Stop reading this post and think for just a second: What is one of your goals in life? (Personal or professional.)
If you don’t have one, it’s time to start thinking. If you have just one – that’s a great start! If you have multiple, well, kudos to you!
In my previous job, I never had a longterm goal. When people asked me what I saw in my future, I honestly didn’t know. I wanted a job I enjoyed, a happy family, and a good life – but that’s about as far as my vision went. I knew having goals was important, but I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.
Then I started training for a marathon. That was a goal. It was personal, it wasn’t professional, but it was a start. After finishing my first marathon, the goal from there was just to be healthy. I adopted a pretty normal exercise routine and continued to register for races. Signing up for a race 10 months in the future was an easy way to create a goal. But I was still only thinking personal, not professional.
When I started my current job in August 2012, I had the opportunity to go back to school. After working here for a semester, I began classes in the spring, knowing it would take 5 semesters to complete my master’s degree. Today, I was working on gathering paperwork together to submit my application for graduation and to schedule comps. This will all be over in August. My goal will be completed.
Coming to this realization, I decided to set my next goal. Getting my APR. I know, there’s a split debate on the value of becoming an APR, but for right now it’s the only certification (that I’m aware of) in our field. So why not strive for it? I haven’t fully looked into the process, so I don’t yet have a timeframe, but it’s a start. I know now that once I complete my goal of attaining my master’s degree, I know the next step. And that’s important.
I still don’t have a BIG goal. I don’t think they just come to you. They take time to develop, and you truly have to want it. There’s no point in making up a goal you don’t want, because you won’t work towards it. Find out what you want – set that goal – and do it.
How can you continue to grow if you don’t know where you’re going?