While we all work day to day, it’s important to have a longer-term personal career vision and goals. There are some good reasons for this:
- Working towards something is a natural tendency for people
- The daily grind can be less of a hassle when your focus is on a goal
- You are more likely to be successful in your career
Why have a vision?
All of us can get distracted by situations – the bills, tuition, availability of jobs, bad bosses, or health issues. Having a vision and goals can help us stay focused on what’s important to us, even when difficult situations arise.
So how do you set your own vision and goals?
The answer to this lies in some smaller questions that you can ask yourself:
- What do I want to be? In 10 years? In 15 years?
- Am I doing what I am doing because I “should” be doing this?
- What things do I truly value about my work and myself?
- What have I dreamed of doing in the past? Am I doing it now?
- Do I have goals, and if so, how do I measure my progress towards those goals?
- What would I change about my work if I could?
Writing down your answers to these questions can help to clarify the process. It may take time to answer the questions fully and to clearly identify your vision and goals, but as you move forward, you will see your work as fitting into a larger plan: your career vision.
Intermediate goals: How am I doing?
Goals are the steps along the way. For example, you might have a goal of being named VP of Sales in 3 years, or getting your CPA designation. It’s important to have intermediate goals, so that you can build your career in steps and measure your progress along the way.
Can my vision change?
Yes, it can. Life events frequently cause us to make changes to, or redefine, our vision. But the same process applies: what do I want to be, what is my current reality, and how do I close the gap between what I want to be and what I have right now?
Your personal vision and the workplace
You might want to get a clear sense of what your organization’s vision is. Are you aligned with it? It’s much easier to succeed in a job when you are going down the same path as your organization.
Saying of the Month
Aristotle first formulated this paradox:
It seems there once was a donkey standing between two identical bales of hay. He looked at each one, and could not choose one over the other. So he eventually starved to death.
Sometimes with career choices it can seem like we are in a similar situation. If you are in this dilemma, let’s discuss it.