What Are Personal Why Statements? (With How to Create One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published January 3, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You may have a personal brand, similar to how businesses have corporate brands. This brand determines how others view you and can have profound impacts on your personal and professional life. Understanding what personal why statements are can help you create a personal brand that aligns with your goals. In this article, we discuss personal mission statements, examine how to create one, explore why they're important, and identify where to include your personal mission statement.

What are personal why statements?

Personal why statements or personal mission statements are brief mottos summarizing who you are as a person and professional. Personal mission statements are usually between one and three lines, and they capture your goals, values, interests, and skills. They also describe your purpose and the impact you aim to create in your workplace or surroundings.

Related: How To Write a Personal Mission Statement (With Examples)

How to create a personal mission statement

Here are some steps you can follow to create a personal mission statement:

1. Identify your values

Values are a person's belief about what's important. Your values influence all aspects of your life, as they determine your opinion of right and wrong. As a result, it's vital your personal mission statement includes your values. To determine your values, you can analyze the things that make you passionate. Incorporating your values into your personal mission statement ensures it lasts longer.

Related: Examples of Personal Vision Statements To Help You Write Your Own

2. Highlight your goals

After identifying your values, the next step is to determine what you aim to achieve. Your goals may be long or short-term, depending on the situation. Including your goals in your personal mission statement ensures you always have a direction for your plans and actions. To determine your goals, ask yourself what you want to achieve within a particular period. Ensure your goals are realistic, given your abilities and resources.

3. Outline your talent or skill

A skill refers to knowledge or abilities that help professionals complete work-related tasks, while talents are skills you're inclined towards naturally. It's important you include your skills in your personal mission statement to show how you intend to achieve your goals. To determine which skills or talents to include, think about which are essential to your goals.

4. Determine your value proposition

Your value proposition is the unique benefit people get from working or interacting with you. It describes the impact you aim to have on your target audience. To determine your value proposition, think of unique ways to help a potential employer or admissions manager. Ensure your value proposition relates to your skills and is realistic.

5. Create your personal mission statement

After gathering the relevant details, you can write your personal mission statement. Remember that the statement is brief, so think of the best way to construct it that includes all relevant details. Businesses spend lots of time and money developing their mission statements, so be patient with yourself. Finally, you can show your drafts to friends and family to give you feedback or help you make a choice.

Importance of personal mission statements

Here are some of the benefits of having a personal mission statement:

Clarifies your goals

A personal mission statement highlights your missions as a person or professional. As a result, it's necessary that professionals think of their career goals before drafting a personal mission statement. This can be difficult, as you may find that many things seem important to you. Writing a personal mission statement encourages self-introspection, which can help you prioritize your goals. By prioritizing your goals, you can have better focus and use your resources optimally, increasing your chances of success. Lastly, clarifying your goals makes it easier to make long-term plans.

Helps you make decisions

A good personal mission statement serves as an anchor throughout your career and other aspects of your personal life. As it summarizes what's important to you as a person, you can apply your personal mission statement in any situation. For example, when you're making two difficult choices, it can help to remind yourself of the values that are truly important to you. This provides a good basis to weigh the pros and cons of your options and decide on the best one. A good personal mission statement can also limit the effects of bias and emotions when making decisions.

Serves as a tool for accountability

A personal mission statement serves as a record of your values. It helps remind you of what's important to you and why. This makes it an effective accountability tool to check if you remain committed to your goals. While performing a self-review, professionals can reread their personal mission statement and assess how their actions align with it. In addition, you can share your personal mission statement with friends, family, or trusted colleagues to aid accountability.

Aids collaboration

To collaborate effectively in a team, it's essential that team members understand each other's motivation and values. A personal mission statement captures an individual's values and motivation, making it a perfect tool to help team members know each other. As a team leader, you can request members to share their personal mission statements while introducing each other. That way, everyone understands what motivates each person and factors that into their interactions. This can improve the overall productivity of your team.

Promotes self-awareness

A personal mission statement summarizes all the things that are important to you as a person. This includes your values, goals, mission, and interests. As a result, drafting one requires a lot of reflection and introspection. For example, it may be essential to ask yourself questions about what makes you happy, what others compliment you for, and how you want to contribute to your community. This exercise can help you discover more details about yourself, leading to more self-awareness.

Provides encouragement

It's natural to experience some challenges in our personal and professional lives. In such cases, a good personal mission statement can act as a motivator. Personal mission statements can help remind you of why you started your personal or professional journey. This can help you see the bigger picture, making it easier to overcome temporary feelings of discouragement. A personal mission statement can also provide the necessary encouragement to do the right thing, even when difficult.

Increases initiative and confidence

A personal mission statement motivates you to decide what's important to you. This task is harder than it sounds and requires a lot of independent thinking. Undergoing the process of creating a personal mission statement can help you build your initiative. You're also likely to feel more confident and derive more satisfaction when you live life on your own terms. This can increase your morale at work, making you a more effective employee.

Where to include your personal mission statement

Here are some of the places where you can include your personal mission statement:

Resume

A resume is a brief document highlighting your professional qualifications for a hiring manager. Potential employers expect to see details about your experience, skills, and value as an employee. As a result, it can be helpful to include your personal mission statement on your resume. Doing so can help inform the hiring manager of how you intend to contribute to their organization. You can include the personal mission statement in your resume summary to get the hiring manager's attention. It's also an effective and catchy way to describe your major skills.

Website

If you're a freelancer, consultant, or creative, a personal website can significantly aid your career. It can serve as a tool to attract more customers and inform them about what you do. This makes a personal website a great location to include your personal mission statement. For example, you can include it in the "about me" section as a way of giving readers an insight into what drives your personal brand. You can also include the personal mission statement on your home page to welcome viewers.

Related: Personal Brand Statement Examples (With Steps and Tips)

Professional profile

There are various professional platforms where you can connect with like-minded colleagues and discuss various industry topics. Usually, these brief platforms require a professional profile introducing yourself to others. To make your profile more interesting, you can consider including your personal mission statement. A personal mission statement summarizes your career goals, making it an effective networking tool for meeting like-minded colleagues.

Cover letter

A cover letter is a document summarizing your qualifications and reasons for applying for a role. Candidates usually submit a cover letter along with their resumes when applying for jobs or other professional opportunities. Cover letters are usually personal descriptions, making them an ideal place to include your personal mission statement. Including your personal mission statement in your cover letter can help you communicate your values, increasing your chances of connecting with the hiring manager. It's also an effective way to highlight how you can contribute to the hiring manager's company.

Interview

An interview is a structured conversation where a potential employer assesses a candidate's qualifications for a role. Interviewers usually ask questions to understand a candidate's motivations and values. Your personal mission statement can be a great way to summarize that to the interviewer. For example, you can include your personal mission statement when asked to introduce yourself or why you're interested in a role. The concise and profound nature of the personal mission statement is likely to make an impression on the hiring manager.

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