Several years ago I was facilitating a career development class where I was discussing goal setting. I said to the class, “Setting goals is like making New Year’s resolutions. You decide that this year you will lose weight. You start off going to the gym and eating better, but around February or March, what happens?” One of the participants answered enthusiastically, “Next year!”
Isn’t that how it usually goes? We start off with good intentions, but in a short period of time our good intentions fade, and we decide that it is easier to put things off until later. In other words, “Next year!”
So what are your career goals for 2012? Do you want to land a new position? Are you looking for a raise? Do you want to be groomed for a higher level position? Do you want to use this year to acquire additional credentials to make a move next year?
Whatever your goal is, it will take more than wishful thinking to achieve it. If you do not have a well thought through plan and the will to execute it, your new year’s resolution will no doubt be a dusty memory by mid-year.
Here are some practical tips for making sure that you reach your goals this year:
1) Accountability. If you go it alone with trying to achieve your career goal, which might be starting a job search, it is easy to let yourself off the hook, especially when engaging in other activities seems more appealing. After all, a job search is hard work, and you will usually experience rejection before you land that next position. I have heard many stories of people who get involved in home projects such as redoing the basement and don’t spend much time on their job searches. By hiring a career coach you build accountability into the process. That person will keep your feet to the fire. Knowing that you have a once a week appointment with your coach will keep you on task even when you don’t feel like job searching anymore.
Whether you decide to pay for professional help or not, it will increase the likelihood of your reaching your goals if you have someone to hold you accountable.
2) Guidance. Having someone who has trodden the path before you can help you reach your goals. There may be aspects of the job search process that you have not yet mastered, perhaps because the job search landscape has changed since you last looked for a new position. A savvy career coach can help you get up to speed with relatively new job search tools such as social media and online networking. The world of social media can be bewildering to the newcomer.
3) A strategic plan. Whether your career goal is getting a raise or landing a new job, a strategic plan that is well executed will get you there. It may sound trite, but it’s true. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Don’t just write down your goals or resolutions, write down a plan for achieving them.
A career coach can help you craft a strategic plan that maps out what you need to do on a daily or weekly basis so that your efforts are targeted and effective. Instead of floundering with trying to accomplish your goals, treat your career goals as if you were managing a project for which you are expected to deliver results.
To schedule a complimentary 20-minute appointment to discuss how a career coach can help you reach your goals, call 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org