Goal Setting and Success

I completed a career plan at work today. This involved listing out what skills I have today, what kind of work I’ve been doing in the past, and what I would like to do in the near and distant future. This was a valuable exercise, as it gave me an interesting look at what I’m doing at work.

Many people, perhaps most, have an idea of what they want to do in life. Even from a work perspective, people have goals and aspirations. They may even have an idea of how they are going to reach that goal. But without a plan and a guideline, reaching that goal may be more difficult than it needs to be.

The plan consists of a few components. First, list out what your current skills are, and how you acquired them (e.g. took 3 courses and was mentored for 6 months to learn how to lead a team effectively). Next, list out what parts of your job you like, and what types of work you want to do more of (e.g. spend more time working on the company newsletter). Finally, list out what you need to do to achieve your goal (meet with Sam to discuss a temporary assignment to the Corporate Communications group).

Write up your plan and post it somewhere that you will see on a regular basis. Once a month or so, look over the plan and update it to reflect your progress. Check to see that you are still on track to meet your goals. Perhaps your goals themselves are changed – you thought you wanted to work on the newsletter, but really you want to work in graphic design for the newsletter.

If you don’t have a map, it’s a lot harder to figure out how to get where you want to go.