With the new year just around the corner, I’m sure you are already thinking about what professional goal you will set for yourself.
And the question that always comes up is: where do I want to get to with my career, knowledge, or skills I have learned? It is normal to ask yourself this question year after year because professional goals are part of the culture of human beings, and many times they are the ones that encourage us to excel, grow and face challenges.
What is it, and how to choose your professional goal?
The professional objective refers to goals, and we can define it as what you consider yourself capable of reaching in the work environment where you seek your development.
And for you to achieve this goal, you have to put your ideas on paper in a structured, concrete, and defined way, establishing the necessary steps that will lead you to conquer them. It will be easier to follow the path you have traced towards your professional future.
How to discover what your professional goal is?
This is not easy for many people because sometimes we are seduced or bewildered by all the possibilities and offers that the work environment provides us.
But, first of all, you have to stand firm in your conviction and in what motivates you, making an analysis of yourself and everything around you.
To make this task even easier for you, I have separated three key aspects to help you discover your professional goal.
- Know yourself better
Self-knowledge is the key to taking an honest and deep look inside yourself and knowing what skills, abilities, competencies, and skills you already have to overcome the challenges you decide to take on.
And although it may sound cliché, remember that only within ourselves will we find the tools and resources necessary to face and overcome our limiting beliefs or mental barriers.
Keeping this focus, take a retrospective look back and think about what you have accomplished. Acknowledge your achievements and applaud your efforts to move forward because ambition and perseverance in every one of your actions have brought much value to your life.
- Choose what you are passionate about
When setting a professional goal, remember that what you are genuinely passionate about must always be present as a guide along the way. In this way, you will be planning together with the professional and the personal to achieve your self-realization. Maybe you like to manage projects, help with paper writing, negotiate, etc. Of course, this is not an easy task. But suppose you manage to combine what you are passionate about and what motivates you in your professional objective. In that case, you will feel fulfilled, but you will also be a source of inspiration for those around you.
- Bring value to others
Don’t just keep your individuality in mind when setting your career goal. You will certainly get more satisfaction from achieving your goal if you contribute, influence, or help other people or teams.
You will find meaning in all your efforts by making a value proposition. You will be recognized by a larger group of people, who will give you better feedback and place you as a reference in an area of knowledge or a skill you have developed.
Create your goals based on your surroundings
Once the first stage of personal and professional self-knowledge has been completed, the time has come to set your objectives according to the business opportunities offered by the market and the requirements about the skills needed to fill specific jobs or to excel.
The decisions that will lead you to set your goals must include research on the offers and trends of the professional market, those that interest you the most and that best suit your characteristics.
If it is a job, you should know, for example, what it consists of and what is the level of study required. If your goal is to increase your productivity level, you must know what resources and skills you must have to put it into practice.
At the same time, this will help you identify areas of opportunity since it is widespread that at the beginning, you do not have everything you need to achieve your goals. But what are areas of opportunity?
To explain it better, let me give you an example: you have a digital product that you are already selling well, but you want to increase your sales even more and your goal is to sell outside your country. To achieve this, you will have to make an effort to speak other languages or adapt your content to other cultures in the Spanish-speaking world. This way, you will reach your goal by taking advantage of this opportunity offered by the market.
If you want to differentiate yourself, innovating will give you greater visibility and openness to identify opportunities.
I already have my goals! What do I do now?
If you are one of those who, year after year, set resolutions and goals but never achieve them or stay halfway, I have some information that can help you.
According to a study by the University of Scranton, in the United States, only 8% of people meet their goals before the end of the year.
The obstacles on the way to the goal
Then, there are what we could call “second-rate unproductive habits”, such as, for example, watching series without control or moderation, leaving aside pending responsibilities. Consider whether it is a simple distraction or if you need to eliminate certain toxic habits to make better use of your time.
Nor should you procrastinate. If you don’t know the term, it means procrastinating and leaving everything for later. This is one of the main reasons many people fail to achieve what they set out to do.
- Underestimating the process that will lead you to success
Here you need to trust in the path you have followed to reach your goal. Surely it will not be easy, but you have to stay firm and not throw in the towel too soon.
To prevent this from happening, try to stock up on all the necessary tools and resources so that every month you can take small steps and keep moving forward.
- Not setting Smart goals
As the term itself suggests, SMART goals are smart, as they provide you with indispensable elements when defining your objectives so that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
SMART is an acronym from which 5 questions arise:
- Specific: What do I want to achieve?
- Measurable: How can I measure my progress?
- Achievable: Is my goal in line with my capabilities?
- Relevant: Why is this goal important to me?
- Temporal: When will I achieve this goal?
- Stay within my comfort zone
Every purpose or goal to achieve is a challenge to accomplish, and if you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you will surely not achieve it. Therefore, venture into the unknown and open yourself to change.
In this way, you will discover other possibilities and have another look at what you need to accomplish.
I hope that with this post, you have been able to visualize a map to know where you are going and not get lost in the different paths that the work environment offers us. This way, you will be able to take the first steps to lead your career towards professional success.
Always plan by visualizing what you want to achieve. To do this, focus your thoughts on building your brand, whether a startup or your professional profile. Even if you are employed, it is ideal to have your brand.
If your professional goals are aligned with your brand, you will be unique and know how to take advantage of all your skills and virtues. And if you want to go deeper into this matter, I leave you this post where you will discover how to stand out in the professional environment using personal marketing.