To succeed at our best, we must invest time into developing a strategic, career plan. By this, I mean investing time in creating clear goals. I could talk about all day about goal setting, but for here, there are two points of clarification I want to share.
Yes, we all know goal setting is fundamental to our success, but SMART goals, completed in accordance with your company’s policy is not enough. If you want to create a career outside of the norm, then you must invest time in doing things a bit different.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
– Albert Einstein
Clarity is power
I know it is easy to get caught up in the internal processes of any company. Every year there is another hook to keep going – whether it be the anticipation of promotion, a higher salary, or more prestigious title. Going through the motions doesn’t mean you won’t be successful. It just begs the question, will you be successful on your terms?
Often, we can find ourselves pursuing an idea of success that is not even our own. We have adopted it from our peers, society, our family or media. Taking time to uncover what success means to you, what really brings you joy, is key to ensure you set yourself up for a fulfilling, rewarding career. One which will be worth all the long hours and dedication you give to it.
Remember, clarity is power. If you are not crystal clear on what it is you want to achieve, then chances are you won’t achieve it. Vague goals just lead to vague results. Take a moment now to think, am I 100% clear on what I want to achieve in the next 12 months? Are my goals in line with my core values and what I truly want to achieve? Or am I just following a process to get me to the next level?
This is where I part ways with the SMART process of goal setting that many companies use. It requires you to set achievable goals, but how uninspiring is that? If I know I can achieve something before I even begin, then is it really a goal worthy of my greatest effort? Set yourself an ambitious goal that will force you to grow. I know some people are hesitant to put down real stretch goals on their internal forms and if that is the case for you, then don’t. Complete your own ambitious goal setting process. If everything you desired became a reality, where would you desire most to be within 12 months.
Remember, effective goal setting will be the determining factor in your level of success. Ensure your goals are clear, ambitious and truly are your own.