If we make a statement of intent, and allow our actions to follow that lead, it will turn into reality, often without much effort.
Think of intention setting like planting a seed. It is the conscious decision to approach a desired outcome in a specific way. Our intentions determine how we want to show up in a particular situation, with a particular person or on a particular journey. They serve as a guidepost to who we want to ‘be’, as opposed to what we want to ‘do’.
Let me give you an example:
Let’s assume that my desired outcome is finding meaningful work. My intention is to embrace every step along the journey and to learn and grow from every opportunity that presents itself. When I’m confronted with my own doubts, concerns and uncertainty, having this intention will stretch me to reach to the full extent of my ability and eventually bring me closer to my goal of finding meaningful work.
Why intentions are powerful during a career shift
A lot of people know that they want some sort of change in their career, however often they are unable to express exactly what they are looking for. So if they decide to go and look for it, they embark on a journey without a destination.
It is inevitable that whatever route they choose to take, they will be challenged with emotions like fear, anxiety or doubt, which, without powerful intentions, will set them right back to where they started.
If, however, they start by developing their intention with some initial reflection as to how they want to approach this journey and why, they create a sort of mantra for themselves that they can fall back on when nagging voices come up. This mantra reminds them of their direction.
Clear intentions allow us to make decisions in harmony with what is important to us. They encourage us to react in certain ways, respond to situations, engage in supportive opportunities and generally help us to be more balanced in difficult situations. Powerful intention setting is therefore key to manifest personal and professional goals.
Sense, purpose and direction: Intentions show us the way to go. They are based on what is truly important to us and therefore give sense and meaning to our actions and behaviour.
Increased productivity: Because intentions are purpose-based, this contributes to a positive mindset, which results in increased productivity.
Head space: Setting intentions helps us to focus on what is important to us and steers us away from limiting beliefs and negative brain chatter. We get to deliberately choose how we want to show up. Often, just by bringing this to our awareness, the worries and concerns vanish by themselves.
How to set an intention for your career shift
There is no right or wrong approach to setting an intention. However, intentions are most powerful if they are phrased positively and aligned with our unique personal values.
Start your intention setting with “I intend to…” and fill in the dots with your attitude towards your desired outcome. For example:
- I intend to be patient and open-minded towards every job opportunity that presents itself
- I intend to be forgiving to myself
- I intend to maintain a healthy balance in life despite workload and pressure
- I intent to open up and be more vulnerable in service of feeling more authentic
- I intend to seek feedback and criticism for my new learning journey
Top tips for your intentional journey
Now that you have started thinking about your intentions for your career change, you are ready to get started. We want to give you some top tips to approach your journey, so that you know how to make your intentions work for you.
Write a statement with your intention. Thinking about how we want to approach a career change is great, but it becomes even more powerful if we say it out loud and manifest it onto a piece of paper. This doesn’t have to be in form of words – get your creative juices flowing and express your intention in the form of a visual.
Set the tone for your day – every day. Having a long-term vision in place is great, however our daily behaviour determines at what speed and with how much fun we achieve our desired outcomes. We at Create my Career for example always take a moment before our workshops to set our intention for the day and the group.
Allow for a change in direction. While we love a good vision of where you are heading, it is important to stay flexible and allow your goals to evolve over time. As you approach your journey, you will learn a ton of new things about yourself and it is therefore important to reflect on your intentions and goals from time to time, to ensure you are still on track.
Find a sparring partner. Our intentions become more powerful and we are more likely to stick with them if we have people around us who support us on our journey. Choose your accountability partner carefully and they will remind you and get you back on track in case you derail.
Our intentions set the course and determine the direction we are headed and ultimately the results we achieve. They are expressed in a clear statement of an outcome we want to achieve.
If we approach a career change without any intentions, we will likely derail and take several unnecessary detours before reaching our goals. If, however, we set our intentions mindfully, they serve as a mantra when things get tricky.
When setting your intention, think about your long-term vision as well as your daily attitude and how you want to show up. Stay flexible and allow for a change of direction if needed. An accountability partner is a great way to get additional support.