Picture this: It’s 2015, Kanye still cares about Black people, and you’re in a classroom getting, collectively, read for FILTH by the Miranda Priestly of Morgan public relations (only Nigerian with a British accent and WAY more striking). Don’t worry, I’ll explain…
With height and expectations to match, the fierce Dr. (“I have a PhD, so you will refer to me as ‘Dr.’ ” -Her) did not play games when it came to…well…anything. On this particular April evening, she gave our class an assignment that changed my life; nothing has proactively helped me align my passion with my career more than doing this exercise. I refer to it as “The Personal Business Plan”
Since I’m SUCH a nice lady, I’m gonna give you the game for free 🙂 So get your bookmark tab, screenshots, or copy/paste ready, here are 6 steps to doing what you love, and loving what you do:
**Disclaimer: (This was a school assignment done overtime, so it’s originally intended to be somewhat lengthy. I’m going to provide you with the core steps, and provide the extended assignment in blue, should you wish to do the entire thing)**
List at least 3 things you like/love, and 1 thing you dislike. It can be as mundane as sleeping and as enjoyable as flying (align it with your personality, environment, culture, etc., and dig deep – most (not all) passions start early or can be traced to an earlier time/memory) For each one given, briefly but adequately explain the draw.
List at least 2 career options related to each item listed above. For each one given, explain the draw – (You may to choose to research these career options as related to your likes/loves, but don’t forget to justify it as aligned to you.)
List at least 2 specific Job titles/positions for the career options listed above in your Like/Love category. At the end of each, list a potential company and exact contact. For each one, again, explain the draw.
Based on all of the above, go back and pick your most desired career and list at least 3 skills and 3 qualifications based on research, that are required for your chosen Career. Measure yourself against the needed skill sets and qualifications.
In one (perhaps two) very strong paragraph, write a pitch describing why you are well suited for this Career, based on who you really are and the researched skill sets and qualifications needed. Don’t force yourself into the Career, be true to who you are. If it is at this point that you have to revisit your choice of career and align yourself with another, do so.
Map a time: Using the same most prioritized career, pick from Step Four, in 1, 3, and 5 years, outline where and how you would like to project your progress. Think financially (based on realistic projections, how much would you want to be earning within each time frame? – base this on researched average salaries within the Career as well as your expected expenses and what you would need to be making to cover them), geographically (based on your temperament, desired quality of life, and value based on cost of living, where would you want to be located?) and personally (the sky’s the limit here – this can be interpreted as marriage goals, family goals, real estate investment goals, etc). Do not limit your answer – here is where you state your desires.
Start the Process with the companies that you have listed, or companies like those above – do comparisons, based on your skills, that you have listed above and a good company fit. Write a cover letter addressed to the most appropriate contact at the one or more of the companies aligned with your dream.
Words can’t even express how thankful I am for completing this exercise; it is a great tactic to get us actively invested in our future, and allows us to honestly assess our own goals, expectations, and skill set. Shoutout to the fierce Dr. for giving us the keys, I am forever grateful.