Since we’re about halfway through 2012, it’s a good time to take a minute and figure out where you are concerning your career goals. What career goals did you set for 2012? What is your goal reaching status?
• I’ve accomplished all my goals
• I’ve accomplished some of my goals and am on track to complete the rest
• I’ve made some progress toward my goals
• I haven’t done anything
• I don’t even remember what I wanted to accomplish
• I didn’t set any goals
While this isn’t really a quiz, it is a good time to think about what you have (or haven’t) done for your career. If you never created any goals, then it may be a good time to think about setting some; it can give you just that extra bit of motivation. Whether you have big goals, e.g. find a job/get a new job, or smaller goals, e.g. take additional training, there are a few things you can do to help make them more attainable. Here are a few tips:
• Set realistic goals – If you make them too lofty, it’s hard to even get started. Goals don’t have to be huge to be good. Set goals that will help you advance the way you want.
• Break bigger goals into achievable chunks/phases – For example, if you want to make 100 new networking contacts, consider breaking that into a goal of 10-15 per month, or 4-5 per week. That makes it a little easier.
• Hold yourself accountable – Give yourself a schedule and deadlines and stick to them. Pull out your list of goals every week or month to check your progress. You can even incent yourself with a small reward once you complete a goal. If you’re having trouble staying on track, consider enlisting the help of a mentor. Share your goals and plans with your mentor and encourage them to hold you accountable.
Goal setting is a great exercise no matter where you are in your career. We all should be working toward something. So, think about what you want to do/achieve in the next week, month, year or 5 years and set some goals. Then, start working to achieve them.