Career Goals are the Ultimate Target

How do you feel about the end of this year?  Perhaps you’re glad to have achieved your goals or simply made progress toward achieving your goals.  Hopefully you are excited or at least optimistic about the upcoming New Year.  Being an optimistic person (generally), I look forward to the New Year and the opportunities ahead.  Year end reflection helps but what I find more invigorating is the chance to intensify my focus on both personal and professional value added activities in the upcoming months.

At the years’ end I reflect upon the past year and what worked and what didn’t work as well as I’d intended or hoped.  During my reflection I consider not only my goals and the level of success I’ve realized but also the extent to which I’ve prepared myself for success.  This involves understanding what success means and what systems are necessary to support that success.  Career goals are the ultimate target but it’s doubtful that you’ll achieve your goals if you fail to create adequate systems.  I also believe that we should be our own cheerleader and coach in addition to ensuring we have the right systems in place.  It’s great to have the support, encouragement and mentor-ship of others but ultimately it’s us as individuals who will decide the actions we will take and when we will take them. 

Self-assessments help me recognize the areas in which I should continue to direct my efforts and leverage my strengths—both of which I’ve found useful and rewarding.  I believe both are essential to our development as professionals.  Too often work place assessments focus primarily on improvements and lack the appropriate acknowledgement or celebration of strengths and miss opportunities to motivate and inspire employees to leverage strengths.  I challenge you to own your professional development.  Yes, value and act upon any workplace assessment you’re provided but go above and beyond (it is your career) and assess both your personal and professional performance.  Think about setting up or strengthening the systems that will help you realize your goals in both areas of your life.  I often say,“it is what it is and it will become what we make of it.”

Proactively assessing our personal and professional goals and performance periodically helps us learn how to achieve our goals and obtain fulfillment in both our personal and professional lives.  Try our Personal Assessment and Professional Assessment sheets to quickly assess your efforts.  The “Expectations” are yours and apply to the extent to which you are satisfied with yourself in these areas.  So what will you make of the New Year?  Will you continue along on the same path?  Perhaps it’s working for you—if so, that’s great.  If not, consider owning your professional development and challenging yourself in the New Year.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”                  Albert Einstein

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