Do you have a clear idea about who you want to be in the future? Or what you want to achieve?
Setting and keeping career goals is important to take your work to the next level. You need to have an end destination in mind in order to get there. What’s more, knowing your career goals isn’t just important for you but your potential employers too.
So, What Do You Need Goals For?
1. Goals provide vision
Do you want to see yourself doing the same job or in the same situation next year or three years from now?
We aren’t simply talking about a job change or promotion here. We are also pointing to skills and capabilities. You can get better at your skills without moving up the professional ladder. However, it takes more than a few years to both hone your skills and get a promotion. But, that’s okay.
Have you ever been in a situation where your manager asked you to read a book, attend a conference, or take a class?
Though you might find it a nuisance, your manager is aiming to help you hone skills. Even better, it is your chance to work towards your work and professional goals.
2. Goals provide clarity
Much too often, all of us get caught in the rat race of everyday urgent activities and lose sight of our greater professional goals.
It’s obvious that you have a daily or weekly to-do list for a specific project.
But setting professional goals help you concentrate on the steps you should take at every stage of your life and the things you need to improve.
3. Goals are measurable
If not all goals, at least good goals are measurable. Ensure that you can quantify your professional goals. Regardless of the goals you have, make sure your goals are achievable and you can show progress.
All the points we discussed above boils down to these three questions you should ask yourself before setting professional goals:
What do you want to achieve?
What areas require improvement?
How will you measure progress/achieving the goal?
With these tips in mind, you will be able to create specific goals for your professional growth.
But, How Do You Achieve Your Goals?
Set Specific Goals
Everyone wants to be successful in this world. But, what success means to you might not be the same as what success means to someone else. For instance, to one person, success might be becoming the CEO of a billion-dollar company, while the same word ‘success’ might mean merely getting home from work at 6 p.m. every day to someone else.
So, define what success means to you and make it your specific goals. Then, work toward achieving it.
As stated earlier, your goals should be measurable. Set a timeframe for achieving each of your specific goals and find a way to reach them within the deadline you have set.
Also, rather than taking a big leap towards your long-term goals, break it into small short-term goals, and take baby steps to achieve them.
Your long-term goals should be compatible with your talents and skills. For example, wanting to win a Grammy Award when you can’t sing or play an instrument will prove to be pretty fruitless.
Nevertheless, you can still set your goal as winning the Grammy Award if you decide to become a singer first. We would call it pairing your goal with an action. To win a Grammy Award, you either have to be a singer or someone talented at playing an instrument. So make it your short-term goals and sign up for a singing or music class.
Be Flexible And Reward Yourself
Sometimes, things might not work out as planned. So, if you encounter hurdles that threaten your progress, modify your goals.
And, every time you complete a short-term goal or a step, reward yourself with something small that will help you stay motivated. After all, achieving goals is hard work.
Have A Goal Partner
Goal partner or someone who will help you stick to your plan is an awesome idea to always stay motivated. Your goals partner can be a friend, a job coach, a co-worker, or even a family member. Discuss your goals and stick together with them. If possible, motivate your partner to work towards his/her goals too!
Though this post isn’t a guide to organizing your professional goals, it will still help you get started. Review your goals again, and make modifications to your existing plan or come up with an entirely new but effective plan. Because, we are talking about your career, and it’s really important to have goals in mind to achieve success.
Still confused about what goals to set?
Here are some professional goals worth considering:
Take a course to sharpen your skills.
Learn a new tool (or 5)
Improve your public speaking and presentations
Build Your Network
Get Better at Time Management