Thursday, April 11, 2013

Off the Beaten Path: The Benefits of Mind Mapping Your Career

For a lot of us, we don’t know what we want to be when we grow until we grow up; even then, our choices might turn out differently than we’d hoped — or just plain wrong. And while daydreaming of stardom or veterinary school is a practice we strongly encourage, it doesn’t always help turn your aspirations into action. Even those of us that are thrilled with the path we’re on can use some direction now and then — luckily, there are methods and tools that make analyzing our professional needs pretty easy.

Naturally, those of us at Mindjet prefer mind mapping. Brainstorming ideas, realigning choices, and seeing new connections is an awesome way to go from thinking about making things happen to actually getting them done.

Choosing a Direction: Inside-Out or Outside-In?

Deciding on a starting point is typically the first thing to do, right? What’s cool about mind mapping is that you don’t have to. If you can’t think of a linear path you’d like to travel, that’s perfectly okay — starting a map is all about asking questions.

What’s your current job? What do you like to study, watch, listen to? How much money do you want to make? Do you want to travel, live in a particular city, start a family, own a dog? No question is too ridiculous or unimportant when you’re mapping your career — remember, the average person spends 90,000 hours working during their lifetime (that’s 10 straight years, 24/7). It’s probably a good idea to make those hours worth more than just a paycheck.
Farnoosh Brock of the Prolific Living blog has some great suggestions for things to consider as you build your career map. My personal favorites:

  • Values you’re not willing to compromise on, such as flexibility or integrity
  • What you’re not willing to do or whom you wouldn’t want to work with
  • How you want to see yourself and be seen professionally
  • What you’re willing to invest for yourself and career (education, training, etc.)
Since mind mapping is the digital equivalent of brainstorming, you can always delete, change, and rearrange later — get the important questions answered up front. You’ll learn a lot about where you are and where you really want to go.

Read complete at wrote by Arwen Petty

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