How to Write a Personal Mission Statement

Define your career values and goals by learning how to write a personal mission statement. With our tips and examples, craft a personal mission statement that aligns with the life you want.

CPRW, Career Advice Expert
by Gabriela Hernandez  CPRW, Career Advice Expert 
Last Updated: April 02, 2024  
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What is a personal mission statement?

A personal mission statement defines your strengths, what you want to accomplish in life and what values motivate you to achieve your goals.

You write a personal statement for yourself to reference whenever you need a reminder of what you want to accomplish in life. Therefore, they are unique to each person and can include whatever you’d like.

When constructing your personal mission statement, you can include:

  • Personal skills
  • Professional skills
  • Your current profession
  • The role you aspire to have
  • Financial, career or personal goals
  • What you want to contribute to society
  • The people or values that motivate you

For example:

“To inspire a love of learning in every student, providing them with the tools they need to become curious, compassionate and empowered global citizens.” -Sarah, a teacher

“To protect and restore our planet’s fragile ecosystems, fostering awareness, sustainability and responsible stewardship for future generations.” -Elena, an environmental activist

“To push the boundaries of scientific knowledge and innovation, advancing our understanding of the natural world and addressing complex global challenges through research and discovery.” -Mercedes, a scientist

Why should you write a personal mission statement?

A personal mission statement allows you to establish what’s important to you. It helps guide you toward a decision on a particular job, company or career field, making it an excellent tool for career planning.

A personal mission statement also allows job seekers to identify companies with similar values and beliefs and helps them better assess the costs and benefits of any new career opportunity.

Those with a solid vision of what they want and value in a career may avoid the phenomenon of “quiet quitting,” increasingly popular among workers disillusioned with their jobs, whether because of unfair wages, poor work-life balance or a lack of passion for their profession.

A personal mission statement can help you regain focus on your priorities and life path:

  • High school students preparing for college or the workforce.
  • College students deciding on majors.
  • Recent graduates looking for entry-level jobs.
  • Professionals considering a career change.
  • Established professionals wanting to gain back their passion.

How to write a mission
statement for yourself

Writing a personal mission statement requires introspection and self-awareness but can be broken down into a few simple steps.

Use these guidelines to write a personal mission statement to aid your career and personal development.

  1. 1Reflect on what’s important to you.

    Think deeply about your core values, beliefs and principles. What are the things that matter most to you in life? Consider aspects of your life like family, career, relationships, community, nature or ethics. It’s imperative to be as truthful as you can with this step. Don’t second guess yourself or answer how society expects you to answer. The values you identify in this step will become the guiding principles of your life.

  2. 2Identify your passions and interests.

    Recall your past jobs or hobbies to identify where you’ve excelled. Pay close attention to areas where you’ve consistently received recognition or tasks you’ve thoroughly enjoyed. These experiences will help you find your core skills, such as organization, planning, teaching, leading, creative work, writing, athleticism and more.

  3. 3Define your long-term goals.

    Write down one or several goals you aspire to achieve in life. These goals should fall in line with your values and passions. Ask yourself these questions to determine your long-term goals:

    • Where would you like to be in your career in 5-10 years?
    • Is there a particular job title that you aspire to have?
    • What do you want to improve for others in your community?
    • Do you have a lifelong dream you wish to fulfill? Such as learning a new skill or starting your own business.
  4. 4Consider your legacy.

    A great way to fine-tune your personal mission statement and add more context to what you want to do is by considering what you want to leave behind. Your actions throughout your life will impact the world. Ask yourself: “Is what I’m doing conducive to the legacy I want to leave?” “What changes can I make in my life to leave a legacy I’m proud of?”

  5. 5Draft the statement utilizing what you’ve learned.

    Once you’ve identified your values, passions, goals and legacy, you can draft your personal mission statement. Ensure you use an affirmative voice and action verbs to create a strong mission statement that will inspire you through the process of making your professional dreams come true.

A good formula you can use to write a personal mission statement is as follows:

“I am committed to [your core values and beliefs] and strive to [your long-term goals and aspirations]. My mission is to [your mission or purpose] by [how you plan to achieve it] to [the impact or legacy you want to create].”

Here’s how to put it into action:

“I am committed to integrity, empathy and continuous learning, and strive to create a life of purpose and fulfillment. My mission is to inspire and empower young people to reach their full potential by serving as a mentor and educator, guiding them toward a brighter future to leave a lasting legacy of empowered individuals who, in turn, uplift and inspire others in their communities.”

Personal mission statement
examples to inspire you

If you’re unsure about what to include in your personal mission statement, check out these mission statement examples and see what resonates with you:

For educators/teachers:

“I am committed to nurturing a love for learning and empowering students to become critical thinkers, lifelong learners, and responsible global citizens.”

“My mission is to create an inclusive and supportive classroom environment where every student can thrive academically and personally.”

For health care professionals:

“I am dedicated to providing compassionate and patient-centered care, prioritizing the well-being and dignity of every individual.”

“My mission is to advocate for health care equity and access, ensuring everyone receives the care they deserve.”

For environmentalists:

“I am passionate about protecting our planet and strive to inspire others to live sustainably, promoting a greener and healthier planet.”

“My mission is to work towards a future where humanity lives in harmony with nature, preserving biodiversity and combating climate change.”

For entrepreneurs:

“I am committed to innovation and entrepreneurship, aiming to disrupt industries, create jobs, and drive economic growth in my community.”

“My mission is to build a purpose-driven business that solves real-world problems while maintaining ethical business practices.”

For social workers:

“I am dedicated to advocating for the rights and well-being of marginalized communities, working to create a more just and equitable society.”

“My mission is to provide support and resources to individuals and families in crisis, helping them rebuild their lives with dignity and hope.”

For artists/creatives:

“I am passionate about using my creativity to inspire and evoke emotions, making art that connects people on a profound level.”

“My mission is to bring beauty and meaning to the world through my artistic expression, leaving a lasting impact on those who experience it.”

For tech innovators:

“I am committed to harnessing technology’s potential to solve pressing global issues, from healthcare advancements to sustainable solutions.”

“My mission is to make technology accessible and user-friendly, empowering people to navigate the digital age confidently.”

For nonprofit leaders:

“I am dedicated to creating positive social change by leading impactful nonprofit organizations that address critical community needs.”

“My mission is to mobilize resources and support to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, leaving a legacy of empowerment and resilience.”

For community organizers:

“I am committed to empowering communities to voice their concerns, advocate for change, and work collaboratively to create a more just and inclusive society.”

“My mission is to bridge divides, build connections, and foster a sense of unity among diverse groups in my community.”

For financial advisers:

“I am dedicated to helping individuals and families achieve financial security and independence through sound financial planning and education.”

“My mission is to demystify finance and make it accessible to all, ensuring everyone has the knowledge to make informed financial decisions.”

For humanitarian aid workers:

“I am committed to responding to humanitarian crises with unwavering dedication, delivering aid, hope, and support to those affected by conflict, disaster, and poverty.”

“My mission is to be a global advocate for peace, working tirelessly to prevent conflicts and alleviate the suffering of those in crisis.”

For lawyers/advocates:

“I am dedicated to upholding justice and the rule of law, advocating for the rights of the marginalized, and ensuring equal access to legal representation.”

“My mission is to use the power of the law to create a fair and equitable society where no one is above the law.”

For scientists/researchers:

“I am committed to pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge and innovation, advancing our understanding of the natural world and addressing complex global challenges through research and discovery.”

“My mission is to make science accessible and understandable to the broader community, fostering a spirit of curiosity and critical thinking.”

For athletes/sports professionals:

“I am dedicated to achieving excellence in my sport, serving as a role model for dedication, sportsmanship and perseverance.”

“My mission is to use the power of sports to inspire and empower youth, promoting physical fitness and healthy lifestyles.”

For politicians/public servants:

“I am committed to serving my constituents with integrity, transparency, and a focus on the common good, striving to make positive changes in my community.”

“My mission is to be a tireless advocate for the needs and aspirations of the people I represent, working towards a fair and just society.”

For chefs/culinary professionals:

“I am passionate about creating memorable culinary experiences that celebrate culture, community, and the joy of food.”

“My mission is to promote sustainability and conscious eating, inspiring others to savor the richness of our planet’s culinary diversity.”

For engineers/innovators:

“I am committed to engineering solutions that improve lives and solve complex problems while always considering the ethical and environmental impacts.”

“My mission is to mentor and inspire the next generation of engineers, fostering innovation and creativity in the field.”

For historians/archivists:

“I am passionate about preserving our shared history and cultural heritage, ensuring that future generations can learn from the past.”

“My mission is to uncover untold stories and promote a deeper understanding of our collective human history.”

For journalists/writers:

“I am committed to pursuing truth, objectivity, and integrity in journalism, holding those in power accountable and informing the public accurately and fairly.”

“My mission is to use the power of words to inspire empathy, spark dialogue and bring attention to critical issues that shape our world.”

For retailers/small business owners:

“I am dedicated to providing exceptional products and customer experiences while supporting my local community and promoting ethical business practices.”

“My mission is to build a thriving and inclusive business that contributes positively to the lives of my customers, employees, and the environment.”

For military personnel:

“I am dedicated to serving my country with honor, valor and dedication, ensuring the safety and security of my fellow citizens.”

How to use a personal mission statement

  1. 1Use it to find jobs that match your mission.

    A personal mission statement’s purpose is to constantly remind you of what you’re working towards. Therefore, when you’re overwhelmed with choices about your career, the personal mission statement can help you filter jobs that don’t fit your goals. As you browse for jobs, keep your mission statement in mind to apply to jobs where you can use your strengths, do what you’re passionate about and align with your values.

  2. 2Use it to write your resume or cover letter.

    Your personal mission statement can be edited into a resume summary or objective when writing your resume. You can also use it to highlight your professional identity when drafting a cover letter.

  3. 3Use it during job interviews.

    Some interviewers might outright ask you what is your personal mission statement, so it’s a good idea to have it memorized just in case. Even if they don’t ask you directly about your mission statement, some interview questions about your values, career goals or what matters most about a job can be answered with your personal mission statement.

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Using your mission statement to help write parts of your resume and cover letter is great, but you should include job-specific skills and keywords. If you need help writing your application documents, check out our Resume Builder and Cover Letter Builder.

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Key takeaways

  • A personal mission statement helps you develop a clear vision of your personal and professional strengths and how you can use them to achieve your life purpose.
  • Writing a personal mission statement can help you avoid distractions and keep you focused on jobs and opportunities that are conducive to your goals.
  • To write a good personal mission statement, think about what values, beliefs and principles are important to you.
  • Then, identify the passions and interests you want to develop and do in the long-term: a job, a hobby, a cause, etc.
  • Clearly define what your long-term goals are with these passions and interests. What is a specific goal you want to achieve?
  • Consider what you want to leave behind in terms of legacy. What impact do you want to have on the world, your industry or other people?
  • Now, write a statement utilizing what you’ve learned. In your personal mission statement, include your core values, what you want to dedicate yourself to, the goals you want to achieve and the impact you want to have.
  • Keep your personal mission statement close so you can refer to it when making important decisions. You can also rework it to write your resume and cover letter!

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Frequently asked questions

Can I change my personal mission statement over time?

Yes. Your personal mission statement should change over time as you continue to achieve your goals and your priorities shift. Although your core values might not change, it’s always essential to continue to push yourself with new learning challenges.

Do I have to share my personal mission statement with employers?

You don’t have to share your personal mission statement with employers or anyone else. The personal mission statement is generally something you write to understand your values and aspirations better and trace a concrete plan to fulfill them. Nonetheless, sharing your personal mission statement with an employer is a great way to help them understand your professional needs and wants when asking for a raise, suggesting a new project or asking to relocate to another department.

Is a mission statement the same as a vision statement?

Companies’ mission statements are different from vision statements in the corporate sector. A company’s mission statement is more rooted in concrete action plans to achieve short-term goals. In contrast, vision statements inspire and reflect the company’s values and what they want to contribute to society.

In most personal cases, individuals don’t need to make this distinction, and the concepts of mission and vision statement are usually interchangeable.

About the Author

Gabriela Hernandez

Gabriela Hernandez CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Gabriela Hernandez is one of LiveCareer's resident writers. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Journalism. Throughout her career, she has tackled copywriting, blog articles, journalistic writing, academic writing, resume writing, and even prose and verse.

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