If You Aim for Nothing You Will Hit it Every Time!
Take control of your life and create your own preferred future!
How many times have you thought – OK this is the year for me. I will apply for a new role that provides greater challenges….. more leadership responsibility …… better pay ……. a bigger company….etc I could go on and on!
Does anything come from your plans?
Usually not. You get caught up in life. Life of going to work every day, long hours of meetings that seem to go nowhere other than drain you of enthusiasm. And then there is family life, social commitments, sport and leisure, and so on.
We all know what it’s like.
Where did the purpose in your career go?
It is very rare for people to be actively working towards the future that they want to create.
Life is complex, yet despite the diversity of our commitments, we all face similar challenges in our daily lives. We all face lack of time, perceived lack of opportunities, demanding work schedules that prevent us from seeing big picture.
The big picture in this instance is our preferred professional future.
Consider these 4 questions to clarify your purpose and set you on the road to success today, tomorrow and in the future.
To take control and create your own future and consider these 4 questions:
What does success look like to you?
If you can create an image in your mind of what your success looks like it will help to clarify your direction.
If you can’t create the image, try to think of what you don’t want it to be, as a starting point. By discarding what you don’t want it may help you to work out what you do want.
For example, for some success may be in the form a job closer to home in a company that provides long term growth opportunities in skills and capabilities. For others, success may be climbing the professional ladder into bigger companies with growing leadership responsibilities. We are all different.
By visualizing your preferred future it takes you a step closer to being able to describe what it looks like and how you will know that you’ve reached it. Write your referred future down.
Write it in for form of a SMART Goal, ie Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Timed.
Now, before you think that’s all you need to do, I want you to think clearly about your present work life.
2. What is the current situation? What’s the present reality in your professional life?
Try not to be over critical, or too generous, about your current position. Where is your career at the moment and what needs to be done to move forward towards your preferred future.
Talk to a valued colleague about your goals and your need to recognise the good and the not so good, to understand the present reality. Facing up to the present is never easy but through honest discussion with a trusted professional colleague you will clarify where your career is currently and possible paths to your preferred future.
3.What actions or strategies do you need to put into place to achieve your goal?
Think big picture with achievable steps.
For example, if you would like increased leadership responsibilities, what actions do you need to take to achieve this goal? You may need to complete formal qualifications or be involved in professional development sessions. You may need to get some middle management experience first.
Or it may be as simple as talking to your manager about possible positions in the future.
List your actions or strategies in point form. Be as realistic as possible. If you share your thoughts with others it helps to gain clarity.
4.What obstacles or challenges do you perceive that will need to be overcome for each action to succeed?
A goal properly set is halfway there. But what will prevent the goals from being achieved?
Consider any possible obstacle that may prevent you from achieving each step towards your goal.
For example, if you have identified increased leadership as a goal, what obstacles do you see that may prevent you from applying for such a role? One may be that your CV has been rejected before a few times. So what do you need to do to overcome this? It may be that you need honest feedback about your CV and support to present your skills in a better way. Your CV is what gets you in the door!
Identify a solution to each of your obstacles. Once again, by writing down your thoughts you will gain clarity.
Finally I want you to visualize your success.
What does it look like? How does it make you feel?
By answering each of the 4 questions you will now be able to visualize your success more clearly than when you were asked to do so at the beginning of this article.
You know what needs to be done to achieve your success. You don’t need to do it on your own as there are others who will help you along the way.
Just keep moving towards your goal achievement working through each step. But keep moving.