Some people spend a lifetime working hard, investing all their time and energy into their job, hoping for a promotion or opportunities to come their way. But without a specific plan and direction, that will never happen.
What you need to do is have career goals as part of your vision for the rest of your career. Climbing the ladder can only happen with such objectives in mind.
So let’s talk about setting the right ones no later than this week.
What Are Career Goals?
Success in your career won’t just happen over time, regardless of how good of a job you’re doing.
It also takes personal growth, noticing and grabbing chances, building new skills and putting them into practice, forming relationships and making the most of them, finding work/life balance, increasing your productivity and energy levels, forming great personal habits, and much more.
It’s safe to say, that you should make your career development priority number one for some time, if you truly want to see results soon. To begin the official journey today, you can set some specific and ambitious professional goals.
These are goals related to your work, but you can’t just keep them in your mind or remind yourself of them every now and them. You also can’t set too many at the same time, or do it without thinking it through, as you’ll end up chasing things that aren’t a good fit for you.
Professional goals can guide you through the obstacles and moments of hopelessness in your career. There will be many of these if you aim higher. But a solid plan can keep you from distracting yourself or giving up.
You can have many short-term goals, but their main purpose should be to lead to the long-term professional goals. Those, on the other hand, will get you closer to your ultimate vision. That could be the top position in your field, starting your own company, increasing your salary 3x times, etc.
Such a picture will always be with you in your mind, even when you do small daily activities such as networking on social media, using body language techniques to appear more professional during a meeting, staying up late to read the latest news in your industry and then engaging managers in conversations about them.
It’s all connected and this big picture – of where you want to be in your career 10 years from now – should be with you every day. It all begins with setting professional goals this week.
How Your Work Goals Affect The Rest of Your Life
I now want to bring your attention to the life-changing benefits of setting the right career goals. Also how that affects not just your work life, but any other aspect too. I believe the following reasons would be enough for you to set such objectives as soon as possible:
1. You gain focus.
Having a specific goal to follow means you need to stay concentrated on it long enough to follow through. But a long-term one, followed by short-term professional goals, is something that will give focus to anything you do with your life.
Let me give you an example:
If you’ve always struggled with taking decisions, no matter big or small, you’ll soon notice the following change: After setting a work goal, and when faced with a decision, you’ll no longer overthink. You’ll simply ask yourself ‘Which of the 2 options I have will help me get closer to my career development goals?. And you’ll just take action upon it. Regardless of what happens next, you’ll know you did the right thing and are moving forward in the exact direction that you want to.
2. You become more self-confident.
Confidence is something we need in order to have the courage to ask for what we want in life.
If your self-esteem is usually low, setting a few professional goals will completely change the situation. Because the moment you bring a new priority in your life, you stop having doubts and fears, overthinking, waiting for things to happen, expecting too much, thinking about the past, or having hopes for the future but not taking action.
Instead, you’ll be determined enough to do something every day in order to achieve the career success that you’re visualizing. Action itself is a powerful motivator and leads to more action. So don’t be surprised when you soon find yourself being more confident in your relationships, not feeling inferior to anyone at work, speaking up, asking for what you want and getting it, and somehow receiving more opportunities than usual.
That’s what a focused and self-assured mind can do to you and your life.
3. Your life becomes more meaningful.
By not having a goal in mind, you probably aren’t quite excited to wake up in the morning and start the day. Chances are, you feel stuck in a rut because of the lack of progress in your job. That can easily lead to depression over time.
Instead, you can take things under control by setting professional goals and going to bed with them in mind, ready to work hard for what you deserve tomorrow morning.
4. You do your best work.
It’s proven that setting professional goals improves your performance at work.
You suddenly go to work on time, with a mindset that will help you keep your energy levels high until the work day is over. You also don’t feel overwhelmed by new projects and tasks, but are looking forward to taking up new ones knowing each can lead to something bigger for you.
More responsibility doesn’t scare you. You know that’s what it takes to get to the top.
You’re a great learner too and don’t avoid new knowledge or experiences like other employees do. You know there’s a lot you don’t know, and in order to achieve your work goals, you’ll need to expand your horizons.
First Steps in Setting Professional Career Goals
Write your career vision statement. This is something you should do right away, while you’re still pumped up by reading this article. Don’t put it off for later, as regular life can easily get to you and your mind, and you’ll forget you ever wanted this in the first place.
Create the big picture now. See yourself as a professional in the field as if it’s already happening. Live this vision. Imagine every detail. Write it out.
This is a great exercise to see what fits the vision from your current lifestyle, and thus decide what needs to be removed and what new things should be added over the next few years.
That’s a fantastic practice for another reason. You’ll use this written statement for your daily visualization process.
Yes, in order to get there you need to stay on the right path. That means making sure you mind is thinking only about this, and that you have faith it will happen (here’s where your subconscious mind gets involved). And that’s only possible if you repeat it as a true statement over and over again, until you become so confident that no obstacle or failure will make you even rethink all that you’re doing.
Are you ready to set your career goals?
Share your thoughts and plans in the comments below!