A Career Coach advises not to alter the visual representations of your goals and desires as they help create a sense of purpose even when your circumstances change
words maki molapo
In the February issue of CAREERS MAGAZINE Mimi Mabaso wrote a how-to guide for creating a vision board. While some people remain conflicted about how effective it is, some swear by it and some are curious. Mabaso described vision boarding as “visual representations of your goals and desires with the hope that this brings you one step closer to making those a reality.” So, here we are more than five months, a pandemic, and a distressing economy later, and some people are wondering if they should stay on course or completely change their goals. However, Career Coach and Hesed Consulting founder and owner Vumile Msweli advises not to.
In explaining the importance of vision boards, Msweli quotes a saying in her IsiZulu culture: “‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road is going to lead you there.’ The point of having a vision is about creating direction as to where your destination should be. It gives you a sense of purpose.” However, Msweli says while she doesn’t believe that the pandemic has stopped the process of the journey, “the how and the experience of it will be slightly different but the execution should be the same. Because if we are building careers that can’t be adaptable, we’re building careers that aren’t realistic.”
In her article, Mabaso cautions against thinking that vision boarding is a “magical tool to fix your life… but an aiding tool”. She adds that although, positive thinking is useful, “you can’t think your way into success without taking the necessary steps to increase chances of achieving your goals”. To ensure that you’re building your career realistically, Msweli advises that you take note of tools you’ll need, as well as skills you can acquire. “You need a certain team that can help you get there. So, you’re always going to need three people; a career coach, a mentor and a sponsor to get to where you want to go in the fastest time possible,” she says. However, Msweli says this also depends on what you’re looking for as far as your career goals are concerned, as well as your personality.
Referencing her TedX Talk titled, Help! I hate my job, she speaks about the four B’s; bona (your vision), buza (ask for guidance), ubuntu (your sense of purpose), and badalwa (getting paid) which she says can help circumvent hating your job. At the same time, Msweli says it’s important to understand that what you do doesn’t change, and what often changes is the platform/environment, but the essence remains the same. With this in mind, one would think it’d be a good idea to adjust what you put up on the vision board but, Msweli quickly dispels that by explaining that “the concept of a vision board is being where you are and articulating the experience that you want to have [in the future]either through words or images”, she adds that it doesn’t articulate the how. She further states that people change their goals because they don’t have a clear vision, “people set goals that are either too far removed by focusing too much on long-term and [neglecting] short-term and medium-term”, Msweli says.
As we continue towards a post-pandemic world many worry that they’re going to be more disposable, Msweli says, “nothing has changed, the process has just accelerated.” She adds that what we’re seeing now is finding ways of expressing value and getting paid for it.
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