Identifying your professional philosophy and personal mission statement

Time to get reflective…

It was the fall of 2007 when I first took the time to reflect and develop a list of personal philosophy statements and a personal mission statement. This was prompted by the Seminar in Humanistic/Multicutural Education course I was taking as part of my graduate coursework at SUNY New Paltz. As I reflect back, this truly was a tipping point for me both personally and professionally. The great thing is, in the six years since I’ve done so, these philosophy statements and my personal professional mission statement have stayed pretty consistent (even with periodic self-reflection). I take that as a sign that I’m still on my mission! I believe it is essential for us as professionals to develop a personal mission statement, regardless of what you do for a living.  Whatever you do, do it with purpose! This is not something that’s only important to do if you are a companies or business. Here are my recommendations for completing this powerful personal tool:

1) Develop a list of “statements” that describe your personalized professional goals, your approach to your profession, who you work with, and why you do what you do.  Do this over the course of a week or two, jotting them down as they come to you.  Just let it flow.

2) Organize and Reflect on this list, looking for common themes, and combine/summarize similar statements.  Attempt to narrow your list down to a max of 8-10 total distinct statements.  These are your “statements of professional philosophy”.  A beautifully-painted picture of what you represent and what people can expect from you.  In other words – your professional words to live by.

3) Develop a single sentence personal mission statement that best summarizes your statements of professional philosophy.

4) Periodically reflect on your list and your mission statement, and adjust it as necessary.

Here’s a tip:  After condensing your resume onto one page, set yourself apart from other job applicants by having your second page/backside of your resume list your statements of professional philosophy (in bullet points – quick to scan) and professional mission statement.  Ideally, your personal mission statement should align well with your employer’s mission and vision statements!

Identifying and clarifying these personal statements will help you remain focused on providing the highest level of quality service to your clients, and is a key tool in keeping you motivated towards your personal and professional goals!

Now, get reflective.  


Thoughts?  Questions?  Please comment below!

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