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Last Updated on January 5, 2021

How Short Term Career Goals Can Lead to Your Dream Job

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 January 18, 2021

Dreams Are Imaginary But Setting Your Goals In This Way Can Make Them Come True!

Dreams Are Imaginary But Setting Your Goals In This Way Can Make Them Come True!

All of us have failed to achieve a goal at some point. In spite of our best intentions, circumstances and a lack of motivation can keep us from following through. Even the most dedicated goal setters occasionally question whether they are taking the right steps to lead a fulfilling life.

When life becomes complicated, our dreams and goals sometimes take a back seat. Over time, we can lose sight of our passion altogether. It is possible to achieve our goals if we remember that goals and dreams are not necessarily the same things.

Dreams are imaginary. Goals are based in reality. They’re different.

One of the biggest misconceptions about goal setting is that your desire to achieve is enough. As Les Brown stated,

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“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.”

Wanting to lose weight, write a book, save for retirement, or start your own business are dreams. Adopting good goal setting strategies can turn your dreams into goals and your goals into reality. All goals start with that dream or desire, but when you engage in goal setting, you devise actionable steps for getting what you want. Having a dream without setting goals is like setting out on a cross-country trip without a map.

Achieving your goals isn’t always going to be pretty. Be ready to face the challenges.

When you see the successful people of the world – the Olympic athletes, innovators, entrepreneurs, and bestselling authors, you only see the results of their efforts. Since we can’t see their struggle, it can give us the false impression that their success materialized with little effort on their part.

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It can be easy and motivating to visualize your goals coming to life. You can picture yourself in that swimsuit after you lose weight, or you can imagine your book on a shelf in the bookstore. What you may not think about, but what you must anticipate, is that achieving your goals isn’t always going to be pretty.

You will experience circumstances that test your resolve. If you aren’t willing to make sacrifices or stick with your goals through the tough times, then it will be hard to succeed. You have to be prepared to face challenges to achieve your goals.

To realize your goals, you’ll have to make a good plan.

About 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions give up on them by February.[1] The statistics on resolutions show that many of us have excellent intentions, but we have trouble following through.[2]

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Take the following steps to begin the goal setting process:

  1. State your vision and write it down.

    Some people use special planners,[3] others make vision boards[4] or write their goals on a sheet of paper. No matter what medium you choose, you’ll be more likely to succeed if you write your goal setting steps and include solutions to challenges. If you start to lose focus, you can refer back to these documents for inspiration and motivation.[5] The key is to be specific about what you want.

  2. Anticipate obstacles In The First Place.[6]

    If the path to success was easy, there wouldn’t be so many failed resolutions. Complacency, negative self-talk, unfocused efforts, and fear of failure can derail goal setting. Factors such as your personal life, professional responsibilities, and financial concerns can also disrupt your plans. If you can foresee areas of difficulty, you can proactively plan to address them without losing your motivation.

  • You know that you want to write your book, but you also have to work a full-time job to pay your bills. Some of your biggest obstacles are time and money. Write down concrete steps that you will take to find the time and money to devote to writing.
  • I will wake up one hour before I have to get ready for work to make time to write.
  • I will hold myself accountable to writing 500 words per day, even if that means that I have to stay up late to meet this goal.
  • I will cut back on unnecessary expenses and save X amount of money per week so that I can reduce the hours I spend at work and devote more time to writing.
  • Establish accountability. Sharing your goal on social media, participating in an online challenge, or telling your best friend about your intentions can help you navigate difficult times. You may even be able to work with others with goals similar to your own. By scheduling regular meetings to check in with them, you can stay on the right track. Your accountability buddy can also be the person you call when you feel like giving up.

3. Put Your Goal in Scope: Set SMART Goals[7]

SMART Goals are:

  • S – Specific. It isn’t enough to say you want to lose weight. Why do you want to shed those pounds? The more specific you are, the easier it will be to visualize your goals and anticipate setbacks.
  • M – Measurable. Goals have actionable steps that you can measure. How many pounds do you want to lose? What will success look like for you? Measurable goals can be broken into smaller benchmarks that you can use to keep yourself on track.
  • A – Achievable. Your dreams can be as big as you want them to be, but your goals should be things that you can accomplish. Perhaps you want to lose weight, but is it safe or feasible to lose 50 pounds in a month? Think about what it is going to take to get what you want, and decide if these are things that you are willing to do. Coming up with reasonable and achievable steps during the goal setting process will keep you from giving up out of frustration.
  • R – Relevant. Your goal should be something that you truly want to do. Are you applying to medical school because you have a genuine desire to help people, or are you applying because your parents want to have a doctor in the family? The best goals are determined by what motivates you, and not what others think should motivate you.
  • T – Time-bound. With no deadline, you can take your dreams to your grave. What steps can you take right now? Where can you expect to be in 3 months, 6 months, and one year?

Example on a Complete Passionate Goal Setting

  • Saying that you want to write a novel isn’t going to make one appear. Use positive statements and direct language. The top of your goal setting page might say, “I will write a book,” or “I am a writer.” The rest of your page might say something like, “By the end of this month, I will read one book on the craft of writing. By [insert date here], I will complete an outline for my novel. During [insert time frame here], I will research information about editing best practices.” “When I experience self-doubt, I will read a chapter from Stephen King’s On Writing.” The more details and deadlines that you give yourself, the better you’ll be able to check your progress.

You can do this! Goal setting helps you keep moving forward at any time.

If you are able to establish SMART goals and you are willing to make sacrifices to achieve your them, you are on the right track to making your dream a reality. Know that nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and slip up from time to time.[8] Goal setting isn’t just about visualizing the perfect outcome. It is also about planning for the times when things aren’t so perfect and developing strategies to keep moving forward.

Reference

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