a vision board might help you solidify what it is you want to strive toward. And once you post it in the right place, you’ll be reminded of what it is that’s inspiring you to make changes in your career.
You might be thinking you’re not really a vision board person. When I first started thinking about whether I wanted to write this post, I myself wondered whether it was a bit too fluffy of an idea. But as I started to do a little research, I changed my mind.
Vision boarding is a tactile way of dreaming.
One could say it’s like dreaming out loud, but with scissors and glue. And dreaming is important! President Theodore Rosevelt said, “It is true of the Nation, as of the individual, that the greatest doer must also be a great dreamer.” I agree.
I spoke with Elaine Shannon, a coach who helps people reclaim time, about her thoughts on vision boards. She sees them as an important creative tool. When it comes to looking at their careers, most people tend to use the linear side of the brain. A vision board allows them to tap into the creative side.
“When you’re in the vision board process, you’re playing, and playing lights up that optimist side of your brain,” Elaine said.
“Then you’re looking at possibilities, rather than how you’re going to get there. So letting go of the ‘not knowing how to get there,’ I think, is the most fascinating part.”
HAVE vs BE
Elaine also suggests using the vision board to look not just at what you want to have (new job, new salary, new lifestyle) but what you want to be. How do you want to feel? How do you want to be perceived? What sort of person do you want to become?
If that linear side of your brain is pushing its way to the forefront, don’t be afraid to include words and not just pictures in your vision board. In fact, you could create a vision board that’s built around words, more like a mind map, to accomplish the same thing.
But really, what is accomplished through a vision board? It’s about making your vision, (your dreams), top of mind. Have you ever noticed how, when you buy a new car, suddenly it seems like there are millions of the same car on the road? That car is top of mind for you now, so you notice it. When you make your career ambitions top of mind, you’ll notice opportunities, you’ll be inspired and you’ll be encouraged to take action toward making your dreams a reality.
A vision board also helps you to focus your dreams.
When you have an objective that you’re focused on it will help keep you from getting distracted, moving in too many directions, accomplishing nothing. Leadership Coach Dana Lloyd recently reminded me of an old Russian proverb that relates well here:
“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”
So before you hit the job bank looking at job opportunities, or plan your request for a raise, or work to perfect your resume, consider taking a few minutes to create a vision board to help you clarify your vision and explore possibilities.
I invite you to share a photo of your vision board in the comments of this Facebook Post: Vision Boards for Career Elevation
Not sure how to create a vision board?
Here are two helpful guides:
- How to Create Your Vision Board (melissacolleret.com)
- The Subtle Tricks to Building An Effective Vision Board (marthabeck.com)