The often-overlooked skill of goal setting can go a long way in leading us towards our dream careers. While we may be satisfied with having a general idea of what we want and where we want to go, taking the time to be deliberate towards our goals can make a world of difference. A good example of this is how companies have long been using goal setting as a way to become more successful. Entrepreneur found that 21% of goal-setting and high-achieving organisations are more productive than their counterparts. Just like companies, people should also have a well-thought-out set of goals to help them achieve what they want in life. Below, we’ll look at some useful tips to help jumpstart your process of goal setting for your career.
Pay attention to our thoughts and emotions
Goal setting is an opportunity to pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. Find the time to sit down, unhurried, and ponder your current situation. For example, you might know that you’re unsatisfied with work, but aren’t sure what exactly you want out of your career. Goal setting helps materialise these thoughts running around in your mind. Inc recommends paying attention to how you feel when you think about your goals. Understand your intentions for making certain career choices. This will make it easier to write down realistic and genuine career goals.
Written goals are key
Writing down your goals helps provide clarity and accountability. Having a clear and written set of objectives helps navigate foggy situations like a career change or a recent resignation. Just like how some people like writing to-do lists at the start of the day then slowly checking them off and gauging what they’ve accomplished by the end of it, a written list of goals reminds you of your long-term career plans and intentions. It’s your own tangible way of checking in with yourself and your ambitions.
Find goals that motivate you
Many people wait for motivation to strike before setting goals. However, we should be doing the opposite. Find goals that create habits and drive your motivation. When you set a goal, it has to be meaningful and valuable to you, otherwise you won’t prioritise achieving it. Thus, it’s important to find goals that help drive you into achieving your own personal success, in however way you see fit.
Setting SMART goals
We all have that dream career, whether it’s to be a software engineer for a leading company, or founding your own tech start up. Identifying that dream career as a priority goal is essential. However, what’s also important is knowing the steps that should be taken to get there. Special Counsel’s Attorney Search Director Tiffany Henson recommends deconstructing a big goal into smaller benchmarks in order to get to where you want to be. While identifying your priority goal is all well and good, it’s no use if it’s not attainable on its own. Set smaller SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals to help you achieve an overwhelmingly huge career objective. Use smaller SMART goals as stepping-stones to help you attain that dream job you’ve been eyeing up.
Making the time
In achieving your career goals, Robin Bates talks about the importance of making time. After you’ve identified your sub-goals and your main goal, you need to make sure to make the time to achieve them. If one of your goals is to start applying to better job opportunities, you have to make sure that you prioritise sending out CVs and attending interviews given your busy schedule with your current job. There’s no use writing goals if you don’t make sure you dedicate time every day to achieving them.