We all get lost in the to-do list, in the side hustles and the daily demands at work. We also all have that ability to envision the professional level that we want to reach. The best way to take yourself out of the matrix and build yourself the infrastructure to continually grow and achieve your career visions is to learn to set and achieve goals. Setting goals with your team or manager is a fantastic way not only to reach new professional heights, but also to lay out expectations for achievement and determine how you can best use your skills within your organization’s vision. These six steps can be your framework to setting and attaining professional goals:
1. List your career aspirations
everything from the petty and simple to the absurd and nearly impossible. Open yourself up to what is possible and your ability to be creative will astound you. What do you want to grow at this company? What legacy do you want to create? What do you want to fix? Having everything laid out in writing in front of you will allow you to pick and choose the goals you can expect to accomplish in specific time frames.
2. Break it all down
Choose the goals that you want to accomplish in this year, fiscal year, semester, month or whichever time-frame applies to your situation. Once you have your goals, break each into do-able daily tasks and bite-size action plans. Project yourself some reasonable deadlines and mark those on your calendar. Plant ‘big-picture’ sessions periodically through your timeline to remind yourself to step back and look at your process and progress.
3. Get your team on board
Now that you have created the vision and the strategy, share it with your team and/or manager. This is a key step to complete with your manager to make sure that you are on the same page with the expectations and scope of your position. Discuss who else needs to be involved, the feasibility of your time-frame and daily tasks and set up a framework of support and accountability. Goals rarely happen in solitude, so make sure you have your team with you!
4. Set yourself in motion
Incorporate your plan into your daily routine with careful scheduling. As it becomes a habit to dedicate time to your long-term career goals, it will get easier and easier to remain goal-oriented and forward-thinking. Notice what works for you and adjust what does not. It is just as crucial to be consistent in carrying out your goals as it is to set the right ones.
5. Check yourself
Mindfulness is one of the best strategies that you can use to effectively work towards a goal. Not only should you stay on top of your timeline, but you should also be aware of how you are showing up. If your schedule is exhausting you or you are constantly behind, think about where are you expending extra energy and attention. Is it on social media? Interpersonal conflicts? Worrying? Check out Mindful at Work to get tips on how to stay mindful in your professional goals.
6. Check your team
Since your goals are tied to your position, it is critical to stay grounded with your team and managers. How is the group’s participation? How has the company’s vision been impacted? Do goals need revision or re-evaluation? These frequent discussions will keep you motivated, accountable and show your managers that you are growing and excelling. Those are not bad ideas to plant in their heads as it comes time for promotions or if a new project rolls around!
Stepping outside of the daily struggle and envisioning what is possible for you is not always easy. Yet, if you can pinpoint your aspirations at work, no matter how small you start, you can step slowly and steadily towards them through a goal-setting strategy. Simply build your base and work from there.
If you have a professional goal that you are working towards, we would love to hear about it ↓