The best way to actualize your career goals is to start a career wish list.
You owe it to yourself to own what you actually want (…not what you think the world wants of you). You’ll be amazed if you just sit down and get centered with yourself, and make some notes on what you might like to pursue for the next year, or handful of years, for your life. You have to give it just the time it takes to write it up (an hour?) and you’ll be off to a strong start …because the minute you start writing them down, you are starting to deliver a much more targeted message.
Now, let’s “crunch” to help you actualize your career goals… Print up your list, get a coloured marker and make some notes. For each item you’ve written down, do three things:
- Determine on a scale of 1-10, how much/how badly you want each particular item. You can have as many 10s, 9s, 8s, 7s, etc., as you want. It’s up to you to assign a “weight” (read: priority) to each item.
- Once you’ve done this, go through your list again, and assign/give each goal a short-term, mid-term, or long-term status.
- Then, review your list one last time, and think about what your timelines might be for the short, mid, and long-term. BTW, only you can determine what short, mid and long-term mean. It’s your wish-list ..not your mother’s, not your partner or your brother’s list … Do yourself and your list proud. You’ll end up with a “chart” that will look something like this:
Short Term (6 months)
Update resume (10)
Get job in X doing Y (9)
Start new job search (6)
Get job in X doing Y (9)
Increase contacts (7)
Write a blog (10)
Take X course (9)
Complete all marketing materials for career (10)
Financial stability (10)
Start a business in X (7)
Volunteer in X (6)
Pro Tip 1: My goals list is pinned to my wall at eye level, just over my computer. At the beginning of each and every week, I take items from my short, mid and long-term goals and I schedule them into my calendar.
Mondays through Wednesdays are great job search/business development days, because everyone’s on the job, paying attention, actively doing business. By Thursday, people are in the thick of it, and starting to burn out. Typically on Fridays, people are “checked out”. So I always do the heavy lifting on my career/business Monday through Wednesdays. And because I know that on Thursdays people are starting to loose steam, I don’t try to do business/lead development on those days. I reserve Thursdays for creative development, like blogging, or working on product or my marketing pieces. Fridays are more of a “social” day in nature, so I reserve Fridays for networking, when people are happy to take a call or a coffee or lunch meeting…or, I take care of administrative tasks.
Pro Tip 2: Every year, religiously, on my birthday, I take the day to write up and “crunch” my new goals. And by scheduling my goals into my calendar every single week, I usually get them all done in a year!
Carve some time every week for getting some your goals into the schedule, and you’ll start to get some real traction on what’s important to you. And that’s how to actualize your career goals!
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