Sep 172010
 

Are you confused about where your career is going? These quips and tips for achieving your career goals will bring clarity – they’re from Stephen Cline, MBA.

But first, a quip:

“One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.” ~ Sidney Howard.

It’s all good to say “I want to go to the best university or college and get an MBA” – but do you know what you need to sacrifice in order to achieve that goal? If you’re struggling with goal setting, read Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It.

And, here are Cline’s tips for achieving your goals at work…

5 Tips for Achieving Your Career Goals – From Confusion to Clarity

One thing is certain about all people: no one wants to settle. When it comes to our jobs and careers, we all want something. But, what you want and where you are now may be two very different things. So, how do you set and achieve your career goals?

Follow these five easy steps and you’ll soon be right where you want…

1. Know What You Want – What Are Your Career Goals?

It’s almost impossible to get somewhere if you don’t have a destination. Maybe you want to work in a specific position (manager, supervisor, self supporting stand-up comedian). Or, maybe you have an abstract career goal (power, stability, security, giving back to others). You need to set your career goals before you can achieve them. For instance, most career paths require some form of higher education at college, university, or other schools. The amount of education and training you need depends on your goals — but likely, you’ll have to do something to move your career forward.

If achieving your career goals means getting a new job, read How to Quit Your Job When You’re Scared.

2. Expect to Work Hard (the most disappointing tip for achieving your career goals!)

No one ever gets where they want by working at it part-time. The people who get ahead in their careers are usually the ones that work harder and longer. Even if what you want isn’t a money-making occupation (such working as an artist or writer), you need to approach it like it’s your full-time job. Only then will you have any hopes of it becoming your full-time job.

3. Ask for Help Setting and Achieving Career Goals

This is one that people always forget! Kids ask for everything they want, but adults are taught that asking for things means being pushy. The reality is that asking is the best way to let people know what you want – so don’t be afraid to ask! If you want to go from assistant manager to manager, ask your district supervisor how you can best do that. Even if they don’t have a concrete answer for you, just knowing that you want the position can move you forward in your career.

4. Set a Timeline for Your Career

Knowing when to re-evaluate your goals is important in goal setting, but it’s  hard to re-evaluate if you’re on an open-ended time line. So make sure you give yourself a timeline, and give yourself a chance to reassess your career goals. For example, if your goal is to work as an actor, then give yourself a year to get a paid acting job. If in a year you haven’t succeeded, then it’s time to re-evaluate your career goals. You don’t have forever to get where you want to go!

Are your goals good for you – and your loved ones? Read How to Recognize When Goals Aren’t Good for You.

5. Remember That Achieving Your Goals is Not the End of the Line

Just because you achieved your goals at work doesn’t mean you can be lazy. As a matter of fact, getting where you want to be is a big reason to keep working hard. Someone out there wants what you have, and if you get lazy you could be starting from scratch again. But, don’t get overwhelmed – be proud of where you are. You earned it.

Keep these simple tips in mind when setting  your career goals. It won’t be long until you are climbing the ladder of success. Good luck!

Is your goal to go back to school? You may find How to Get Money for School – From Passive Income to Sharper Vision helpful.

And if you have any thoughts on achieving your career goals, please comment below.

Stephen Cline has an MBA and has worked in the finance industry. Follow him on Twitter @stephlines or read his articles at Economic Crisis Blog.