Remember back in school when you first learned about brainstorming? You were most likely taught this concept with a visual component like a Venn Diagram or something similar. A mind map is a more sophisticated version of those diagrams.
What is a Mind Map?
The mind map gets its name from how a completed mind map resembles a neuron. It is a visual representation of holistically thinking about a given topic.
I want to stress that this is not some revolutionary new tool that is part of a fad. Its origins can be traced back to the days of Aristotle, but its modern incarnation was popularized by British Psychologist Tony Buzan. I’m not championing this as the best brainstorming methodology, but I fell in love with mind mapping the first time I tried it.
I’m going to show you screenshots of my most recent mind map for my mission statement of my personal website that you can use to guide you through creating your own career brand mind map.
How to Create a Career Brand Mind Map
You know what’s cool about a career brand mind map? Since it’s about you, your center node is your name. Boom. Your mind map is started. Now, let’s get into the meat of the process.
Step 1: Determine Your Core Values
What are your core values? What ideals drive your personal and professional decisions? What called you to the career you’ve chosen? What are your career dreams – and more importantly, what are the motives of these aspirations?
These questions aren’t meant to have easy answers. They’re meant to get you off autopilot and truly contemplate the values that drive your behavior and decision-making. If it helps, you can use a quote, saying, or phrase that represents a value you can’t quite nail with one word. You’ll be elaborating on these values in step two anyways.
Here are my five core values:
- Passionate curiosity
- Boxless thinking
- Always in Beta
- The Phoenix must burn to emerge
- Your Network is Your Net Worth
Step 2: Elaborate with 3 – 5 “whys” for each value
There are two meanings of every word: denotative and connotative. The denotative meaning is the literal textbook definition. The connotative meaning is subjective and loaded with emotion. Why do I bring this up? Because those values you listed are just textbook definitions until you assign whys. What does that value mean to you? Here are my whys to give you some inspiration.
Always in Beta
The Phoenix must burn to emerge
Network = Net Worth
The mind mapping tool I use is Mind Vector. I don’t get paid to endorse it, I just think it’s awesome. I highly suggest using Mind Vector for its ease of use, but there are other effective mind mapping tools out there as well. If you need some guidance creating your mind map, reach out to me on Twitter @BPucino.