Using a vision board to advance in the career and life you want

A vision board can help maintain your determination to progress in your career. When we first enter the job market, it is easy to stay motivated. Moving from being a student, mainly dependent on loans or family for support, it is a great feeling to see your first paycheck and growing bank account. Often, acquiring the mere necessities of life is enough to keep you going.  You have to work to live and pay rent, after all.

But once you get established in your career, earn a few promotions and reach the mid-rank of the corporate ladder, it is harder to go into the office morning after morning with the same determination and energy as earlier. You hit a mid-career slump.

That’s where a vision board comes in.

A vision board is a way to keep your goals and desires in front of you. Made up of images or written quotes, placed in a home office or other place where you see it often, it acts as a reminder of what you’re working towards.

Making a vision board is easy. You’ll need a posterboard or something similar on which to glue the images, of course, but you’ll also need to source pictures and photos. Magazines and newspapers are great resources.  Second-hand books are also something you should look for. However, sometimes people draw a blank as to what to put up on their vision board. Use your imagination.

Our motivation sometimes lags when we reach the plateau of our middle life and career.  It helps to use a vision board to keep focused on what you want to achieve, how you’re going to do it and what it will mean for you.  It can give you a boost of energy that can help you excel and reach those goals.

I find it best to create three categories of images – those that focus on your goals, those that motivate you on how to achieve those goals and those that represent the result of achieving those goals.

The first represents what you want to achieve. If you’re looking to switch careers, this can just be a photo of someone doing the job you want. Perhaps you want to work for a certain company. In that case, pin their logo up on the board. Looking for a promotion? Then photos of people managing teams or working in that coveted corner office can help you visualize where you’re going.

Second, after you’ve chosen some pictures that symbolize what your goal is, it is important to focus on how you are going to get there. Do you need to acquire a certain skill? Choose someone you admire, a notable leader, and put up their portrait. John Wooden was famous for managing a team, while Martin Luther King was one of the best public speakers in history.

Sometimes it just takes hard work to achieve your dreams. In that case, it is important to recognize why you are putting in the long hours. Do you want to progress in your career to enjoy more time for activities outside of work? Put up a photo of that tropical island or national park you dream about. If you’re looking to move to a bigger, nicer place, then an image of your dream home can help motivate you. We all work hard for our families and loved ones, so a reminder of them can help give you that extra drive.