“The wonderful thing is that vision is greater than baggage.” - Stephen Covey
“Setting goals allows you to paint a vision of what you wish your future to be.” - Catherine Pusifer
Much has been said about the idea of having a vision. Companies often have vision or mission statements that summarize the overall goal of the organization.
What about individuals? Is it important to have a vision for your professional life? Creating a vision for your career may seem too theoretical - after all, shouldn’t you just do your job and not have a larger ‘mission’? Your mission, however, can encompass more than just your employment. When it comes to your job, if you want to reach any type of success, you need a concrete plan. Business experts agree: goal setting is a powerful planning tool that can help you advance your career from one level to the next.
Why set Professional Goals?
Goals help define your vision. Have you asked yourself where you want to be professionally in ten years? That’s your vision. You won’t progress towards the future you envision if you haven’t established a plan of action, and goal setting can help you get there.
Goals Provide Structure
Once you’ve established goals, you can quickly determine if an action is moving you towards or away from your desired result. It is easy to get pulled into the urgency of “today”. When you are driven to reach your goal, however, you are more likely to stay focused on the future.
Goals are Measurable
If you don’t know where you’re headed, you’ll never know if you arrive. By establishing measurable goals, you have a clear indication of your progress. Using the SMART goal setting system
will allow you to set benchmark goals that
Which Goals Should You Set?
If you’ve never established professional goals
before, you may be overwhelmed at the thought. Which goals should you set? Which ones would be most beneficial for your career? While the specific nature of your job is unique, here are some examples of goals that can help you get started.
Achieve a professional certification. Are there certifications that pertain to your career? Set a goal to acquire a new certification this year. If your field doesn’t have any, look for certification in technology applications or leadership.
Improve your public speaking skills. Join Toastmasters, take a public speaking or presentation course. Not only can it improve your skills in dealing with your teammates, it can help you develop your skills for future leadership opportunities.
Earn a promotion. Set your sights on moving up in your company. Whether the next step is going from being a solo manager to having direct reports or becoming a team lead over a project, set a goal of moving up in position and level of responsibility.
Make more money. Set a goal for increasing your paycheck. Will it require you to work more hours? Take on more responsibilities? Using the SMART goal system, you can establish a plan that will help you make more in each paycheque.
Build your professional network. Look for ways to add contacts to your professional network. Attend conferences, join business associations and cultivate contacts within your industry. Use networking tools, such as LinkedIn, to connect with people. Adding even one new contact per week (and keeping in touch with them to build that relationship) can have a positive impact on your career.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Setting professional goals doesn’t have to be intimidating. Let the experts at My Big Idea™
help your team develop short and long term goals that will further your professional career. Contact us today to find out how we can help you create strategic goals for success!
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency
and My Big Idea®
. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.