Setting clear, measurable goals can help you advance in your work and attain certain objectives. For example, you can use goal-setting to help you complete a work or project or to help you thrive personally. In addition, you can establish goals for promotions, creativity, education, and various other aspects of your life and profession.
Generally, there are two kinds of goals; one is short-term goals which are more immediate goals you set for yourself to achieve your larger, long-term goals. You can think of short-term goals as milestones or stepping stones. Short-term goals usually exist in a short timeframe, anywhere from days or months to one or two years. Examples of short-term goals might include completing small tasks or projects, gaining experience, or taking classes. You will use what you achieve in the short term to complete your long-term goals.
Then, there are long-term goals. Usually, with large goals, you want to achieve over several years. You will use several milestones to achieve long-term goals, setting short-term goals to achieve along the way. Long-term goals might include getting a job in a particular career, being promoted to a certain level, or completing a lengthy, complex project.
Well, right now, you understand what it means to have goals in your career, but do you know why it's essential for you? Well, here are the five reasons.
1. Gives you positive energy and persistency
Edward Locke and Gary Latham are the leaders in goal-setting theory. According to their research, goals affect behaviour and job performance, but they also help mobilize energy, which leads to a higher effort overall. Moreover, higher effort leads to an increase in persistent effort.
Goals help motivate us to develop strategies that will enable us to perform at a certain goal level. Accomplishing the goal can lead to satisfaction and further motivation or frustration and lower motivation if you can’t achieve the goal. According to Locke and Latham’s research, goal setting can be an effective technique under the right conditions.
2. Having peace of mind
It's no surprise that you know exactly what you got to do with work when you have clear career objectives. As a result, you can free your mind from worrying about unnecessary things and concentrate on what you need to achieve your goals.
Having greater focus means you'll be able to prioritize necessary actions like finding a mentor or upskilling the areas you could improve on. In asking, "how does this help me reach my goals?" you'll be able to ensure your decisions and actions actively contribute to helping you achieve your objectives.
Another happy side-effect of working toward solutions that suit you is that you're more likely to end up finding greater career satisfaction.
3. Enjoy easier communication
Once you have your goals down, you'll find it's easier to communicate your passion and direction with friends and family. Once you could communicate more clear, there will be less friction at the dinner table and more opportunities to find out how people you care about can help you reach your goals.
For example, if one of your career goals is to get a job at a company you love, you'll be able to ask around to find if anyone in your network has a connection there. Or suppose you aim to start studying with a course that will empower you to make that elusive career change. In that case, motivate yourself to tell others who may advise education institutions or contacts for work experience opportunities.
4. Use your time more effectively
Once you know what you want out of your career and what you need to do to get it, you won't waste time on low value or unnecessary tasks in your personal and working hours. Instead, you’ll begin to appreciate the value of time – how much you have and how much you need to achieve your goals.
If you're one of the one-in-two Australian workers who are unhappy with their level of work-life balance, setting goals will help you identify the steps you need to take to obtain that balance and gain greater control of your time.
5. Make you more responsible
If you have work experience in retail, you'll be familiar with sales targets – they provide a benchmark for success and an objective you're responsible for working towards. Similarly, by defining and documenting your career goals, you're setting your expectations for yourself. This makes you take responsibility for your actions, and in turn, you'll become accountable for your success.
Taking on responsibility now can put you in good stead later on. Whether you're aiming for a promotion or being prime minister, setting and being accountable for your own goals plays a crucial role in setting you up for success.
So now you know what the benefits you could get from having goals in your career life are. Now, list down all of the things you would like to achieve at your workplace, be it short-term and long term, and do your best to achieve it!
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