Having a career goal such as finding a new role or achieving a promotion is certainly a great way to make it happen. But did you know 25% of all goals are broken within the first two weeks? It can take up to six attempts at goal setting to make it happen. No wonder people give up so quickly! Let’s explore why this happens, and how to set career goals that achieve job success.
Why set career goals?
Whether they are short-term or long-term, these types of targets can help you to stay motivated and focused on what’s important to you. Career goals can also increase your self-confidence. They can help you plan your career direction and enable you to track and celebrate your progress and achievements.
Don’t rely on your manager or company to give you chances to advance. It’s up to you. If you don’t make it happen for you, no one else will.
If you’re currently between jobs, now is also a great time to set career goals in addition to your primary job search objective of finding new work.
Reasons why you may fail
- You chose career goals to impress others, rather than those aligned with your beliefs and values.
- You’re try to achieve too much, too soon.
- Low self-esteem or a fear of failure sabotages your chances.
- You fail to plan and/or review adequately.
Setting achievable goals
Do you come up with the same goals every New Year’s Eve: lose weight, get fit, do more for the community, get a promotion etc? Typically, a few weeks after New Year celebrations have passed and been forgotten, so too are our resolutions. Secretly, we think “It doesn’t matter, next New Year’s Eve I’ll just try again”!
Key to achieving both personal and career goals is to choose things that are important to you, with a realistic timeframe and clear action plan. These elements make it much easier to stay motivated. If you’d like some support with this, career coaching can help.
What can you aim for?
To kick the process off, here are some suggestions about what to think about:
- Where do I want to be in five years’ time?
- What do I want to achieve before I retire?
- What really makes me happy?
- How can I make a difference?
- What are my strengths? How can I use them more?
Whether they’re career, education, financial or personal goals, related to each other, or just one aim that affects multiple areas of your life, write them down. Then work out WHY these goals are important to you and their potential benefits. This helps create an emotional connection and increases the chances of success.
Planning for success
The next step is to create a plan. A disciplined approach will increase your chances of success. Decide what steps you will need to take to achieve your goals. Include the specific activities involved, the tools or resources you will need and the date you would like to reach each one.
Free career goal-setting template
We’ve developed a free worksheet template with a detailed plan to help you on your way – get your copy.
For further advice on goal setting, find out about how career coaching can help you achieve your employment ambitions.