The importance of goal setting in professional life
Ask yourself whether getting the window seat in the office cab and earning enough to party at a new pub every weekend are the only goals that drive you day and night. Or, is there something else, something far superior and phenomenal that you're crazy about?
(I assume) Every working professional has a vision about their career – like becoming Vice President of the team they’re part of, or managing editor of the magazine that they have joined as a writer. Since this is a long process and requires many years of commitment, one has to keep working in the same direction without any distraction. Career goals help do that!
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If you're an employee and want to see yourself at the top of the ladder in the near future, you need to set appropriate goals from time to time and try to achieve them.
Here is how goal setting helps you enhance your career:
It gives clarity on your ultimate vision
Everything happens twice – first in your mind and then in reality. Apple didn't become a brand in one day. Steve Jobs existed long before he designed the first Apple computer in the late 1970s. Once he thought of doing something different and unique, he decided to hire a bunch of people having different skills, incorporated his company, contacted investors and did a lot of things that pushed him towards becoming the best. As a result, today Apple earns more revenue than 99 percent of the companies in the world.
That's what goals do to you. They give you clarity about your ultimate vision and make the entire procedure easy and hassle-free.
It pushes you forward
In one way or another, goals represent your inner desires and motivate you to grow professionally. They keep you aligned with your dreams and help you forge ahead. Every time you read your goals, you're reminded of what's waiting for you ahead and how you're going to get it.
It helps you narrow down your approach
Your ultimate vision requires long-term commitment and a broad approach, which may seem difficult at first. But when you break it down into smaller goals, things become a lot easier than before. By focusing on the goal, you not only save your time but also get more done in fewer efforts.
It brings in accountability
When you set goals for yourself, you become accountable for your actions. Rather than bluffing about your ultimate goal all the time, you're now expected to take appropriate actions. The best part about this practice is, you are not accountable to anyone but yourself, which improves your efficiency.
It helps you correct wrong moves
Having just one ultimate objective without any smaller goals leaves you with very few options. Since the result is visible after a long duration, it becomes tough to determine what's right for you and what's not. On the other hand, when you set goals, you can analyze which of them is working and which aren’t. Lest you're not getting desired results, you can either change the goal or the strategy used in fulfilling it.
How to set goals
Most working professionals want to be successful in their respective organizations but don't know how to go about it. They procrastinate when it comes to goal setting, and as a result, fail to get desired success. If you don't want to go through the same long haul, learn to set goals. The process is pretty simple – decide what you want from your job. Write down your vision on a paper to define it clearly. The next step is to set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals required to achieve that vision. And the final step is to break down those goals into small steps that need to be followed on a daily basis.
In simple words, decide the ultimate vision and do the reverse engineering to achieve it.
Goal setting is one of the best ways to advance onto a progressive career path. If you've already started your employment journey, set a career vision, break it down into small goals and do everything that it takes to achieve them.