Join Dr. Chaz Austin for an in-depth discussion in this video Create short- and long-term goals, part of Creating a Career Plan.
- We've talked about identifying your goals and working backwards, defining the milestones you need to hit to get to where you wanna be. So now let's talk about short-term and long-term goals. I'll define a long-term goal as something that is the fulfillment of a dream and will take many steps to achieve. And short-term goals are the milestones you need to hit in order to get there. For example, one of my long-term goals was to author a book on the subject of training people for the 21st century workplace.
I wanted the cover to say Doctor Austin, because that would help establish me as a credible authority on the subject. So my short-term goals where, broadly and in order, research universities, find one that offered the kind of degree I wanted, in this case a doctorate in organizational leadership, apply to that university and supply it with all the documentation required, get accepted to the program, complete all my coursework, write my dissertation, and then armed with the doctorate help my literary agent find an appropriate publisher.
That's a lot of steps and the entire process took about eight years from conception to fulfillment. And of course there were lots of baby steps along the way. We get overwhelmed by just how many steps we'll need to take to achieve our long-term goals and how long the process might last. Big projects look like a giant mountain that's really scary to have to climb. Instead imagine each of the steps you will need to take are small hills, easily climbed.
After you've successfully completed each task you can congratulate yourself for a job well done. Eventually you'll have climbed every hill and accomplished your long-term goal. Using our previous example of the person who thinks they wanna become a consultant. Let's say that after doing two or three months of research, or due diligence, she, let's call her Monica, has decided that yes, she wants to become a consultant and offer financial advice to small businesses of any type withing 20 square miles of where she lives.
Monica's learned that small businesses will hire financial consultants, but they're more likely to do so if the consultant is a CPA, or Certified Public Accountant. So while the long-term goal is to be a financial consultant to small, local businesses, one of her short-term goals is to get her CPA. So she has to look at all the steps she needs to take. The state in which she lives has specific requirements, she learns that she'll need a four year college degree, plus additional instruction in business and accounting beyond the degree.
At this point she has to ask herself how badly she wants to be a consultant. Is she, and are you, willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the goal? Success comes to those who have a combination of talent and drive. Let's assume Monica has a facility of with numbers and understands what small businesses need on the financial side. Is she driven enough to do all the things she needs to do in order to be in a position to have those businesses pay for her expertise? She, and you, will need to recommit to your goal along the way, especially when things look bleak and you just can't believe what else you still have to do.
What will pull you through is your focus on the long-term goal and your unwillingness to allow anything to get in the way. Then again, in one of those moments of soul searching you may find that no, you are not willing to proceed to the next step. This is why you wanna do a great deal of research before starting the trip, so that you will have realistic expectations of how much work you're going to need to do. But despite all of that research at a certain point you may still choose not to go on, that this just isn't for you.
And it's okay. Better to abort the project than discover years later that this was not a good fit. You'll be able to look back and see that you gave it your best shot and it just didn't make sense to continue. You'll be freed up to find something that will work better for you, a career in which you can truly flourish.
- Understanding the 21st century workplace
- Identifying your monetizable passion
- Knowing how to interview well
- Managing your search for work
- Negotiating salary
- Becoming a lifelong learner