An old work colleague and friend asked me if I practice goal setting and if I am conscious about my career steps… Wanting some advice on how she can adapt it to her career goals and I thought – why not share.
Goal setting… I am a lover of goal setting as I believe it fits under the organisation tag… which, is a massive ‘pastime’ of mine – I LOVE being organised!
For me, my career movements have always been looking to the ‘bigger picture’ what can I learn, extract and gain from in the company / my manager / the role. I have been very conscious of this and looking for organisations that have a larger marketing department and area to move. This was my first intention early in my career and have now found that this isn’t necessary the best option. Working for places where the marketing team is smaller you are open to hands on tasks, get involved in a lot more strategy and your work is diverse as appose to having your specific task to do and not open to other areas of the business. For example the role that I am in now, with a marketing department of 2, we work very closely going over the marketing strategy and direction together giving me leverage to share my ideas and gain experience in the ‘high-end’ business and marketing planning. So there are pros and cons for both avenues but the larger organisations tend have to more room to move.
Quick tip – Keep track of your achievements. List them as you hit a target or if you think, yep… I kicked arse in that campaign… write it down and keep it. This is good for movements within the business, pay rises conversations and even when you apply for a new job. This is a biggy and great habit to get into.
Little story share – When I was still at uni I was working part time in a little local pharmacy. Towards the end of my degree I started to think about what I wanted to do, areas I wanted to work and how I got get that first foot in the door position. Pharmacy was the obvious option, I knew pharmacy and was confident with it. So – I researched pharmacy brands that where larger and had a marketing department. I applied for a pharmacy assistant position with still 6 months of uni to go, in the interview I was open and honest about wanting to get some experience in that area will be graduating soon. I won the position and started working on the shop floor doing volunteer work in the head office. I graduated and they created a position for me to step into. This would not have happened if I hadn’t started to think about my career movements and what I needed to do to get to my first ever marketing position.
My goal setting was quite specific. I had a goal to be a manager by the time I was 25. And I got there (1 week prior to my 25th birthday I started a role as a Brand Manager). My career and my goals have changed to move with me to suit the direction I am heading – and be sure to be open to this as things change without warning. Previously I just had personal goals that I kept to myself and made specific movements to make sure I was heading in that direction. Now I am more open with them and I think this has worked better for me. I have a vision board with images on what I want to do / achieve in 2014 and I have specifically written down where I see myself in 12 months’ time and what I need to do /change / develop to get there. I am open and reasonably transparent with my goals. I find this is great for me to stay on track and best way to achieve that I have set out to.
I always put timeframes on my goals. If something happens that, that needs to change, that is ok – I just work better with timeframes.
I also like to include a few little quick win goals that I am ultra-keen to do and know if I put my mind to it I can achieve them, put some time frames on and get them done. These are more like intentions that I give myself. Again… think my organisational anal-ness (as my fiancé calls it) comes out. Although, I truly believe this has helped me achieve my goals and get to where I want to be in my career (and personal life).
Having direction is a good thing and goal setting can play a very positive part in your career direction and movements. Be conscious of the decisions you make. I was conscious of not just taking a role for the pay or job title and looking at the company and asking myself, will I be performing the tasks that best represent myself and where I want to be? This may mean that I need to work under someone who will pass on their expertise onto me. Or may mean that my job title is lower but I am performing tasks of a higher calibre. Be open and be willing to learn.