This week I was asked to write a mission statement in my public relations class. Seems like a fairly straightforward assignment --- but it wasn’t a mission statement for a business, organization or group… it was a mission statement about me.
I didn’t know where to start. Should it be light-hearted? Should it be serious? Should it be about my professional life? My personal life?
I had all of ten minutes to write it, so what I handed in wasn’t exactly a masterpiece.
But it did get me thinking.
In general, a mission statement should be short and easy to understand. It should also identify the purpose, business and values of whatever you’re writing about.
Sounds easy, right? Wrong.
The “problem” I have is that I want to be and do everything. I’ve made leaps and bounds in terms of what I want to do with my life career-wise since starting the Creative Communications program, but I still find it hard to settle on “just one thing.”
I understand that I can do an array of different jobs and roles—which is good news, but that doesn’t make it any easier when sitting in a class with the clock ticking and a mission statement due in a matter of mintues.
All that was going through my mind when I was trying to write it was different lines from movies and books:
Derek Zoolander: Who am I?
Derek's Reflection: I don't know.
Mr. Mayer: You should have been a lawyer, Miss March.
Jo March: I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.
Terry: You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.
You can only imagine how difficult it was for me to complete the branding assignment for my advertising class last term (What’s your brand? What do you offer? What do you stand for?).
But I’m happy to say that despite having little time left in the day to ponder about grand philosophical questions about identity (see how I tied in the theme of the blog here?), I am happy to report that I’m figuring it out.
So, what does this have to do with mission statements? A lot. You gotta start somewhere and, it’s cliché, but figuring out who and where you want to be is just as much about figuring out who and where you don’t want to be.