Do you have a goal or target for your job search?
Do you have a career goal?
Do you have those goals clearly defined?
Do you have a plan to get there?
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
Lewis Carroll, 1865
from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
If we don’t set goals for our job search and career progression, we likely won’t end up where we wanted to go. Many people don’t direct their own career. Instead they progress the way that benefits their employer the most. Perhaps you have done the same thing and ended up doing a job that you don’t like. A job search that isn’t targeted and following a plan can land you nowhere, fast. Or in a job you hate. It’s time to make smarter goals and direct our career so we can enjoy our working life.
In every area of life, we should have goals and be working toward them. I don’t want to become stagnant, do you? Life is just more exciting when we have goals and plans, and we are growing and attaining those goals. Setting goals helps you to gain clarity on the things you want to accomplish in your life. However, they are only the beginning of the process, a handy tool. The thing about tools is they only produce when we put them to use. I encourage you to pick an area of your life and make a goal, then map out a plan to help you reach that goal. Next, you need to make that goal measurable by designating a deadline or other criteria, so you will be able to observe your progress and know when you have reached that goal. Most important of all, begin to take the steps and walk out your plan – get started toward your goal!
Top Tips for Setting SMART Goals and Attaining Them
Specific — Begin today to define your goals and make them specific. Give thought to what you want to accomplish and what you need to do to achieve that goal. Don’t just set a goal to get a job; you need to spell out what kind of job. What is the name or title of your job target? What industry would you most like to work in? What other things can you identify about the job you would like to have?
Measurable — Ask yourself this question, “How will I know when I have achieved my goal?” You need to give yourself some benchmarks to help you assess your progress and keep you on the right track. A side benefit of measurable goals is they are intensely motivating.
Some people say they just want to be successful. That’s rather vague because it takes many components to make someone a success. So ask yourself, what does success mean to me? What does it look like? How will I know when I have achieved it?
Attainable — Is your goal something you believe you can attain? Our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves can affect the outcome. Negative core beliefs about yourself and your capabilities can paralyze you like the neurotoxin from a puffer fish. That’s something of which I have first-hand knowledge. Eating those self-defeating beliefs is the same as consuming puffer fish. If this is something that affects you, then listen to me right now. “Put down that puffer fish and start consuming positive affirmations that will redirect your negative beliefs.”
Next, you want to ask yourself, “Is this goal something that excites me?” A career should provide satisfaction as well as income. I encourage you to reach for a job that you will enjoy and even love. “If it doesn’t then pick a different goal; setting boring goals are a sure way never to accomplish anything.
Realistic — Is your goal feasible, practical, doable? An example is a new high school graduate that wants to get a job where he will make $250,000 a year. That goal is feasible and doable over time, but not immediately. Therefore it isn’t practical to expect to achieve that goal in the next two weeks. Instead, he should determine what he needs to learn, do, and the steps to take to reach his goal. He needs a plan so that eventually, he will realize the benefits of attaining the goal. It’s a best practice to break down large goals into smaller more attainable bites or mini goals. The beauty of attaining each smaller goal is that you are continually propelling yourself towards your ultimate goal.
You can maximize your success, by setting a goal that is attainable but is also just out of your reach. Doing this will help you to stretch and grow and perhaps develop new or stronger skills. It also requires some planning and strategizing to map out the way to reach your goal.
Timely — Deadlines, some folks love them, and others hate them. They exist to help you reach a goal by giving it a time and or a date for completion. That means that you will likely set both long range and short term goals throughout your path to achievement. Take the mini goals, mentioned above, and give each one a time frame or deadline. The more of those mini steps you reach, the closer you will be to enjoying the satisfaction of reaching the BIG goal.
My passion is to help people plan for success — in their job search and their career. How can I help you? Contact me today.