Career Advice: Set goals to achieve career fulfilment

11 January 2015 By Alastair Cleland

1466 Original

​The key to a fulfilling career (we share exclusively!) is setting goals then achieving them. But there's a skill to even this most basic of tasks.

Setting goals can sometimes be painful, but here's the thing: not creating career goals can lead to a state of limbo. Those who are getting things done - the leaders, who grow and make an impact - those are the people who have goals.

Set goals to help you achieve your ambitions

First things first, identifying what you want out of your career and ultimately life is one the most difficult things every individual must figure out for themselves.

The average person spends about two thirds of their life working, that’s a lot of time. Setting yourself on your own chosen path and pin pointing some direction will be fundamental in reaching your long-term goals. Setting short-term motivational goals that coincide with a long-term vision is the key to an achievable goal strategy.

Nothing feels better than achievement, whatever that may be. The importance of doing this will radiate not just throughout your professional life but will also have a profound affect on your personal life.

The key to a fulfilling career is forward motion, always looking to the future and planning your next move based on your own ambitions. The moment one gets too satisfied and comfortable is the moment one loses sight of personal aspirations and the tendency is to become stagnant in the professional journey.

Plan to achieve with SMART targets

The model below is typically used in marketing campaigns however; SMART objectives can also be used to help set professional goals.

  • S– Specific (or Significant)

  • M– Measurable (or Meaningful)

  • A– Attainable (or Action-Oriented)

  • R– Relevant (or Rewarding)

  • T– Time-bound (or Trackable)

Being precise in setting priorities should include simply writing your goals down. Keep operational goals small and set performance goals, not outcome goals, enabling realistic objectives.

The emphasis lies in the importance of setting your own criteria in measuring and tracking goal outcomes for advancement. The top 3 elements to achieving your goals include; clarity, motivation and most importantly, focus.

  • Clarity refers to having a clear and consistent plan of action with touch points - personal indicators of where you stand within your plan.

  • Motivation is key; this is the fuel to keep you going in the face of adversity, this can take the form of rewards.

  • Focus relates to your work ethic and how bad you want to achieve your goals.

The secret of all secrets: take action

Often, there ain’t nothing to it but to do it. You can talk about it...

...plan it...

...discuss it...

...all day long. But without action it remains a fantasy.

Take action today.