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Last Updated on January 5, 2021

How Short Term Career Goals Can Lead to Your Dream Job

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How Short Term Career Goals Can Lead to Your Dream Job

Ask yourself this question: “Do you want to score your dream job, one where you build your career on something which you are passionate about and get paid your true worth?” It’s easy to respond with an enthusiastic “yes!” Where the rubber meets the road, however, is finding out exactly how to make that happen—to make short-term career goals that lead to your dream job.

How do you go about making short-term career goals that will lead to success in a job you love? The answer lies in career development built on your strengths.

1. Play to Your Strengths

Most career advice you’ll come across is quite terrible. Pass out cards, develop a LinkedIn profile, use high-quality resume paper, get referral letters. Most of the time, these things don’t actually help you achieve your goals.

That nonsense stops right here, right now.

When it comes to landing your dream job, you cannot afford to be casual or cavalier. A successful approach demands that you be intentional and actively manage your choices in such a way that:

  • You place yourself where you can make the greatest contribution.
  • You learn to develop yourself and embrace both self-reliance and initiative.
  • You remain flexible, adaptive, and mentally alive during your pursuit.

You have to learn how and when to change what you do. Simply put, you must know your core strengths so that you know where you belong[1]!

2. Strengthen Your Core Goals

When thinking about short-term career goals, consider that a dream job means spending time doing the things that you love to do and are great at. This brings you increased energy, increased confidence, and the ability to create more value for others, which will lead to more productive and rewarding relationships.

Each of us is unique, and if we are going to offer something to the world, it will have to come out of our own experience and fulfillment of our core strengths.

Fewer things are sadder than watching a person with potential waste away in work that makes little use of their strengths. Work can be one of your greatest sources of success and fulfillment. Yet, too often, the opposite is true.

To achieve success with fulfillment, it is critical that your dream job taps into your core strengths and pays you for what you naturally love to do.

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For the great majority of people, to know their strengths was irrelevant only a few decades ago. One was born into a job and into a line of work. The farmer’s son became a farmer. If he was not good at being a farmer, he failed.

Today, the game has changed, we all have choices as to the work we do. We, therefore, have to know our strengths so that we can know where we belong.

There is only one way to find out:

The After-Action Review

The after-action review is your feedback analysis, as well as the best resource you’ll ever have for landing the job of your dreams. It’s an amazing tool when setting short-term career goals, so allow me to explain how it works:

Whenever you make a key decision, and whenever you engage in a key action or project, you must determine and document what you expect will happen.

Over time, you then analyze and review back from actual results to intended expectations. Several action conclusions follow from the after-action review.

1. Concentrate on Your Strengths

Place yourself where your strengths can produce consistent performance and results.

2. Work on Improving Your Strengths

The feedback gained from the after-action review rapidly shows you where you need to improve skills or where you must acquire new knowledge.

It will show you where skills and knowledge are no longer adequate and have to be updated. It will also show the gaps in your knowledge.

3. Identify the Areas Where Arrogance Causes Ignorance

The feedback and information gained from the after-action review soon identifies the areas where intellectual arrogance causes disabling ignorance.

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Far too many people —and especially people with high knowledge in one area—are contemptuous of knowledge in other areas or believe that being “bright” is a substitute for knowing.

4. Waste as Little Effort as Possible on Improving Areas of Low Competence

Remember, concentration should always be on areas of high competence and high skill.

It takes far more energy and far more work to improve from incompetence to low mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence and then to preeminence.

And yet most people—and equally most teachers and most organizations—tend to concentrate on improving weaknesses. Don’t bother, because if you invest your time working on your weaknesses, all you end up with is a lot of strong weaknesses.

Your energy and resources—and time—should instead go into making yourself into a superstar performer. Focus on making your strengths productive and profitable, as you cannot build as quickly on weakness.

To achieve superior results, you must use all of the available strengths—the strengths of associates, the strengths of your superior, and your own strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities…the highest and best use of your time.

3. Your Core Strengths Will Set You Free

Your core strengths are comprised of four foundational pillars. They represent the guiding principles on which your ability to maximize your performance is based and which your dream job is built upon with short-term career goals.

Use the following acronym to uncover your core strengths:

Confidence

Core strengths provide an indomitable feeling of confidence in your ability to produce and deliver quality and consistent results. You possess the internal faith and belief that you can and will be successful.

In what areas are you most confident in your abilities to succeed?

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Optimism

Core strengths are saturated with an attitude of optimism. Optimism is a general disposition to expect the best possible outcome in a given situation. It is the belief that your future will contain outcomes that you desire.

Optimists are people who believe that through positive action in their communities, business, and personal life that they can create a better tomorrow.

In what areas of your life are you most optimistic about creating greater value?

Relaxation

Core strengths operate best in a relaxed state. The word relaxed has a lot to do with being unaffected, easy, spontaneous, and operating in flow.

Once you can tap into your core strengths, you will enjoy a mental state of quietness, calmness, serenity, and happiness. Time will pass quickly, and your work will feel more like play.

In what areas do you enjoy the greatest state of relaxation and a wonderful sense of flow?

Enthusiasm

Core strengths are driven by boundless enthusiasm. It’s an inspiring zeal that delivers inspiring results, as nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.

Your passion, desire, and hunger about being involved in something of importance will unleash your core strengths.

In what areas are you the most enthusiastic and passionate?

Bonus: Teamwork Makes Your Dream Job Work

It means that you can focus on your core strengths by finding a team to support you. Working well with a team is one of the most important short-term career goals.

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Some of the best examples of people focusing on their core strengths are in the field of sports and entertainment.

In these industries, structures are set up to ensure that top performers can focus on what they do best — performing and strengthening their core. For example, a professional golfer has a whole team of people around him or her who provide the support they need to focus on staying at the top of their game.

They don’t carry the clubs, nor do they manage their travel schedule. A professional golfer plays golf.

Learn to delegate to people who possess their own core strengths in areas where you may be lacking skills. Surrounded by people working in their own core strengths, you can focus on what you do best and enjoy the most.

Final Thoughts

You cannot and will not ever overcome the weaknesses with which each of us is abundantly endowed, but you can make them irrelevant to improve your career.

That’s why your challenge in landing your dream job is to strengthen your core skill sets and use them as a launch pad for creating short-term career goals that matter in both the short-term and long-term.

You must make deliberate choices and set clear professional goals to enable your strengths and to make your weaknesses inconsequential.

Focusing on strength leads to a focus on performance and driving superior results. At the end of the day, your dream job will help you to deliver a lifetime of results.

More Resources About Career Success

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Farber via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Play to Your Strengths

More by this author

Gary Ryan Blair

Growth Hacking Aficionado I Creator of 100 Day Challenge

How Short Term Career Goals Can Lead to Your Dream Job

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Last Updated on September 27, 2021

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

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Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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