Goal Setting to Rock Your Career

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. 2022 is all about you and if you are wanting to grow, change or transform your career the conditions are looking pretty good but you’ll need a plan to get there. We will show you the steps you need to take to prepare for career goal setting with our 5 step career goal setting framework to help you design meaningful and measurable career goals and keep yourself accountable to reach that goal. we will dive into the top reasons why people don’t reach their goals so that won’t be you in 2022!

If you prefer to watch rather than read, here’s the youtube:

Before your begin don’t miss THIS step!

Before you even pick up a pen and start writing down the goals for this year I want you to take some advice from the Spice Girls and “Stop right now thank you very much”. Knowing what you want and why you seek the change is a critical step to plan meaningful career goals. Most advice will have you jump straight to goal setting? But if you do that you miss a step and may not meet your goals at all.

Take some time, get out a notebook. Think back over your career and especially the last couple of year. Here are a range of questions you can ask yourself to stimulate some thinking on clarifying your needs. Where will these goals take you?

– Where are you at in your career and where will the current path take you?

– What do you enjoy about your work, your team your organisation, your industry?

– What have been some of the challenges or issues in your work, your team, your organisation, your industry?

– Do you have a values alignment with the work that you do?

– Are you learning and growing as a professional in your role?

–  are you recognised for your contribution?

– What part of your work do you want to develop more, spend more time doing?

– If you want to explore change, why is that? What are you moving away from, what do you more of less or more of?

– How does work fit into your life? What is life all about?

So why do this step first before setting goals?

You have so much noise and influence from media, family, friends sometimes we forget who we are and what our career goals are. As you are creating your goals really consider your motivations and root cause for setting the goals. If you find out you have consciously thought you would set a goal of changing jobs in 2022 to get a better salary only to think back to a recent catch-up with friends who are earning more and then focussing on that goal on earning more money, really pick apart your motivations. Is it what YOU want or what you THINK you should be doing? Knowing your motivations and having the ability to turn down the noise or be aware of the influences around you is a crucial step before setting those goals.

Step 1 Setting meaningful and measurable career goals?

Now you have taken the time for some reflection you should have some clarity on what is important to you and goals with meaning. Write down some possible short term goals. If you are stuck or lost. Jump on over to our video on 3 Steps to get your career unstuck. start with that as your first step before jumping into goal setting.

Next steps is to add some rigour to make measurable career goals.

For a window of 12 mths choose 2-5 goals. Remember these goals will have tasks attached so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with a massive ‘to do’ list which is completely unachievable if you have a busy life and are juggling full time work, and family life. Keeping your goals tight and attainable to a career goal that is a stretch but not impossible you won’t set yourself up for failure. that we have Here’s an example of someone’s short-term career goal below, Finding a mentor.

Be specific about what are you looking for in that mentor? What industry do you want them to be in? What advice do you want to gain from them in what time frame? Make your goal S.M.A.R.T

Step 2. Career Goal Execution Strategy

This is the how? How are you going to reach the goal? You can break this down into tasks and set deadlines against each task to keep yourself accountable. To find a mentor you may have two pathways to gain one. Through a professional industry mentor program or by yourself. Each strategy would require different tasks. Explore all possible strategies and find the one that suits you and what you are looking for.

Task strategy 1

– Research industry association mentoring programs and timelines

– Identify top 2 mentoring programs and details

– Assess time timelines, commitment and cost,

– Choosing a mentoring program signup if appropriate?

Task Strategy 2

– Download a copy of my LinkedIn 1st degree connections,

– Highlight potential mentors.

– Reach out to top 5 for a coffee catch-up, Ask if they are available for a similar catch up once a quarter?

Mentor tip: Sometimes busy people can feel overwhelmed by asking them straight up to be a mentor. In the interview I did with burnt out Corporate Exec turned Social Enterprise founder Katie Grehan she mentions to ask for one coffee and then the next one. You need to really click with your mentor and sometimes you need to shop around first. 

Step 3 Career Goal Roadblocks/barriers?

What can slow you down or stop you reaching that goal?

This is the step where you have to be pretty honest with yourself, and understand what could
stop me achieving this particular goal. Using our example, getting a mentor, what would be the things in the way of you getting that mentor?

Are you a procrastinator? Are you fearful about finding and asking someone to be your mentor? You may be actually really scared of this next step of putting yourself  in front of someone who may challenge you, and want you to stretch and grow. you know you need that, but actually it’s a very scary thing. Being honest with yourself acknowledges the discomfort and helps you work on practical steps to move forward. E.g. find an aligned industry program. The first step in understanding these barriers of being able to move through them is being aware of them.

Step 4. Resources

All the smartest people I know are experts at leveraging resources. When I am talking about resources it isn’t just money. What do YOU have at your disposal? This could be people. It could be time. It could be access to a professional development budget at work or a connection to an executive meetup in your field. You can use your resources to overcome some of your barriers, or speed up the process. This may be as simple as getting a friend or colleague to attend some of these professional association networking events and join the same mentoring program as you. If your barrier is fear, maybe you could have a buddy or a colleague to make that a little easier.

Additionally, you could look at sourcing some sort of career coach or psychologists through your employee assistance program to work through some of your barriers or blocks to growth so you learn strategies to overcome your fears.

Step 5, Career Goal Success Measurements

How will you know you have been successful in reaching this goal? With goals like getting a job it can be a bit tricky to measure your success on actually getting a job because you can’t control the labour market, interview panel etc. Think about measuring what you can control. Quality of your CV, time you spend producing quality applications. If you are not meeting your measurements of success ultimately getting a job then you need to revise your strategy.

When you’re talking about mentoring, a measure of success to know you reached this short-term goal is to aim to have secured a mentor, had four, one-on-one mentoring catch-ups with the industry professional and had time within those sessions to clarify my long-term career goals by xx date.

Reaching a short time or long time career goal is really rewarding. Using this 5 step career goal setting framework can help you build great goals and see them through so 2022 is the new year of you! Love that rhyme!

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