Yes, setting goals for your career is crucial for your success, as long as they’re realistic and achievable, of course. Have you already set your career goals and created an action plan?
When you have defined your career goals and you know what it is that you want to achieve, you can work on your strategy for achieving these goals. This gives you direction. Having your goals defined helps you focus and keeps you motivated.
But how to set achievable goals? Many people make the mistake of setting unrealistic goals and then giving up on them very soon because deep down they realised their goals are unattainable. This often leads to disappointment and you probably won’t advance in your career in this way.
Here are a few tips to help you set achievable career goals and succeed.
Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
It all starts with this. Before you set your goals and start planning your career strategy, you need to truly ask yourself what it is that you want to achieve. Where do you want to be five years from now? Or two years from now or by the end of this year?
Once you determine what your main big goal is, you can then focus on other steps of the process. Be sure to set specific goals instead of saying that you want to be successful. How do you define success? Do you want to acquire money or be able to have flexible work hours?
Is It Realistic?
When you define your main career goal, ask yourself if it’s attainable. You don’t want to waste time and energy on unrealistic goals which only lead to failure. For example, you can’t say that you want to win an Academy Award if you’re not a talented actor or you’re not even in the movie industry. Your future goals need to match your skills and your talents. You need to learn how to set career goals that are actually possible to achieve.
Break Your Goal into Smaller Goals
It helps if you break down your goal into smaller goals/steps that you can easily achieve. Yes, envisioning the future is great and all but if you only focus on one big goal, you might lose direction and give up soon. Smaller steps will gradually lead you to your big goal.
For example, you should have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are those you can achieve in the near future, in about less than a year or so. Long-term goals take longer to achieve, usually years.
Why are short-term goals necessary? Because in order to achieve your end goal, you must first achieve a number of short-term goals. For example, if you want to change your job and your career, you can’t simply start applying for positions right away if you have no skills that are required to successfully perform that job. First, you need to invest time in acquiring these skills, learning about the job, connecting with people from the industry, etc. Once you achieve these short-term goals, you will be ready to start applying for the position you want.
For example, if your goal is to become a painter, you must attend art classes first. So a goal must be followed by an action plan.
Give Yourself Enough Time
So you’ve set your career goals. But did you remember to give yourself enough time to achieve them? Giving yourself a deadline can be very helpful for achieving your goals. But sometimes, a task can take much more time than you initially thought it would. However, that doesn’t mean that you failed. It only means that you underestimated completion time.
Unpredicted setbacks are always a possibility. Something you thought would take you a month could take three instead. But don’t let this discourage you or lead you to think you won’t succeed. When you’re creating your action plan, give yourself a bit extra time for each goal, just in case. You should account for these possible setbacks in advance.
Hire a Business Coach
All this could be easier said than done if you don’t have a clear vision of your future. If you don’t really know where you see yourself in five years, you can always hire a professional to help you figure it out. A business coach will guide you through everything, and help you set and achieve your goals.
There are many reasons why you should hire a business coach. They are trained to help turn your ideas into reality and to make sure that you don’t allow anything to distract you on your road to success. They are especially helpful if you’re stagnating and feeling like you can’t really achieve anything. Their attention is focused on you and helping you achieve your goals.