noun: mantra; plural noun: mantras
1. a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation
Everyone should have a career mantra. Hear me out.
Think about the companies you admire most or the stores you frequent most often. Why do you admire them or support that company? Is it their brand? Their products? Their leadership? The feeling you get when using their products? How about their mission? I guarantee you, those aren’t happy accidents. Companies hire massive PR and marketing teams to handle their brands – so that individuals like us want to keep engaging with them and their products. In part, that can be done through company slogans.
Do any of these stick out or come up for you?
Nike, “Just Do It”
Mastercard, “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
Dunkin’ Donuts: “America Runs on Dunkin”
McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It”
The New York Times: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”
Wheaties, “Breakfast of champions”
The Home Depot, “More saving. More doing.”
For the purposes of a career mantra, think of it like a company slogan – but for yourself as an individual. As these slogans help keep a company brand on track, an individual workplace mantra can help you keep your individual brand in mind, especially during stressful or trying times.
To craft your own career mantra, think of the following:
What are your values?
What do you want to be remembered for? Your kindness? Innovation?
When you walk into a room at work, what do you want people to think?
What do you want to accomplish? What action steps do you want to be taking?
Here are some examples of what career mantras can look like:
‘I can handle obstacles with kindness and grace.’
‘One foot in front of the other. Always moving forward.’
‘Leadership is an attitude, not a role.’
‘Live in the moment. Focus on the now.’
‘Above all else, support others.’
‘I am capable of change and growth.’
Finally – be sure to use it! Write it down on your desk. Have it in your phone. And, when you find yourself needing it most, say it to yourself. Most individuals who work or intern full-time spend at least 40 or so hours at their place of employment. This can include meetings, trainings, and even casual interactions with colleagues and supervisors. A career mantra can be a great way to maintain your professional presence, practice kind self-talk (yes, how we talk to ourselves matter!), and keep yourself motivated at work.