Career Goals Self-Assessment
When you look at your career to date, are you fully satisfied with where you are—meaning, have you already accomplished all of your dreams? For those not nearing retirement, are you ready to plateau and stay where you are? The answer for many professionals is a resounding “no.”
If you’re in that group, then the next question is, “What do you want to become?”
When you’ve become crystal clear about that goal, then what’s left is to create and follow a plan to get there—which is exactly what this post is designed to help you accomplish.
We’re all in a different place on that journey. So, first:
- If your resume and LinkedIn profile—and other professional documents and profiles—are not up-to-the-minute updated, start with post #1 in this series.
- If you haven’t yet established a system to record your accomplishments as they happen, start with post #1 in this series.
- If you’ve already updated your professional documents and profiles AND are regularly recording your accomplishments—and you’re ready to create and/or refine your elevator pitch—start with post #2 in this series.
- If you’re good to go with all of the career clarity items listed in the bullet points above, just keep reading!
Long-Term Career Goals
After you’re clear about what you’ve achieved in the past and what you’re currently accomplishing in your career, it’s time to think about the bigger picture, to consider your future. After all, the more clarity you have about where you want to go, the more likely it is that you’ll get there!
So, here are questions for you to consider (feel free to use the digital journal we talked about in Part 1 to record your answers):
- What are five goals you would like to accomplish in the next five years? How thoroughly can you describe them, both quantitatively and qualitatively?
- What are five goals you’d like to accomplish in the next ten years? Are they an extension of your five-year goals or are they additional ones?
- For each of your goals, what do you need to do today and in the future to lay the groundwork?
- What skills do you need to keep current and relevant to achieve your goals? How are you doing that?
- What new skills are you currently developing? How?
- What new skills do you still need to start developing? What’s the plan and timeline for those?
- What is unique about how you do your job? How does that uniquely position you for the future?
- How are you investing in yourself?
Interacting with Others
Also envision the ways you’re interacting and plan to interact with others in the future. Here are questions to consider about that:
- Who are your mentors? In what areas of life are each of them mentoring you? Are they good fits for you going forward?
- How are you forging a stronger network? What else can you do?
- Whom are you mentoring? Is this a productive relationship for both of you? Does this invigorate you? Drain you? If the relationship is draining but you believe it has value, how can you make healthy and productive changes?
- Outside of mentoring, how are you helping others?
- How are you improving the world?
Create Your Own Focus Group
As you make your plans for the future, it can help to reach out to trusted friends and colleagues to see how they perceive you. This can help you to uncover strengths and capabilities that you’d never considered when making your five- and ten-year career plans.
Questions can include:
- What do you see as my strengths?
- What sets me apart?
- When have you seen me go above and beyond what was required?
- What do you think I should know about myself that I may not be aware of?
- What can you imagine my doing in the future?
Create Your Not-to-Do List
Professional people often take on significant responsibilities, both at work and outside of it, including but not limited to volunteer positions. Which ones no longer serve you well? In other words, what do you need to take off your list?
Perhaps, as just one example, you’ve been mentoring someone for a period of time and it’s no longer satisfying. It may be, as mentioned above, that you need to change up what you’re doing together. Or it could be that your mentee is ready to move on to someone else who can guide him or her in different skill sets. Or, maybe that person is now ready to soar!
Or, you may belong to a group that is no longer benefiting you and perhaps it’s time to thank the organization and its members for all you’ve received while also sharing it’s time for you to put your focus elsewhere in the future. Or, maybe you’ve been an officer in that organization and, although you’ve like to stay in the group, you’re ready for someone else to take that leadership role.
Again, each situation is unique. But, nearly every busy professional has things that most likely should be put on their not-to-do list.
Motivating Yourself to Accomplish Big Goals
No two people are motivated in the exact same way, although it often involves setting targets and a reward for accomplishing them. Some people may decide to treat themselves to a get-away after achieving key goals, while others may make a desired purchase. To help, here are two ways that clients of ours have creatively motivated themselves.
One professional, whenever he’s embarking upon a new challenge, purchases an expensive bottle of champagne. He then describes the accomplishment he wants to achieve directly on the bottle’s label. Each day, he opens his refrigerator to look at the champagne to remind himself of what he needs to do.
Sometimes, a particular bottle of champagne will sit on the refrigerator shelf for weeks. Other times, it’s months. A few times, it’s even been years!
But, when the time finally arrives, when that goal is finally achieved, our client pops the cork and celebrates his sweet victory.
Another client specifically chose to work with us because of our company’s name: Vision Board Media. That’s because he uses a vision board. Well, sort of. Instead of a corkboard, he creates a PowerPoint where he includes images that move him and music that inspires him, turning his life into an evolving movie.
Then, each and every morning, he watches that movie, allowing it to wash over him and provide momentum for what needs to be accomplished that day.
What would work best for you?
How Can We Help in the New Year and Beyond?
As the new year—new decade, actually!—is just beginning to unfold, it’s a good time to refresh, renew and revamp. It’s the ideal time to think about what you’ve done and what you want to do, both at work and in life, overall.
You can find information about the types of career services we provide, including the following:
- Career branding: Resume & Cover Letter, LinkedIn profile, bios, coaching, etc
- Executive branding
- LinkedIn branding
- Corporate LinkedIn services
- Marketing services
- Ghost blogging
- Account management services
If one or more of these services could help you to achieve your goals, reach out. A call is so simple, so let’s talk to figure out what you need and how we can help. Schedule a call, or call us at 215-839-0008 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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