By Esmée Hardwick-Slack
Setting yourself goals in life is incredibly important, you should always be striving for something. Whether it be fitting into that dress in time for your holiday, saving for your dream car or learning a new language, your personal goals should be challenging yet attainable and realistic. The same applies to your career.
A large portion of our day to day is spent working, in fact, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime, meaning that your job can make a huge impact on your life. Many people find themselves stuck when it comes to their career. You’ve left school, got your degree and landed a great job, brilliant! But what now? What is the next step? Well, identifying where you want to be and establishing what you need to do to get there can help to prevent you feeling stuck and unfulfilled in your professional life.
Here are a few tips to help you set some professional goals:
Let’s say one of your goals is to be successful, that’s a pretty broad goal that could apply to anyone. But what does success mean to you? Some may see success as becoming your own boss, whereas others may think success is getting home by 6pm every evening. Your goal needs to be specific to you and your situation. If you can clearly visualise your goals, you can begin to see the possibility of achieving it and how, making it more likely that you will succeed.
When thinking about your goals, make sure that they are something you want rather than something you want to avoid. For instance, instead of saying “I don’t want to be in this role in 4 years’ time”, say “I want to improve my skills and progress to a more satisfying role over the next four years”. Focusing on the future and the possibilities that lie ahead of you, instead of looking around at your current circumstances and wanting to change them, will give you a strong goal and the motivation to work towards it.
There’s nothing worse than the frustration that comes with being unable to fulfil your goals, so don’t set yourself up to fail, be realistic with your goals and the time you give yourself to achieve them. Think about where you want to be, the skills and knowledge you need to get there and how long that may take. This will make your goals more realistic and achievable, and will prevent you losing all hope when your dreams haven’t come true in six months, or a year. Remember, your dreams won’t work if you don’t, so don’t expect things to change without a lot of hard work!
There are always going to be barriers and things out of your control that threaten to impede your progress, but it’s important to never give up. Instead, modify your goals accordingly, give yourself more time or even let go of some of your smaller goals to focus on the bigger picture. Prioritise the thing you want most, or if your dream requires you to achieve several small goals then focus on step one. And be ready to adapt and alter your path if unforeseen circumstances arise along the way, but keep an eye on the end game. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it really doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you never give up on your dream.
How do you set goals in your career? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for all our latest blogs and updates.