Setting and Accomplishing Career Goals

Some say that the best way to achieve a goal is to define it and create a step-by-step plan to achieve it. I completely agree with that approach, especially when the plan is broken down into manageable pieces.

The problem with this approach is that we sometimes have no idea what our goals should be, especially as they pertain to our careers.   Speaking as someone who has spent most of my life knowing my goals with some certainty, this strategy worked quite well until I realized that I was focusing on the wrong things. The bigger the goal, such as a career goal, the more likely I was aiming for something that I thought I should pursue, rather than outcomes that were a good fit for me. I also have fallen for the trap of focusing on the wrong priorities, like salary or status instead of pursuing deep meaning and satisfaction from my work. I knew that those goals were wrong for me because when I achieved them, eventually they felt like hollow victories.

As a result, now I’m more circumspect about putting my head down and myopically working towards career goals. In addition, futurists say that 60% of the jobs 10 years from now have not yet been created and many of the current jobs will disappear. Therefore, it seems foolish to blindly work toward objectives when a terrific opportunity may become available while focusing on a career objective that may become obsolete.

In other words, we must be adaptable to be successful in the uncertain, future economy.   As luck may have it, adaptability is among my lowest strengths. However, I am managing the discomfort of uncertainty by trying to be present and open instead of worrying about controlling the future.   I am more successful at this on some days more than others; I’m just proud to be making progress in this arena.

Breathe deeply with me, folks. We’re more likely to be happy and successful by positively channeling our energy instead of over planning and trying to control what we cannot control. After all, we might as well enjoy the crazy, uncertain ride!

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