Chances are, you would like to be taken more seriously at work, increase your income, feel satisfied with your job, and even climb the career ladder this year. It may sound like a pipe dream but it is possible. And to accomplish all of that you not only need clearly defined objectives, but to set the right career goals and make them a priority.
The following steps are designed to help you start actually making changes in your career and the best part is--you an start seeing changes in just a few days.
Why You Absolutely Must Have a Career Plan with Long Term Career Goals
Your career development is closely related to how satisfied you are with your life, whether or not you’ll have regrets decades from now, as well as how financially secure you feel.
Multiple studies suggest that goal setting is the key to mental health and a happier life. It also helps you sleep better at night, feel good about yourself, do work that matters, and appreciate what you have more. As research states: ambition makes you happy.
Long Term Career Goals Bring More Fulfillment Down The Road
Another important thing to consider before talking about career development goals and how to clearly define , is that you need to play the big game. This doesn't mean deciding to pursue a salary raise, then spending even more and being at the same level like you were before the hard work. That’s no progress. This means having a long term career plan that will always be in the back of your mind, together with your personal goals.
It takes a vision to start with.
Know where you want to be 1,5 and even 10 years from now. Describe how your life will be better. Tell yourself what a role model you’ll be for the younger generations around you, what better position you can be given and the power and responsibility it will provide. All this will build your character. You’ll receive opportunities to contribute to society, will take some important financial decisions and might manage and inspire other people.
All that makes your career goals one of the most important set of items on your life plan list. Let’s see how to make setting them exciting and use this to see advancement sooner.
4 Steps to Setting Your First Career Objective
As with any goal setting process, when it coems to setting your first career objective, you’ll need to do some brainstorming. . The career goals must be worth your precious time after all, as they might take a lot of it.
Now, let’s move onto the practical steps to defining your first official career development goal:
1. Answer a few questions before you write anything down.
Here’s what you should think about:
- Are you in the right field?
- Are you passionate about what you do?
- What things are currently preventing you from exceeding at work?
- Are you fulfilling your potential?
- What parts of your current job do you enjoy, and which things do you find unpleasant?
- What would you change about the work process?
- Are you ready to hustle for a year or more until you reach the next level?
- Are you ready to handle more responsibilities and be busier once you do?
If you haven’t done all this before, it might feel a bit uncomfortable. But it’s absolutely worth facing some harsh truths as that’s how transformations begin. And your career is no exception.
2. Decide what you’re ready to give in return for having career success.
Life works in an interesting way when it comes down to achievements and happiness. You can’t have it all. Once you reach the next level of your career, for instance, you need to give up some other things that you previously enjoyed. That can be your free time, seeing your family enough, weekend trips, sleeping in, watching Netflix till you fall asleep or other old habits.
But that’s a good thing. It helps you keep things under control. Reaching your career goals means saying ‘no’ to things you can’t even imagine right now, as you simply never had to question them.
It is essential to make some of these decisions now, before you set on a journey to becoming the most valuable employee in your company.
There will be many personal qualities you’ll have to develop, and that means changing your behavior in real life too. For instance, you might need to bring your work problems with you at home and deal with them. Or be available at every hour of the day and answer email or accept calls during dinner or family gatherings. Now is the time to see if you’ll be okay with that and still do the work, but also be present when spending time with loved ones.
Create a list of the sacrifices you’re ready to make. Then do a little research, or talk to those already living these career goals, and see what more might be required from you once you get there.
All this will help you understand if you’re pursuing the right career objective.
3. Be firm.
Poorly defined career goals will not only get you nowhere, but even hurt your career. Make sure you set the right ones, set them firmly, and be sure they will take you where you want to be in the near future.
To take firmness further, let this be on top of your list daily. Wake up earlier to work on your first career objective. Stay up late to read about your market and see how you can take up new projects. Go to networking events and introduce yourself. Start building your brand online by setting up a site and having presence on all key social media channels.
All this means you’ll be taking action constantly, and that’s the only sure way to moving. Not always in the right direction, but always moving, which leads to progress.
With such a mindset you’ll stop listening to those in your surroundings who don’t believe you’ll reach your ambitious career goals. And other outer factors that are usually a distraction won’t bother you anymore.
4. Write down the short and long term career goals.
By writing this down, you’re giving your brain a chance to internalize this and your subconscious mind to have faith that it’s actually achievable. Only when these 2 are brought to the equation can you expect the magic to start happening.
Write down one long term career objective, and add around 5 short term ones that will help you get to it. That makes the whole picture less overwhelming as you realize everything is a set of steps, each of which can be taken separately. Now, break these shorter goals into even easier to accomplish actions that can be done in daily life.
You must be feeling energized already. That’s because it’s so much simpler to imagine the first items on the list to become a reality soon. At the same time, however, you’ll be getting closer to the big career goal.
Do all this now. It will help you build momentum. While you're at it, make a plan on what first thing you can do tomorrow related to your long term career goals.
It will take some time until being focused on this end vision for career success becomes a habit. But you’ll get there by being consistent in your daily efforts, even if each step only takes a few minutes.
So, do you already know your career goals?