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Goal Kicker – Career Goals
March 17, 2011

How to Set and Achieve Career Goals

Your career probably occupies the largest part of your day and in most cases is the main source of your income – so having goals for your career is important for financial security and your own personal happiness and satisfaction.

And you can be happy at work – job satisfaction and success is an excellent driver of personal happiness and satisfaction. Conversely, having an unsatisfying job is likely to cause great stress and unhappiness.

So choosing the right career in the first place and then managing your career to get the most out of it, is the key to setting successful career goals.

What can you do to get the most out of your career?

First of all, work out what you REALLY want from your career – what do you like doing and what are you good at doing. The following tools can help:

  • SWOT Analysis - A personal SWOT analysis is a look at you and your life. It will help you identify where you need to improve, and more importantly allows you to identify your internal strengths that you can capitalize on to seize your opportunities and thwart any external threats.
  • DOPE Test - behavior profiling technique which helps us define the way we interact with other people, the way we go about life, our personal drivers and how we succeed – useful things to know when you’re planning your career.
  • Multiple Intelligence test - not an IQ test, but looks at your natural aptitude or 'multiple intelligences' and describes what you are really interested in.
  • Mind Mapping - Mind mapping is a concept developed by psychologist Tony Buzan and has developed into a popular tool for helping us think ‘laterally’ – it’s essentially a type of brainstorming and is excellent for de-jumbling complex thoughts related to career!

Then set yourself some career goals so you can achieve what you want to achieve – and of course, know what to do when your career goes bad, or when you have a sudden change in direction.

Using the “Career Evaluation Tool

The ToolBOX on the website contains FREE forms, templates and worksheets for all your goal setting needs. In the section on “”Career Tools” you’ll find a Career Evaluation Checklist. The purpose of this tool is to evaluate your current career and give you guidance as to whether you are progressing your career as planned – or are you in a rut?

Like other life aspects, achieving success in your career relies on you stepping out of your comfort zone and stretching your boundaries. So career development relies on setting yourself stretch goals and preparing a plan to achieve those goals.

Now, back to the Career Evaluation Tool.

By providing prompts to trigger your self-evaluation of your career, this Tool will guide you through the critical aspects of your career and how it’s progressing, including:

  • How this job fits into your passion or your dream career
  • How this job plays a part of your career advancement – or doesn’t it?
  • Are you in a career or job rut? Are you being challenged?
  • How your skills are developing
  • How your job is making the most of your strengths and strengthening your weaknesses
…and most importantly, how much are you enjoying your job/ career.

The one thing this tool eludes to, but doesn’t have a prompt for, is where do you go from here – and this really is the whole point of doing this evaluation. From the tool, you’ll have a great snap-shot of your current career status, so it’s now a matter of working out a course of action.

  • Do you need to move on from this job/ role or career to stretch your comfort zone?
  • Do you need to get more out of your current job/ career?
  • Do you need to expose your self to more opportunities within your current job/ career, or an you only get this from moving on?
  • Do you need to make better use of your strengths, either in this job or a new one?
  • Do you need to work on any weaknesses that may be holding you back or putting you at risk?

So the message here is don’t just do the evaluation and file it with the last one you did. Once you’ve completed the Career Evaluation Tool make it work for you and your career advancement by preparing an action plan for where YOU go from here.

So give this tool a go and see where your career is – what are the 3 most important actions to come out of your evaluation?

It’s important to note that a career doesn’t have to result in a source of income – but it is the job you do that occupies most of your waking hours.

You could be a stay-at-home mum or dad, or a full-time volunteer worker – both valuable and rewarding careers, that don’t produce an income. But they can result in great personal satisfaction and happiness, and represent a significant contribution on your behalf to your family or your community.

Whether you career is a paid one or not, to get the most out of what you do, you need to set goals for your career.

“You need to plan to become what you plan to become”

This quote sums up two important aspects of goal setting.

Firstly, it implies that you need to intend on becoming something – you need to have a vision, a dream, a desire – the something that YOU want to be. And this can be several things – a family man/ woman, successful career executive, elite sportsman – whatever is YOUR desire.

It can also be what you plan to become tomorrow, next week, next year or by the end of your lifetime [what will be on your tombstone] – so represents the goals you want to achieve in life and along the way.

But whatever you plan to become, it needs to be what YOU want to become, although it will involve other people along the way.

The second aspect of goal setting that this quote reinforces is the need to PLAN. It’s great having a vision of what you want to become or achieve, but unless you have an achievable PLAN – you just aren’t going to get there.

And for a plan to be effective, it needs to include:

  • Specific action items – WHAT you need to do and HOW are you going to do it.
  • A deadline – WHEN are you going to complete each action item – and make sure it’s realistic. If you don’t set a deadline, it will just get put off for another day.
  • A measurement system – you need to be able to measure your goals so that you know when you’ve achieved them. A goal without a defined finish point will never be achieved.
  • Resources required – what do you need to achieve your goals? Time, money, information, support, etc. Work out what you need and where you can get it from.
So if ‘goals’ are your destination, then the ‘plan’ is your roadmap to get there – and this is what you need to become what you plan to become.

Here are some more tools that you may find helpful in setting and achieving career goals:
  • GoalPro - goal setting software that steps you through the process of setting goals and allows you to track your progress.
  • If you want to learn how to use Mind Mapping techniques effectively, then register for this FREE Training Course from NovaMind. It goes through the 18 main uses of Mind Mapping and gives you in depth information about how to benefit from using Mind Mapping for each of those purposes. NovaMind also sells great mind mapping software, but you don’t need this to do the training course.
  • The Personal Strategic plan from the GoalsGuy is a step-by–step program that leads you through the goal setting process, and delivers a strategic plan of attack for your to achieve YOUR goals. It is based on the premise that life will not go according to plan, if you do not have a plan to begin with. The Personal Strategic Plan also helps you identify what’s really important to YOU – and that’s what’s REALLY important.
For more information on looking after your career, refer to the “”Career Goals” tab on the NavBar. And keep reading for the article, “Take this Job and Love it!”.

Best regards

Sam Sander
Achieve Goal Setting Success
Your Money and Finance
The Success Squid

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”Take this job and love it!”

What’s this article about?

We’ve all hear the saying “Take this job and shove it!”, well we challenge you to embrace the 7 P’s of a successful career as outlined in this article so you can say “Take this job and LOVE it!”.

Here’s the Article…

We’ve all heard of the 7 P’s of planning – Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents P$#% Poor Performance. Well, these are the 7 P’s of career development:

1. Purpose – what is your purpose in life? Know yourself, be yourself and value yourself. And most importantly, invest in yourself and lever off your personal strengths to launch into your career.

A career built off your strengths will develop more rapidly than a career that demands you use your weaknesses. You can still improve on your weaknesses, but use your strengths as a catalyst for success!

2. Passion – what is your passion? Find it and live it. And passion isn’t power, possessions or prestige, it’s about ‘being’ and ‘doing’. And if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life – but you’ll still be rewarded with a successful career and an enviable life.

You want to be able to say, “Take this job and love it!”

3. Perspective – it’s all about attitude. As Zig Ziglar puts it, “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.

The brain is an amazing thing and you can ‘trick’ it into making you succeed just by the power of positive thinking. Many successful people swear by the use of positive affirmations or self-hypnosis as a way of training your brain for success.

You have probably heard of the placebo effect – an example of this is when a doctor gives a patient sugar pills, but tells them it’s a cure for their ailment. And what do you know, the patient gets better! And no, sugar isn’t the cure-all solution for all ailments – this is an example of how your brain can take control of your body just by the power of positive thinking. If your brain expects something to happen, it happens.

So if you want to be successful, expect success - and it will come.

4. Planning – of course, nothing comes if you don’t prepare a plan. Afterall, the end result of any goal setting process is a step-by-step plan of how you are going to achieve your goal. It’s the same for career development goals.

And include goals that will stretch you and get you out of that comfort zone, as well as the nice easy to achieve goals that keep you heading in the right direction and give you those little wins along the way.

But it is the ‘stretch’ goals that will make the difference between a good career and an outstanding career. Take risks and don’t be afraid to try something new.

5. Performance - you need to perform. You need to be the best you can be, by keeping yourself skilled-up with appropriate training and delivering on your commitments.

Thrive on performance reviews and project specific feedback and use this information to leap-frog your career, by levering off your strengths and identifying relevant weaknesses that need work.

6. Perseverance and Persistence – many of the world’s inspirational success stories are examples of perseverance in the face of adversity. Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds in modern times, was told by is schoolteacher that he’d never amount to anything. Read the tab on Successful People for other tales of triumph through persistence.

Don’t give up, just because the road ahead of you isn’t well lit or is taking you into unfamiliar territory. Take the detours around those roadblocks if they still keep you heading in the right direction, but also know when you’ve taken a wrong turn and don’t be afraid to ask for directions.

7. Priorities - careers can be made or lost depending on how you prioritise your work tasks as well as your career development tasks. Avoid tasks that are just not important to do, and prioritise tasks that are important first.

So embrace these principles and tell your boss – “Take this job and LOVE it!”

For more information on what makes a successful career, click on the ”Career Goals” tab on the NavBar.

We’re also getting some career related stories from our readers. I recommend ”Straight talk for success” - it gives a concise overview of the critical factors for having a successful career.

“EQ Training Programs”

Emotional Intelligence or EQ is now recognized as one of the most important skills you can learn, if you want to succeed in life, in your career and be happy.

And if you’re a manager or team leader in any function and you’re serious about implementing emotional intelligence in your team, then check out these training videos. They are a bit more costly than other DVD’s available, but they are worth it because they aren’t BORING!

And as adults, we all learn best when we are motivated, interested and have a reason for learning. These training videos set the perfect training environment and make EQ interesting and fun. Your team will be practicing EQ in no time!

There are two training programs available:

BRAINS! Harnessing the Power of Emotional Intelligence


How Does Hollywood Teach Emotional Intelligence? BRAINS! excites, entertains, and engages your group as they learn. Just as emotional intelligence is an important part of everyday life, it's present in the movies, television, and historical figures we've all come to know. Viewers discover practical strategies for building EQ that come to life right before their eyes.

    BRAINS! Helps people with…
  • Self-awareness
  • Decision making and planning
  • Efficiency and time management
  • Customer service and positive attitude
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
…everything you need to create team harmony, effectiveness and efficiency!

The complete kit includes reusable training resources for 10 participants, including:

  • BRAINS! Video on VHS and DVD
  • Leader Guide and Handouts
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • 10 Reminder bookmarks
  • 10 Brain stress balls
  • 10 Flashing lapel pins
  • Signed copy of the Emotional Intelligence Quickbook
There’s also the DVD Investigating EQ.

Follow reporter Gabe Garrett as he investigates Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in the workplace. Daily Show meets The Office approach; corny humor teaches the principles of EQ. You will giggle and actually might learn something about yourself or your crazy co-workers.

This DVD borrows from a 'Jon Stewart'-like news format and entertains as well as educates. It's very easy to watch and leaves you with some great information to help understand the basis of EQ and how it can be put to work in any organization. I've seen other training videos - all BORING - but this one sets a new standard.

So if you’re REALLY serious about EQ, then check out these great training programs. You’ll find more EQ resources including DVD’s in the Library.

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