Mapping Out a Career You’ll Love: How and Why You Should Write Your Career Manifesto

By Paige Gullotti, Director of Operations and Client Solutions

Whether you’re searching for your first job, looking to make a career transition, or just unhappy with your existing position, taking the time to write a Career Manifesto could be the key to mapping out the career path that’s right for you.

What is a Career Manifesto you might ask….Well, many are familiar with the term manifesto, a declaration of principles. Therefore putting it in terms of your career, it is a written document that details your aspirations, perspectives, wants and needs that focuses entirely on your career.

I was given the opportunity to be coached through this process at a very crucial time in my career. I had lost passion for the work I once really enjoyed. Did I love my job? No. But, through this deeply reflective exercise of writing my manifesto, I was able to more clearly understand why and what my career needed in order for me to truly feel fulfilled in my career and life. From my experience, there is no right or wrong way to complete your career manifesto, just ensure it is genuine.

Now, where to begin? In my opinion, there are a few key questions you should be asking yourself when detailing your Career Manifesto that will provide you with guidance and clarity in your career and life…

What do I like?

Simple right? In reflecting on my career, this was a bit more difficult than expected. Let’s face it, we all make things more complicated than they need to be at times. So, do your best to simply think about your experiences and career at this point in your life (or education/experiences if you are new the job world). What things have you truly enjoyed about your work?

When you identify what you like and have the opportunity to incorporate activities into your work you are sincerely passionate about, it will allow you to continuously make strides toward becoming an expert in your field. Work will no longer feel like work and you will naturally dedicate more time to your profession, as it will seamlessly align with your life beyond the workplace.

What don’t I like?

Equally important to knowing what you like, you must understand what you don’t like. What parts of your current job would you avoid at all costs if you could!? What frustrates you on a daily basis? Now, obviously there are always going to be areas of your work that you continuously push to the bottom of your to do list, as well as things you have to do to get to the challenging projects. But, if you are an introverted, analytical person, who loves immersing yourself in research and reports, I’m going to bet it’s likely you wouldn’t enjoy a career as a salesperson

Who am I?

Reflect! What has made you the person you are today? Reflecting on key moments can really put things into perspective. Take your time and think about:

  • Who has made a major impact on your life?
  • Who do you look up to?
  • What moment(s) in your life have left a lasting impression?

These questions can allow you to better understand why you react in certain ways, or how you rationalize and make decisions, which are extremely important components to your career.

What would my ideal job be?

Describe the type of role that would be perfect for you. Consider what you would enjoy, where your skills and abilities would excel, what knowledge you would love to attain, and how you would love to spend your time. You should be able to envision it as something you could realistically achieve. Detailing out what this type of position would look like can give you a clearer vision on the steps you need to take to get there.

Answering these questions is key to arriving at your Career Manifesto. As you begin your quest into this process, it is important to dream big, network often, and reevaluate regularly.

Dream big

It’s inspiring, exciting and enlightening to open your mind to the possibility of what your absolute dream job would be. Giving yourself the opportunity to take what is ideal, one step further, will help you to open your mind to your true capabilities. What could you do each day in an ideal position, to keep moving the needle towards your dreams? It can give you true meaning and purpose to the daily work you already love!

Network

When you figure out the direction you want to go in your career, networking can be invaluable to landing the job that’s right for you, or starting the business you’ve always dreamed of! Meeting other like-minded people can really light the fire inside you to get out there and get what you want.

 

Revisit and Re-evaluate

Your career manifesto is a working document. As your life changes, your goals and priorities change, so remember to revisit your manifesto, to regain focus and clarity on your goals.

 

Through writing my own career manifesto, I was able to focus my career search. It gave me the courage to take the leap and begin a job search. I knew the questions I needed to ask to understand if the position was right for me and if the environment aligned with my values. Today, I can honestly say, it has guided me to a career that offers fulfillment and the opportunity to continuously set and strive towards my goals both personally and professionally.

So, I encourage you to take the time to reflect and write your goals down. Craft your own career manifesto!

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Confucious

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