Everyone has their own experiences and advice around what it means to have a successful career, but only one person can define what they want to achieve and determine their success: You.
Too often we’re in a state of comparing ourselves to others and using this as a way to recognise our own success (or lack of) which is hugely obstructive to our own career paths.
Change this approach and focus on YOU. Not only will you be measuring your success based on what you set out to achieve, but you’re also encouraging a much more positive mindset.
Part 1 of 4: Goal Setting
How to use it to achieve more success in your career
Tried it before? Set a new year’s resolution just to test if you last a day longer than the previous year? It’s probably a safe bet that we’ve all been there, but this isn’t about resolutions and waiting for failure to knock on the door; this is about getting clarity on what you want to achieve in the short and long term, with the help of some decent goals.
What makes a decent goal? You may have heard of the old school ‘SMART’ goals which, yes, if all boxes are ticked it’s likely to be attained, but that’s not stretching yourself.
Being ‘Achievable’ and ‘Realistic’ is all well and good but where is that really going to get you… add a different A in there – Ambitious – or a C – Challenging – and now you’re onto something. SMACT.
If you’re not thinking bigger in terms of your goals, challenging yourself in some way or getting out of your comfort zone then the success you’ll reach might be something like a ‘meh’ moment (blog coming soon on these very moments).
Start thinking of your ambitions and go long with your goals and then you can start to break them down into smaller, dare I say the word, ‘achievable’ chunks.
Here’s an example to put it into context:
I always like to go up to a year with my goals to start with and set quarterly targets to hit that will get me there.
So, let’s say you want to pivot in your career and go down a different route. Your 1-year goal might be to land a job that’s much more relevant to the career you’re pivoting to.
You might recognise that you need an additional skill or qualification under your belt to boost your chances of success. You also realise you don’t have many connections in this new field and you’re not sure where to start.
Your quarterly goals could look like this:
- In 3-months’ time: I would have completed research into courses that are relevant to the qualification(s) I need and have started an evening / weekend course
- In 6-months’ time: I would have made 12 new connections (2 per month) in the field I’m looking to get into by attending networking events and being more proactive with my time
- In 9-months’ time: I would have completed my evening / weekend course and in a routine of writing a weekly blog to track my career pivot journey
- In 12-months’ time: I would have been offered a job that is more relevant to this new career I set out to pivot into
This is a very general example but should give you an idea of how a longer-term goal that might seem a challenge and a tad ambitious at the time, can be broken down and turned into a very attainable goal.
Thus, you may measure this as a successful step in your career simply by putting some decent goals in action.
Look out for Part 2 for another key action towards greater success in your career!