Whether you want to start your own business, get a college degree, or create multiple income streams — these steps to achieving your professional goals will help you get there.
Before the tips, a quip from Canadian Grammy-award winning singer Shania Twain:
“I find that the very things that I get criticized for, which is usually being different and just doing my own thing and just being original, are the very things that make me successful,” says Twain.
When you’re setting professional goals, make sure you tune in to your own style and plans — not what others want!
One of my favorite books about career goals is The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content — it can change your life.
And, here are Ivan Scheier’s seven steps to getting closer to your career goals…
7 Steps To Achieving Your Professional Goals
Remember that nothing happens overnight
Hunker down for the long haul because nothing happens overnight. Ivan Scheier writes, “Stay with your dream and live close to your beliefs,” in Making Dreams Come True without Money, Might or Miracles: A Guide for Dream-Chasers and Dream-Catchers. The path to achieving your career goals is littered with huge leaps forward, and then no movement for months or even years.
Keep a long-term vision in mind.
“Dreams don’t usually come about in the way that you first visualize them, so don’t expect them to,” says Scheier.
If a master’s degree in business is your goal but you don’t have the time, energy, or finances to go to university, then focus on business classes at your community college, or learn all you can from a mentor. Be open to different ways to achieve your goals — and remember that finding the light at the end of the tunnel is part of achieving your goals.
Build a support system
“Dreams rarely survive their origins without evolution to a broader ownership,” says Scheier. “Get your ideas out into the universe and see who they inspire.”
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Find a tribe who believes in and supports you. Another step that will bring you closer to achieving your professional goals is taking risks, asserting yourself, and learning to succeed despite criticism.
Be inflexible about your values
Scheier advises not compromising your values, even when “they come disguised in nice names like team building, negotiation, or consensus.” Embrace working with other people, but don’t bow under external pressure. If you struggle with your coworkers, read How to Deal With Office Politics.
Avoid tight planning
Scheier recommends not letting your plan become an end in itself. So, if your professional goal is a master’s in business administration and you finally achieve it only to wonder “what next?”…then your plan may have been an end in itself. Keep a fresh list of future, revised goals in front of you.
Factor money out of the equation
“Money is never the main ingredient of dream achievement, so free yourself from major money needs,” advises Scheier. “The ‘if only I had the money’ mind-set can result in neglect of other potentially more feasible approaches.”
This is an important step to achieving career goals, because we generally think that money is all it takes! But it’s not true. Achieving your goals is about perseverance, discipline, support, and faith.
Keep an eye on your past accomplishments
When you get discouraged, look back at your professional achievements. Scheier says, “Looking backward reminds you how many dreams have actually come true in your life, while looking forward only reminds you of the obstacles you face.”
If your professional goals involve a new job, read How to Choose a New Career When You’re Over 40.
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Do you have any thoughts on how to get closer to your career goals? I welcome your comments below…