If you're serious about your career you should already be implementing short and long term goals, but what steps are needed between reaching them?
It's very easy to write down all of our goals and stare at them proudly, excited and motivated, only to then go to sleep and wake the next day, to not give them another thought - this is human nature and very common. So here we have the first tip on how to stay focused on your goals: Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind by having visual reminders easily available for you to see. This could be by lists stuck up on your walls, in your fridge or even as a screen saver on your laptop. Do whatever it takes to keep your goals imprinted in your mind on a daily basis.
Let's take a look at the 4 steps to help our progression from the start of setting our goal, to the end of reaching one of the achieving checkpoints. (The steps below are the steps of action, meaning the steps you should take in this set order. These will differ to how the steps of the timeline will plan out, shown in the video at the end of this article).
Step 1: Your Current Situation
It's time for self reflection, evaluation and honesty. Be conscious of your current situation, know where you are and know why you need or want to progress from this point. Being comfortable and realistic about your next step is a must at this point, but before we start planning on the filling of the timeline, we need to first know the checkpoint of our destination (it possibly won't be our final destination).
Step 2: Set The Objective To Reach
Although step 2 of the 4 steps in terms of action, it is actually the final piece of the progression timeline because it's the goal you are aiming to reach. After understanding our current situation, we must then know our destination to enable us to start our journey - it's similar to planning a teaching or coaching lesson/session, you need to know the objective of the lesson and work backwards to lay out the criteria, to then be ticked off and achieve that final objective. Once we have our start and end point, we can now move onto filling in the parts in between which will link the both of them.
Step 3: The Stepping Stone
The stepping stone is the first outlet which allows us to take that first step away from our current situation, the first baby step into our new journey, the first action taken to the needed change. The stepping stone may not be ground breaking, it may not even be exactly what you desire, but that's not the point. The point is it's the first alignment of your new/different pathway. Think of it like snakes and ladders, you need to align with a ladder long enough to enable you to climb it and get onto the next level.
Step 4: The Noise Maker
After consolidation at the 'Stepping Stone' stage, the next move we should be looking at is one that grabs people's attention and 'makes some noise'. This step should enable you to show your value and certainly give the perception that you are a skilled person in your line of work or industry. A good Noise Maker can provide career growth in terms of being recognised and respected, whilst also being possibly one of the most vital parts in changing the fortunes of your career development. Look for your Noise Maker to get you into the headlines or achieve some positive exposure. Make some noise and shake some trees, because that's when opportunities start falling closer to you.