How To Overcome Career Confusion

Posted by in Career Success | 6 comments

To get paid to work in our passions we must be intentional.

To borrow Stephen Coveys’ concept, we must begin with the end in mind.

Funny Signs @Doug88888 via Compfight

How are you going to make money with your passion?

What’s the end game?

Do you want to be an employee?

Do you want to be self-employed?

Will getting promoted in your current job provide the satisfaction you’re looking for from your work?

Do you just need a change of scenery in the same line of work?

It’s been said that indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.

If you’re not clear on your direction, any idea or opportunity that comes your way could be a reasonable option.

If I’m presented with five career opportunities you can easily get stuck trying to evaluate all the options without any productive action being taken.

How To Stay Focused

To help stay focused I used to tell people one of the best ways to ensure you’re headed in the right direction was to create a mission statement.

We all know about mission statements right?

Mission statements are those things on the wall at any business that no one reads.

Usually they describe why the organization exists and what it intends to accomplish.

Now, how many of you know, by heart, the mission statement of your employer or of a company who makes your favorite product?

Why don’t we know?

Because they’re too complicated.

I’m a simple guy so I need simple ideas in order to remember them.

Mission Taglines

So instead of creating a personal mission statement, I tell people to create a mission tagline.

Think about it.

We don’t know Nike’s mission statement.

But we know their tagline right?

Just do it.

Why? Because it’s simple and easy to remember.

See if you recognize these taglines?

Are you in good hands?
Don’t leave home without it.
I’m lovin’ it.

Remember Two Things

When life gets crazy and complex and we forget where we’re going with all this we need a simple
mission tagline to remind us of two things.

1. Who are you?

2. What do you want to accomplish?

What is one word that describes who you are and what you want to be for others?

For me that word is catalyst.

I want to be a catalyst for others to propel them toward work they love to do and help them achieve their goals.

Then the second part of your mission tagline is what you want to accomplish with your career.

For me, I want to help others grow and improve.

Pretty simple right?

So my mission tagline is:

“To be a catalyst for growth and improvement in others.”

Having a mission tagline allows me to decide in advance the life I want to live and the type of career I want to have. It creates focus for every area of my life.

It will do the same for you.


Who are you and what do you want to accomplish?

When you answer those two questions you’ll have a mission tagline as an anchor as you pursue your passion.


Question: What would having a mission tagline make possible for you?

  • Dave Unger


    “Begin with the end in mind” made me think immediately of a book I just started reading. “Double Double” by Cameron Herold (former CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK) starts with two chapters focused on painting a picture of what you’re trying to accomplish and then reverse-engineering the steps you need to take to reach your goals.

    I highly recommend the book to anyone starting or running their own company. It’s also great for someone who doesn’t want to be the boss but does want to be a part of a hugely successful company that doubles their revenue every three years.

    Consider the impact that could have on any of us. Being part of a company that doubles its revenue every three years would give us each the chance to shift half of our job to someone else. For someone who likes their job but doesn’t love it, that could mean handing off the parts they don’t enjoy or aren’t awesome at and really focusing on the “good” parts.

    The possibilities are huge.


    • That would be amazing to double revenue every three years Dave. I had not heard of this book but it sounds like it’s right up my alley. Envisioning your desired future is a really important step in any type of goal setting. Thanks for your comment.

  • Adam, this is exactly what I needed to read today. I’m sitting at a bit of a crossroads right now and both paths are very foggy. I’m sure you can guess what I’ll be doing tonight! Thank you for this post!

    • I’m so glad you’ve found this post helpful Miranda. Yes, we all have these types of decisions at some point in our careers. Having a defined vision for your career will serve you well. I’m confident you’ll make the right choice.

  • Bhanu Datal

    Sure u say that u are a helper as ur tagline but how does that help u in deciding a job considering all your qualifications and degrees.for example -how does an engineering grad. with a helper personality find a suitable job for himself or he has to opt for another job other than engineering. This gets so messy….

    I would like hear a say…

    • Hi Bhanu,
      Someone may be an engineer but if they want to move into another line of work they need to create a transition plan and take action. It takes persistence, patience, and practice. If you have a goal in mind you can decide on a strategy to get there. Whether that is additional training, work experience, school or something else. The first step is to get clear on what you want, then you can decide how to get there.