In our last blog, we highlighted the importance of goal setting in several life categories for young adults: Health-Fitness, Family, Financial, Personal-Hobbies, and Career. We wanted to explore the importance of setting career goals. Creating and writing down specific, formal goals early in your career can help you jump start your career, ensure you continue to grow, and give you guidance through the ups and downs that comes with any career. Here are some initial career goal categories we recommend:
Continual education and training is a must – If you want to progress in your career, learning new skills and continually increasing your professional knowledge is vital. Take advantage of company programs, industry designations, postgraduate courses, and active reading. If you aren’t currently reading a book about how to improve yourself in your career, you are missing out.
Increase your performance metrics – Make sure you know how your performance is measured at work and that you are working every day to improve. Focusing on these specific metrics will help you do a better job and build your reputation making it easier to achieve longer-term goals such as getting promoted.
Be a Good Teammate – The ability to work effectively with others will not only improve your co-worker relationships but also help you perform better in your job. We highly recommend reading “The Ideal Team Player” by Patrick Lencioni. This book does a great job of explaining what makes a great teammate and how to set goals to improve.
Build a network – When starting out in your career, we recommend meeting with someone new every week. It could be your parent’s CPA, your college roommate’s boss, someone worthwhile who wanted to connect on LinkedIn, etc. Talking with a stranger about yourself will help build confidence, professionalism, and presentation skills. Secondly, building an online network in today’s world is a must. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is fully maximized.
By setting career goals, you will be able to measure your progress and stay motivated to achieve the career you want. As with your life goals, this is an ongoing process. Hold yourself accountable, but don’t be afraid to change them and challenge yourself as you gain experience and knowledge in your career.