With some smart tactics you can achieve your career goals.
Here are a few tips for making your career goals a reality.
- Make a Step-By-Step Plan
Research shows that breaking a career goal into small steps makes it easier to conquer. You can create daily tasks or develop monthly milestones – but whatever you decide, make sure your plan has specific steps that seem manageable.
There are many resources available to help you set and keep track of goals. For example, if you’re looking to find a job with the Federal government, you can discover different career options at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The My Career Fit Tool can then help you figure out what types of roles fit your interests best.
You can also build on a goal from your individual development plan (IDP). No matter how you do it, just be sure to break up your goal into clear steps.
- Create Good Habits
Good habits can help you reach your goals – and New York Times bestselling author Charles Duhigg shows that the process of establishing good habits is simpler than you might think in his book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.” First, take some time each day or week to work on your goal. Schedule this time on your calendar to make sure you don’t forget. For example, if your goal is to meet more people in your field, you might book 30 minutes each Monday afternoon to work on activities like creating an elevator pitch to introduce yourself to new people at work.
Next, use simple cues – like an activity or an object – to remind yourself of your goal. For instance, you might leave your headphones on your keyboard before heading out for the day to remind yourself to take an online career development course.
Finally, reward yourself. Rewards – both short-term and long-term – encourage new habits. Knowing a reward is coming makes it more likely that you’ll stick to your goals.
- Tell Someone Else
Telling someone about your goal helps you hold yourself responsible for staying on task. Plus, when you feel discouraged, your friends can remind you why your goal was important to you in the first place.
The person you tell can be anyone you think will do a good job of holding you to your word, like a friend, mentor, family member, or coworker. Schedule regular check-ins to talk about progress you’ve made. Then, ask your friend to be honest with you about where you can improve.
Want to learn more about goals? See how creating SMART goals can help you take the next step in your career.
Andre J. Castillo is the Program Manager for [email protected], the world’s best career development program.
Andre J. Castillo is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.