Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Develop an Action Plan to Achieve Career Goals

Develop an action plan to reach your goals by listing several steps you can take to move yourself closer to those goals. Make your plan easy to implement, and use a viable timeline. Periodically, check your plan to determine if it needs to be adjusted or if it is working for you.

Using the example goal of joining Toastmasters in order to improve communication skills, here is an example action plan:
  • Within the next two days, check local listings or search online to find the nearest Toastmasters' group.
  • Contact the group by the end of the week and express an interest in joining.
  • Attend the next available Toastmasters’ meeting.
  • Network with at least two group members at the first meeting.
  • Learn speaking tips and techniques from members.
  • Become an active participant in the group and continue networking with members.
  • Implement changes in presentations according to information obtained at meetings and from constructive criticism following personal speeches.

Develop a similar action plan for each goal you want to achieve and follow through by completing the action plan steps.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Setting Goals for 2010

Once you have decided on your goals for 2010, write and post them where you will see them daily. Goals that are out of sight are also out of mind and inactive. Keeping track of your progress toward goals will help you attain them.

Make sure to personalize your goals—you are the only one who can achieve them. Do not reply on others to fulfill your goals. For example, your goal can be to write a novel and submit it to a traditional publisher, but it cannot include having the traditional publisher publish the novel. That would be relying on someone else to fulfill your goal, and you cannot be sure anyone else will complete your goal. Also, don’t strive for goals that someone else wants for you.
  • Rank your goals in order of importance to you. Focus your energy on attaining your goals and commit to reaching them.
  • Develop a step-by-step plan for reaching your goals. If you are not sure what steps to take, seek help from others and/or emulate people who have attained such a goal.
  • Visualize reaching your goals. Many athletes and successful people “see” themselves becoming winners.
  • Reward yourself when you reach a goal.

More on creating an action plan in the next blog.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Setting Career Goals

If you have assessed your career by answering the questions in the last blog post, you have a pretty good idea of how you spent your time on the job in 2009. Now, it’s a matter of deciding how you would like to spend your time in 2010.
  • Decide where you need to make changes in order to become indispensable to your employer. For example, do you need additional training to advance in your position? Let’s say you decide that you need to be able to make better presentations. Set a goal to make the change. For example, I will join Toastmasters to improve my communication skills.
  • Spend some time considering three or four goals you would like to achieve during the next year. Make sure your goals are attainable and measurable. Incorporate a timeframe for achieving the goals.

In the next blog, I will discuss creating an action plan for attaining goals.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Career Assessment and Setting 2010 Career Goals

Where did 2009 go? I mean literally. How did you spend your time in 2009 while on the job? Did you
  • Contribute to the best of your ability?
  • Work smarter?
  • Embrace learning and new technology?
  • Perform each task with efficiency and in a timely manner?
  • Stand out in a positive way?
  • Get along with the boss, coworkers, and customers?
  • Accomplish what you had hoped for in your career?
  • Meet your career goals?
  • Advance appropriately on the job or make career strides?

Answer the above questions to prepare for a stellar 2010 career. As we head into the new year, I will be blogging about making yourself indispensable at work—giving yourself that edge over the competition and earning a rewarding career.