One of the biggest mistake we tend to make in our careers is not having set goals we want to achieve. We move from one job to another without being satisfied because we are just accepting job offers for the sake of working and earning a salary that will afford you the life you want to live. Progressing in your career requires more than just getting your dream job. It requires one to write down their long and short term goals.
Climbing up that career ladder is all dependent on you and the goals you set for yourself. Before I can move on it is pivotal to define your career goals, what is it that you want to achieve in a certain space of time, why do you want to achieve it, how can you achieve it, and how will it help you reach where you want to be. These are all the questions you need to be thinking about in setting your career goals.
Another important factor to consider when setting career goals is to set achievable goals. It is good to be optimistic but also try to be as realistic as possible, you don’t need to be too hard on yourself but set goals that are within your reach. I am saying this because there is nothing more discouraging than reaching the end of the year without achieving any of your set goals.
I have put together a few pointers to help you achieve your career goals and climb up that career ladder.
Keep your resume updated
Your resume and your LinkedIn profile are your tickets to landing you that interview for your dream job. It is important to constantly keep updating these profiles and keeping track of your accomplishments. Regularly updating your profiles will keep you visible in the job marker for hiring managers to see you. I recently got a message on Linkedin from an HR manager from a certain company informing about their latest openings which suited my skill set; which goes to show that recruiting managers are out there searching for top talent. Don’t let a great opportunity pass you by because your resume is not updated.
You have no idea how much networking can do your career development. Interacting with people in and outside your industry allows you to see the bigger picture.
Review your goals
The energy you put in when planning your career goals is the same energy you should put in when reviewing them. Have a 3-6 month plan to review your set of goals (this doesn’t only allow you to track your progress but it can also motivate you to work harder and to see what is working and not working). You should not treat this as a sprinting exercise but learn to manage your expectations. Staying on top of your career goals and reviewing them helps you measure your progress and success which should be rewarded.
Enhance your skills
Self-development is something we should always strive for in all spheres of life. When it comes to careers, you can develop yourself by enhancing your skills in different ways be it registering for a course, attending workshops or reading books about your profession. As cliché as it sounds, education is the key to success and companies are looking for individuals who are always taking up new challenges to enhance their skill set.
Positive attitude over everything
You can have the most amazing career goals but with a lack of discipline and a positive attitude you are unlikely to achieve them. A positive attitude means pushing even when no one is giving you credit when it’s due. It is important to keep reminding yourself why you have those set goals and not to be too hard on yourself.
Know what is going on in your industry, dedicate time to do research on competitive companies, the latest job openings and just to keep up to date with what is happening. Read up on information that is relevant to your profession as this will allow you to be able to understand what is going on in the market. It will also help you engage in conversations at network sessions because you are clued up with what is happening.
Ultimately, hard work pays off
The most successful people are often the ones with the strongest work ethic. The minute you realised that achieving your goals is a full time job is when you are on the right track. You should push yourself to work hard wherever you are, be it at a junior position or leading an amazing team for a big project – the time and effort you put into something is exactly what you will get out of it.
If you have any tips or advice that has helped you when setting your goals I’d love to hear them!
Erol: Emerging Search Consultants