How to Set Your Professional Goals.

Copy of How to set your professional goals_Blog2-page0001It is said, “When you focus on what you want, everything else falls apart”. Look back and think for a moment, have you decided what you really want to achieve in life? Some of you would say yes, but most would say no!

Pull up your socks, be focused on the future and give directions by deciding upon the ultimate goal of your life. It holds true both for professional and personal life. Until and unless you really know what you want to achieve, whatever you are doing in day-to-day life might be unrewarding.

Hence setting goals is important. Now you would say setting goals for profession is understandable but what do I mean by setting goals for personal life – it could be anything from being a wonderful wife/husband who never gives an opportunity of complaint to their spouse to leading a stress-free life outside work. Difficult to imagine, isn’t it. Actually it is not, if you make a clear goal you will plan things accordingly, which would result in a happy personal life and positively influences your professional life too. Indeed a win-win situation. You would wonder why I’m going out of track and talking about setting personal goals on a blog where we talk about studies and career. In that case, most of you would agree with me that both are inter-related, which is why I’m talking about both sides of the coin.

Moving on to professional goals, the thumb rule is really simple – think hard about what is it you want to do in the future that would give you a kick and makes you happy. I am not saying that you imagine yourself to be the President of USA as he is one of the most powerful men in the world, but something realistic and achievable. No offence but if you think you can be the President, then go for it!

Say for example your dream is to become Google India’s head. That is an impressive dream and Google is such an amazing company to work with that most of the employees feel more at home when they are actually in office! You would instantly fall in love with Google and its more than awesome work culture. Additionally, it goes without saying how impressive the company is, that it has a turnover of multiple billion dollars, has presence in almost every country of the world and is a household name.

Say you have thought through it and have decided what your ultimate goal would be, now what next? Let’s put up a scenario here – if you want to reach the 1st floor of a building, you take one step at a time or do you just jump to the first floor? Now please don’t say you would take a lift as that is a different scenario altogether. Here I am trying to make my point by demonstrating the example of climbing stairs, so let’s stick to it. Going back to the discussion, almost all of you would agree with me that taking one step at a time is the most comfortable and easiest way of reaching the first floor.

This is exactly what you need to do in case of setting goals for your life – make interim goals and give them a timeline. Giving a timeline to goals really help in staying focused. Also every time you achieve an interim goal you feel happy about it and are motivated to move on. To further illustrate it using an example, I will go back to the goal of being India’s Google head. In order to achieve that, one needs to decide upon interim goals. In this case those interim goals could be:

  • Every third year aim of getting a designation hike
  • Every year aim at getting at least 20% hike
  • Every year aim at contributing at least one innovative idea that made a positive difference to the company.

What if you do not achieve your goals in the timeline you set for yourself? First of all there are slim chances of that happening because if you have a positive mindset, you almost always give the best shot putting you on the right track.

However, God forbid this happens there is no need to feel low as you get the opportunity to learn a lot of things during this course and this learning will certainly help you in achieving your goal when you try the second time around.

I would like to refer to the “Law of Attraction” which I learnt from ‘The Secret’ series written by Rhonda Byrne. My recommendation is to read ‘Secret the Power’, the second book of the series. It has helped thousands of people in achieving their goals.

So what exactly is Law of Attraction? According to this law, which holds as true as law of gravity, whatever you think you attract in your life. Your thoughts and feelings design your present and future. We should actually feel positive talking about these interim goals and should not worry about the result. If you believe in yourself, everything would be fine. If you worry then you would actually attract more worrisome circumstances! That is the last thing you should do. Take calculative risks and believe in yourself. Try to keep yourself as happy and as cheerful as possible as that will attract more happiness, which indeed would be achievement of your goal!

To further talk about goal setting, the following catalysts will give your career an accelerated growth:

  • Good networking: In corporate world, networking plays a very important role. If you have a good rapport with your clients and influential people of your industry, things will be much easier. Here I am not saying that you get unreasonable and buy expensive gifts for clients or give free services, for which your company otherwise pays, to get a new client. What you should do is keep in touch with influential people, attend conferences and exchange your business cards there. Networking also means maintaining a decent relationship with your sister companies and know about their business as well. If you are part of a media agency that deals with TV campaigns, then you should have a good bonding with somebody in digital wing as well. This would give you knowledge of inevitable marketing medium and perhaps more business to your company!
  • Going an extra mile to seek knowledge of your domain: Doing day-to-day work perfectly is not enough to be a star performer. In order to be that or to run a successful business you need to go an extra mile and keep yourself updated with latest trends of your industry. Read whitepapers, reports, analysis, surveys, blogs etc. Keep increasing your domain knowledge every passing day.
  • Put yourself in other’s shoes: Before judging anyone, put yourself in their position and think what kind of behavior you would have expected had you been on the other side. Always and always behave in this manner, whether it is your subordinate, your colleague or client. Always follow this simple rule and you will always end up in people’s good books, which will eventually help you in being successful.
  • Treat your client/customer as king: We all are majorly working for work satisfaction and money. But where does this money come? Clients of course. Hence we need to treat them with utmost importance. However at the same time we should never say yes to their unreasonable timelines or assignments they ask us to do. We should be confident enough to say no. If you make a valid point, client would always agree and would respect you even more for your approach and realistic attitude.
  • Stay away from blame game: Usually in the corporate world if someone is reprimanded for anything, the blame game starts. However if you were at fault you should actually put your foot forward and except your mistake. Before such a situation arises, before it starts to pick fire just flag the issue in a subtle manner. Try not to offend anyone.
  • Stay away from office politics: Here I would like to say, just don’t do it and try not to fall in its trap. By putting someone down and moving ahead by wrong means you could get short term success along with a lot of mental trauma. If you do your work well and highlight it to the senior management, they would certainly notice and reward you appropriately. If you do not then probably that company is not worth you and it’s time to move on.

Setting personal goals go hand-in-hand with professional goals, and when set right they can propel you to success. You will definitely enjoy a successful professional life along with a great personal life. After all, this is what everybody aims for!

Contributed By : Arpita Seth (Class of 2010,IBS Gurgaon).

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