In my last couple of posts, I wrote about identifying your core values and crafting a career vision. Once you have a clear picture of where you would like to go in your career and the principles that will serve as your compass during that journey, you should develop a series of goals to help you reach the summit.
s important to help motivate you and continually move yourself forward and to measure your progress. As you achieve goals, you will find your confidence growing and develop a stronger belief that you really can live the vision you have created for yourself. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you develop and work towards your goals:
- Start with the long-term goals. Take inventory of your strengths and how you can utilize them to help you achieve success. Then think about the gaps. What do you need to help you reach your vision? Additional education? Training? Other job opportunities? Most likely, it will be all of the above. Identify specifically, what that looks like so you can start to develop shorter-term strategies to help get you there;
- This will allow you to best focus your attention and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Remember, success is your goal and you’ll need every bit of confidence you can build along the way;
- Establish Timetables. Don’t try to do too much at once (see point two above). Do one thing well and then move on to the next thing, even if it means you have to adjust your timetable along the way —- which you will!
- Be realistic. You want goals that are challenging; however you also need goals that are achievable. Challenge yourself, and set yourself up for success at the same time;
- Break down into annual goals. You should review your career plan at least once a year and set goals for the next 12 months; and
- 90 days at a time. Once you have your annual goals, establish a quarterly work plan. Breaking down goals into manageable chunks is the best way to keep your momentum. Review your progress at the end of each quarter. Don’t fret over the fact that you didn’t accomplish everything. Simply tweak the plan for the next 90 days and get at it.
Just like your career vision, your goals should be viewed as a permanent ‘work in progress.’ Life gets in the way and causes us to constantly adjust and recalibrate. By having clearly defined goals, your chances of successfully living the vision you have created for yourself will be enhanced immeasurably.