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Goal Setting Strengthens Learning ROI & Career Success
Goals are one of the drivers of your personal brand (along with passions, differentiators, focus). They help you make career decisions that will allow you to achieve your aspirations, improve learning ROI and fulfill your purpose. Without goals, your brand just moves along with inertia and via external forces, sometimes in a helpful direction for you.
Defining your goals and reminding yourself of them regularly is essential for aligning your actions with your aspirations. Having goals makes life easier, and it acts as a test for the decisions you need to make. It lets you know what to say no to, and more importantly, what to say absolutely yes to. For opportunities that come your way, all you need to do is to answer this question: Will this help me achieve my goals, or will it distract me from pursuing them?
Many professionals find goal setting challenging. With so many possibilities, it feels hard to make choices. It also seems daunting to put goals on paper. It's a lot of pressure to achieve those goals once you document them or make them known to others.
Choosing goals also seems limiting to some professionals. It could prevent them from pursuing other things that may be even more exciting or aligned with who they are. They don't want to set goals because they feel that once they do, everything else if off limits.
If you fall into one of these categories, here's what you need to do:
Don't let goal-setting exert too much pressure on you. Identify a broad variety of career goals. Then combine, prioritize, refine and commit. Know that you can change your goal at any time. You may have thought, "I want to be a leader at my company," but then you got exposed to data analysis and are really enthusiastic about the potential of a career as a data scientist. You can revise your goal to become a thought leader in data. The trick is to be steadfastly directed toward your goal while still being open to exploring new things.
Career coach Doug Levin, founder of JobStars has advice for those who are challenged by creating and pursuing goals. He suggests you answer this one question: "What do you want to do next?"
Bentley concluded, "Check my LinkedIn page periodically so you can read other articles. And stay tuned for an article about the other half of the success-discovery process—input."
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