Crafting Your New Career Mission
We think a lot about mission statements and that sort of thing when we talk about companies. We hear a lot about brand mission and brand mission statements, let's not think of it that seriously, let's just be a little more lighthearted about it. 'Cause it's about ourselves. We can be playful and have fun with this. Okay, so when thinking about crafting your new creative mission, please just remember that you are totally unique, you're not like anyone in this world. So like I was saying before, why have a little tiny career that only uses and utilizes part of who you are. Okay? So with creating this new career mission, we're trying to put all that together. Everything that makes us special into a career that's made just for us. Okay, so your new career should incorporate all of those unique traits and the unique personality that you have. So it should incorporate what makes your personality the most special and the most unusual, the most different as possible. Okay, so it should also in...
clude your strengths. So your career should be utilizing the things that you're good at, that seems like a no brainer. But it's important to mention that you should be utilizing all of your strengths. Remember that cloud I was talking about? We should be utilizing and sort of celebrating and being excited about everything in that cloud, rather than just a little piece of it for our jobs. Alright, so your new career should actually include the activities that bring you the most joy. So those activities we mentioned before, if your career isn't utilizing those, that's when you're gonna feel like you need that huge separation between work and life, because you're gonna need to be able to do those activities at some time, because those are the things that make you feel whole. So if you can create a career that actually allows you to do all those activities, or some of those activities to where you can feel whole within your career and have all those things in one place, it's gonna make your career so much more fulfilling, so much more fun. And you won't get burnout. Ooh! So your career, again with that work life balance, let's get rid of that, we don't need it if you have a career that includes as many of your aspects of your life as possible. So if you're including the things that you value, that's gonna be really important to include those in your new career mission as well. Most importantly though, your career has to fulfill your new life's purpose. So maybe during this class you end up thinking later on, oh, I don't like that life's purpose I came up for myself. That's okay. But for now I want you to use the one that you already came up with when you're creating your new career mission, so that we can kind of have everything tied up into a neat bow at the end. But this is an ongoing process, and like I said your career should be growing and changing with you. So if you leave this class and down the road tomorrow, or next week, and you find that you're more interested in other things, or you've changed a little bit, that's totally fine. 'Cause your career should grow with you. Alright, so let's go through some challenges on creating a new career mission. Alright. Woo! So let's talk about our existing career for a second. Before we like scrap everything and move to a totally new career, it's possible to mold our existing jobs. So a lot of you might have an actual career, a jobby job, with bosses and all of that, those whole things I don't know anything about. You might have an actual team that you work with that you love at your job, and you might wanna keep your job, I totally get it. I'm not encouraging everyone to go quit their job and work for themselves. It doesn't matter, as long as you're utilizing all of these things and your company's excited about you being yourself within that space, you should definitely keep that job. That sounds fantastic. Alright. So whatever career you're currently in, I want you to think about that. And outline three very very small, very easy changes you can make to your career that will utilize all of your differences, all of your strengths, all while fulfilling your purpose. Okay? I'll outline the three of mine, you all can just pretend I'm not talking. Unless you don't want to. Alright, so for me, these are the actual things that I did with my actual career when I sat down and did this exercise. So these are the things I've actually implemented and done to change my existing career once I define my life purpose of making the world a happier place. So what I did is I decided I'm only gonna work for clients that are making the world a happier place. So those clients are actually fulfilling my life's purpose too, so inadvertently I'm doubling down on my life's purpose and fulfilling it even more than I could on my own. So that's when I dropped everything with my career, and I said, oh my gosh, on my website everything I'm gonna say I only work with these types of companies, that was really scary for me because it meant that I was shutting out 95% of companies, and everyone kept telling me it was a bad idea, and I was really afraid to do it, but I thought, it's not a big deal, I can just change it back if this doesn't work. So whenever I changed my website over and said, I am this type of person, I only work for these companies, this is my life's purpose, what ended up happening was pretty magical, because these happy companies looked at my website and they said, wow, she is the only person that's speaking directly to us. She's the only person that specializes in our type of company, so then they would of course hire me over anyone else. So then what I found was happening was that I was only working for these types of companies. I was only working for companies that were fulfilling my life's purpose. And I was getting the most fulfilling work all the time. And it was so great, such a good risk to take. The second thing that I actually did was create a work style that was friendly and fun and stick to it. So before I made all of these changes, I was more of a problem solving designer. I've noticed that designers can work in two ways, as a problem solver or as an artist. I was working as a problem solver, I was getting hired by companies that had a problem that they needed a design eye to solve for them. So that meant designing in a wide variety of styles that would solve their problem. So if I needed to be really toned down, really clinical with one company, I would do that because that was the design style that would best solve their problem. But that's not what I wanted to do to feel fulfilled in my life, so I decided not to work that way anymore. That wasn't gonna work to fulfill my life's purpose and what I needed to be happy. So what I decided to do was work more as an artist than a designer. And so I had this style that was just, my personality was oozing out of this new style I was gonna work in, and then what I found is that clients were hiring me for my style, because my personality was coming out into that. And it made me feel really whole and really fulfilled to be able to be hired to do that style all the time. And then the last thing I did was I said when I'm not creating design work, I'm gonna build communities. Offline and online. And we've talked a little bit about that, I created an in-person community in my town, in Minneapolis. I created online communities, Slack communities for people to connect with each other, and I created communities on social media where people can lift each other up and support and challenge each other. Alright. So let's go down the row and mention, if you just wanna mention one change that you'd like to make to your career.
Yeah, I think I want to showcase my personality online in my portfolio a little bit more than just telling what services I provide.
So I'm just stealing yours, basically. Only work with people whose work are making the lives of others better, which is something I kind of say I do, but I usually am kind of like, yeah, they do that, but just being a little bit more bold with it.
So mine's very similar to yours, actually, where, since I'm interested in human connection, then I should be a little more comfortable with sharing part of myself online so people can connect with that.
I just want to focus on, in my design work, making more things that I love, and not try to follow any trends or do things that I think other people will like.
I wrote down to bring in collaborators, just to have that team aspect in a lot more of my projects.
I said that I'm gonna start experimenting and sharing more small ideas on Instagram, and Twitter and stuff, but the idea is that invite people to play in some way.
That's great. I think it's really nice that you all have examples that kind of cover a broad range from social media to team exercises and things you'll do with your team, to client relationships, to interpersonal relationships, so it's really good. And it's fine to come up with three different things from three different areas, or all from one area, whatever you need to do in order to fulfill your life's purpose and switch up your career a little bit to get there, is perfect. Alright, so the next challenge, woo! We're just knocking through all these challenges. Alright. So I want you to brainstorm ideas for a few ways you can take your new career. So if you wanna go in a totally new direction, like say your existing career doesn't matter anymore, this is when you can feel like a kid again and brainstorm like an entirely different career. If you wanted to take your career in whole new direction. I'll read through my examples later, but these are the things that I was actually like, maybe I could do this. I want you to just get a little wild and say like, maybe I could also do this? Brainstorm ideas for a completely different way that you could take your entire career. I want just brainstorming. So if you think of bad ideas, just write 'em down, it's okay. So some examples of things that I came up with, one was should I be a toy designer? That would really help fulfill my life's purpose, and all of the things I'm good at, I could probably put that in to becoming a toy designer, designing experiences for people to play with and interact with. I thought maybe since I loved travel by myself, maybe I could create some sort of solo travel blog, or some sort of experience online where I'm sharing tips for traveling by yourself, that sort of thing. I though, mm, I do love dancing a lot online, so maybe I could start like a chat room, you get connected with random people all over the world where you're just dancing by yourself but together. So it's like a little beyond my technical abilities, but I could make it happen I'm sure. I've even thought about making a website for giving compliments to other people. I think a lot about how if you've had a friend or someone who's close whose passed away and you share all these stories with them about how special they were, and all these compliments about them that we don't tell ourselves when we're alive. That really bums me out that we often don't compliment each other the same way that we do while we're still around, but as soon as someone passes we kind of drudge all this stuff up that's really positive and beautiful about each other. So I thought maybe I could create an experience for people to actually share the things with each other that they love and compliments about each other., And then lastly, the last brainstorming one, it's like, dang I really wanna just learn how to do magic finally. (laughs) It's actually something I've tried to do and it didn't work out for me 'cause my hands are too small. So I bought a magic kit. I even paid a lot online for magic tutorial videos, I tried, I wanted to learn how to levitate. (laughs) And so I paid a lot for these videos online, and then I was trying to do all these tricks, and no sleight of hand trick I could seem to do because my hands are too small, especially for like, the little magic supplies that they give you, I should just buy a children's kit. Because the handkerchiefs, or they give you a lot of rubber thumbs, they would never fit my hands, they were always way too big, so you put a handkerchief in a rubber thumb then put the thumb on your hand, and the thumb would be too big and it'd just fall off my hand, and then I bought a child's thumb, but then the child's thumb was the wrong skin tone, and then it was also too small, and then the handkerchief wouldn't fit in, so I gave up on my magic dreams, but maybe someday I'll pick it back up. I'll have hand enlargening surgery. But that's another brainstorming way of thinking, like what's a whole new direction that I could take my career? Is maybe I could incorporate magic tricks. Wouldn't that be fun, if we started this class with like a quick little levitation? (laughter) Alright. So why don't we go down the row and just list off maybe one or two of your favorite goofy brainstorm ideas?
So one thing I said was visualizing data because of the analytical creative. And then another thing I said was help others learn to cook on the fly, give them the ingredients there in front of them.
Ooh, those are great.
Okay, I think I actually filled in most stuff on this one, and I was really entertained by yours. Building an in person community, painting, and just talking to people, if I could just get paid to do that, that'd be great. (laughs)
That sounds very nice.
I would love to one day be able to build a playground for grownups. Like, grownup sized swings and jungle gyms and stuff like that, because I miss that.
Please do that, just for me.
I sometimes in the car think about how I would like to one day have a business making really great handbags, and I would call it Hell's Handbaskets.
So my dad is a scientist, so I've been thinking about how cool it would be to collaborate with him on finding these really nerdy science facts and bringing them to light somehow to the general audience.
I really miss choose your own adventure books. So I wanna make some. Well, the modern equivalent. Or just, you know, designing and writing games, I think is something I'm super excited about.
Yeah. These are great because I think a lot of these seem like things that could be side projects, even. They could be actual careers that you could just drop everything with your current career and move to, but a lot of them can just be something that you do on the side as part of there larger extension of your existing career. And a lot of them can be incorporated into what you have going on right now. So it doesn't have to be this huge change that you're making of like, ooh, I'm having this huge transformation of dropping everything and becoming a toy designer. It doesn't have to be like that. These things can be really natural. So as we move on to the next exercise, this is when we kind of put it all together. So all of these things we're gonna change about our careers, ways that we're gonna actually utilize these things that make us special, and these things that are really exciting and allow us to fulfill our purpose. Let's put that together and write a short description of our new career mission. So, with this in mind, you don't have to choose the things that you know you're not gonna do. So with these brainstorm ideas, you probably wrote down some things you're like, this is not happening, but you just wrote them down, which is fun, it's a fun exercise. But I want you to pick your favorites. I want you to pick the ones that seem like you're really excited to do, these are the things that you're actually gonna fulfill your life's mission with. So pick those things and kind of create like a nice little packaged job description for you. So I think most likely most of you will use the ones from the first exercise in this lesson, where you are changing your career a little bit to fulfill your life's purpose. Just take some of those things, your favorite things, and put them together. So what I put, and this is like sort of my description for myself, is, Meg Lewis is a designer creating experiences for happy companies and a one-on-one educator creating happier lives for humans of all kinds. So that kind of takes the whole thing into a nice little wrapped up package, tied up with a bow. I'm mentioning my life's purpose at the end, creating happier lives for humans of all kinds. I'm mentioning that I'm a designer. I'm not saying what kind of designer, 'cause that's important to me not to mention that, to leave it open. I'm saying that I like to create experiences, which I do. Experience designer is a great way to say you like to make brands more rich, and create experiences. Experiences can be anything whether they're in person, or whether they're online, a website is an experience. An environment is an experience. And then I also mention that I like to work with people on-one-one, I like to have conversations with people and lift people up individually, so I'm mentioning that. I'm a one-on-one educator. Which means I work with people directly to educate them on how to love themselves. So this should be a pretty short little description describing your new mission. This paragraph in particular I give people whenever I'm speaking, or giving somebody a bio about myself. I like to use this one 'cause it's shorter. It really encapsulates what I do for a living, and kind of outlines my life purpose at the same time, so you get a real good feel of what I do and what drives me. Alright, you ready?
So, I'm a designer helping others solve creative problems and be confident in their own creativity.
That's so beautiful.
I am a brand designer, collaborating with other people who also want to make the lives of other humans better, and creating community for those people.
I think my brain ran out of fumes at this point. 'Cause really what I wrote is kind of like a jumble of the stuff I said earlier, but basically, I'm an artist creating handmade relatable art that inspires childlike nostalgia.
I'm an artist that creates art and accessories that make people feel beautiful and confident.
I am an artist and illustrator creating work in collaboration with fun teams that sparks curiosity and joy.
I'm a designer and writer creating games and other playful and surprising experiences.
This is just amazing, this is beautiful, you've all done so great. Thinking about from where we started to where we've gotten I feel like we've come a long way and this is awesome. So we have two lessons left. And this is forming rules. And you're gonna love this, since you're a perfectionist you probably love having rules and creating guidelines for yourself. I am not a rule setter. I can follow rules, but I don't like setting rules for myself because I tend to always naturally just kind of end up beyond them anyway. So I think this is an important exercise because it gives you guidelines and it gives you a baseline of what you wanna follow in your life and with your social media. And then you can kind of be flexible from there. So if you're a rule follower and you wanna be really rigid with these rules, great. You're gonna love this exercise. But if not, if you're like me and you don't like setting rules or guidelines for yourself because you're only gonna break them, that's okay. It's gonna be a great place to start.