Planning Your Career Goals: How to Achieve Your Career Aspirations

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  • How do you picture your perfect job to look in 5, 10, 15 yrs. time? What would you have to be doing to achieve this?
  • If obstacles were not a factor, what would you be doing differently?
  • What do you really enjoy doing in life? Can you make it a part of your work on a regular basis?
  • Who inspires you? What admirable elements of their life or career can you translate into your own aspirations?

Create the vision…

You need to pull it altogether into one concise statement of where you are going and what you want to achieve in your working life. Experts advocate reaffirming this vision on a regular basis, to help you consciously and subconsciously stay on track and reinforce your ambitions.

Goal setting…

If vision setting is the map, then goal setting represents the milestones. This is where most people fall down. Goal setting is what all the great achievers in life use- whether it be in sports, business or on a personal level.

Describe these goals in general terms: company culture, income, knowledge & experience, areas of responsibilities, work-life balance- whatever your biggest ‘driver’ is. If you define your goals as a succession of hierarchical job titles, you may find you miss out on incredible opportunities that come along because you’re unable to recognize them for what they are.

Break them down into smaller, more immediately manageable chunks. Wanting to run your own company within three years is all well and good but acknowledging what you need to achieve by ‘Year 1’ and further breaking that down into monthly / weekly targets, makes it all more doable and less likely to completely swamp you!

Know that these are the drivers that will keep you motivated on both a short term and long term basis. You can use them to clearly track your progress and allow you to take pride and recognise each time you succeed in moving closer to your ultimate objective.

Keep them ‘SMART’: Specific, Measurable/Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Write them down and keep them positive and upbeat in nature. Prioritise your goals when you have more than one to achieve within a certain time, to stop you getting overwhelmed.

On a final note…

Pay attention to your goals and how you are achieving them- too easily or with great difficulty? Do you need to make adjustments in view of what you have learnt along the way?

Planning and achieving the career you’ve always wanted is attainable when it’s tailored specifically by you, for you and broken down into achievable goals along the way. What’s there to lose? Why not make this your ‘Goal for Today’?

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