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7 Steps That Will Bring You Closer to Your Professional Goals

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.

Be flexible

“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.”

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.

Do you have any thoughts on how to get closer to your career goals? I welcome your comments below…

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8 thoughts on “7 Steps That Will Bring You Closer to Your Professional Goals”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Alex! I agree that persistence, focus, and determination are important steps to achieving career goals…and so is stopping every so often and making sure you’re on the right track.

    In the 4 Hour Work Week, Ferriss talks about being in the rat race, spinning your wheels endlessly, but not knowing where you are going or why you’re trying so hard to achieve those goals. It’s SO important to step back and re-evaluate your life in light of what’s really important.


  2. I do believe, that the key to achieve set goal is in small steps, but, please do forget , that withot true desier for achievment and our persistence will take us to our goal. Thing is, that in life we have some many external influences, that we forget to stay focus. And that’s the main reason why it takes much oonger to achieve our goal, or maybe this even eman, not achieving it at all. Therefore, BE PERSISTENT and fight for your goals.

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments. In your own special ways, you have all motivated me to keep pursuing my career goals 🙂

  4. we all sometimes feel a little bit under the weather but… these days passed fast… most important is in this time, that you stop and think for a minute – think about how short life could be and what you want to make of it. think about beeing 60-70 years old… and do you think, that you will regret a lot of things that you have done in your life? would you change anything? Dont forget, that we should enjoy in life and smil as much as we can. These woul b great memmories.

    Thanks for the article and good tips. We need good advices all the time.


  5. Talking about dreams coming true …Going to Paris was also one of my childhood dreams and in July 2009 I went to London and Paris (compliments of my daughter’s belated Mother’s day gift)

  6. I was very surprised reading my own comment thinking this woman and I had so much in common …until I saw my own Name!!!

    I should mention I have had multiple shows…over the years.. (not many sales )but recently WHAM!!!I sold a few…8 altogether (made up for the other years)But I did bring community pleasure in having those shows…

  7. I had a ‘god given gift that I could not open until I bacame a widow at 59yrs.old…I believe I unconsciously followed those 10 rules…because I am very happy now at the age of 74yrs.old as an artist…which was my dream…
    I also plant to write another book..”life began at 70….!

    Bravo…! Laurie

    Florence Kersting