Here we are again at the beginning of a new year, and as is tradition many of us start to set goals. Some will admit they haven’t set goals and have no intention to do so – but for the vast majority of us putting together a set of goals gives us extra clarity on what can be achieved in the coming year!
Goal-setting is serious business and should not be done casually, furthermore, goal achievement takes even more dedication and sacrifice!
After working for many years in the recruitment industry, helping female talents achieve their career goals, I have witnessed how much hard work and sacrifice went into their goals. Goal success doesn't happen without serious effort and attention.
Why setting career goals is important:
In these modern times, the place of work is changing rapidly with technological disruption leading to widespread changes in the workplace – the old paradigm of joining a company after graduation and remaining until retirement is an old ‘fairy tale’ – that seldom exists. Gone are the days when you can leave your career to the fate of an organisation – your career is your responsibility – employees are no longer ‘spokes’ in the corporate wheel but true masters of their own destiny.
This new age of female empowerment, should inspire you, to seek new heights in your chosen career, and, in the process allow your talents to fully blossom.
Whether, your goals are big or small the most important aspect about setting a career goal is to change your mindset to one that unleashes the power of you, and the endless possibilities you can create.
I am a strong believer that success and happiness are all about mindset so remember it starts with positive thinking, that whatever goals you set can be achieved.
Here are 5 effective tips to achieve your career goals:
1. Start by setting goals that mean something to you:
I want to increase my professional network, I want to become a team leader, I want to learn new technology – these are typical examples of career goals – no matter what your goal, it has to be one that really matters to you. This seems obvious but many people set goals to satisfy others or because they think it’s the cool thing to do. If you set goals you don’t truly believe in, as you can imagine they are more difficult to achieve. Your time is limited and precious, so spend it wisely on the goals that help create the life you want for yourself and your family.
2. Be specific:
Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don't provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.
3.Set an action Plan:
Setting your goals is the first step but to truly achieve them, you have to develop an equally rigorous action plan, which is another step many people overlook. They assume setting goals is sufficient. I wish it was, but setting the ‘DESTINATION’ of where you want your ‘FUTURE YOU’ to be, without developing clearly defined steps on how to get there, will likely end in your goals not being achieved. Action plan is the key to make your goals or dreams a reality.
4. Prepare for setbacks:
In a perfect world, this would never happen, but as we all have experienced, life has a funny way of throwing obstacles in front of us - the road to goal achievement is unlikely to be paved with no bumps, potholes or negativity. Setbacks will happen. Sometimes they will seem huge, signalling the end of your dream or so you assume. Preparing for such events goes back to having the right mindset and mentally, preparing yourself to handle setbacks when they occur.
5. Set a timeframe:
“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” – Diana Scharf Hunt
How many times have you had something important to do and then just postponed it and kept postponing it and ended up never doing it? I have many times in the past, hence, why setting clearly outlined “goal timeframes” is essential to prevent yourself from falling into the habit of “someday”. As in, “Someday, I’ll do that.” Goals should be put into two categories: short-term goals and long-term goals. You can accomplish a short-term goal in six months to a year, while it will usually take three to five years to reach a long-term one. You can also break down your short & long-term goals into smaller baby steps, by utilising a journal for example – completing smaller goals that must be met before the larger goal can be accomplished this often makes the time frame for completion fall into place naturally.
At various times in the pursuit of a goal, it will appear easy to give up due to the obstacles ahead – but giving up is something you don’t want to do, especially if the goal is something you truly want and believe in. Just remember each obstacle is a learning experience, the only failure is if you don't try, try and try again.
Many people think achieving a career goal is impossible or worse not worthwhile due to self-doubt. With the power of positive thinking and taking concrete steps alongside hard work and commitment, you can achieve your goals and create the life you want.
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