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Published on March 11, 2019

The Only Way a Short Term Career Goal Will Lead You to Your Dream Job

The Only Way a Short Term Career Goal Will Lead You to Your Dream Job

Ask the 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?”

And I’m betting just about anyone will respond with a boisterous “You bet, I’m in!”

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.

So what should this short term goal about?

Step 1: Playing 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.

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, how you do it and when you do it. Simply put, you must know your core strengths so that you know where you belong!

Step 2: Strengthening Your Core Goals

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.

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Each of us is completely unique and if ever we are to give a gift 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 Core 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 your Core Strengths and pays you for what you naturally love to do.

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.

The artisan’s son was similarly going to be an artisan, and so on. But today the game has changed, we all have choices as to the work we do. Which means 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. 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.

And overtime, 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.

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3. Identify the areas where intellectual arrogance causes disabling ignorance.

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

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, dominate and profitable, as you cannot build 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.

Step 3: Your Core Strengths Will Set You Free

Your Core Strengths comprise 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.

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?

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, which you desire.

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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 your Core Strengths, you will enjoy a mental state of quietness, calmness, serenity, and happiness. Time will pass quickly, and you 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?

Few things are professionally more fulfilling than doing work that you are extremely good at, turned-on about and fully invested in.

It’s an incredible feeling when what you’re good at and excited about enables you to make a contribution that truly adds value. The result is meaningful success.

Deep down we all want to be involved in work that matters, that has meaning, that is memorable, and if we’re really lucky, work that changes the world. Compelling work stimulates an emotional investment in everyone. They’re the things from which legends and legacies are made.

Be mindful…if the project you’re working on now is not fueling a powerful emotional investment…you should transform it, reframe it, and redefine it until you fall in love with it.

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Bonus: Teamwork Makes Your Dream Job Work

It means that you can focus on your Core Strengths by finding a team to support you.

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 — period!

Learn to delegate the things at which you are incompetent, competent, and good, to people who possess their own Core Strengths in these areas.

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.

That’s why your challenge in landing your dream job is to strengthen your core skill sets and use them as a building block and launch pad for delivering a superior performance.

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

Weaknesses will always present, but to focus on them is to focus on what cannot be done.

Focusing on strength leads to a focus on performance and driving superior results…and at the end of the day your dream job will help you to deliver a life-time of results.

More Resources About Career Success

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Farber via unsplash.com

More by this author

Gary Ryan Blair

Growth Hacking Aficionado I Creator of 100 Day Challenge

The Only Way a Short Term Career Goal Will Lead You to Your Dream Job

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Last Updated on November 20, 2019

How to Measure a Goal? (With Examples of Measurable Goals)

How to Measure a Goal? (With Examples of Measurable Goals)

Everyone sets goals. Whether they are daily goals like completing a project, personal aspirations like traveling the world, or even workplace targets, setting a goal isn’t enough to get you over the line unfortunately. This is why only eight percent of people achieve their goals.[1]

So how do the high achievers do it?

By setting measurable goals, keep track of them and progress towards these goals.

To help you out, I’ve put together a simple guide on measuring goals. I’ll show you a SMART framework you can use to create measurable goals, and how you can track its progress.

To begin, let me introduce you to the SMART acronym.

What Is a Measurable SMART Goal?

SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. They help set clear intentions, this way, you can continue staying on course.

When you’re writing a SMART Goal, you need to work through each of the terms in the acronym to ensure it’s realistic and achievable.

It’ll help you set specific and challenging goals that eliminate and vagueness and guesswork. It’ll also have a clear deadline so you know when you need to complete it by.

Here’s what SMART stand for:

Specific

Your goals need to be specific. Without specificity, your goal will feel much harder to complete and stick to.

They should also have a specific outcome. Without the outcome, it will be hard to focus and stay on task with your goals.

I can’t stress this enough. In fact, two researchers Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, found that when people set specific yet challenging goals, it led to increased performance 90 percent of the time.[2]

Here’s an example of a specific goal:

Increase sales by 10% in 90 days. 

Measurable

You need to be able to measure these goals.

Examining a key metric and quantifying your goals will help track your progress. It will also identify the mark at which you’ve completed your task.

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Measurable can mean many different things, but generally speaking, you want to be able to objectively measure success with a goal.

Whether it’s via analytical data, performance measures, or direct revenue, ensure your goal is quantifiable.

Achievable

Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it important for you or your organization?

Once you identify the key benefit, add that into your goal, so it helps your team members understand the importance of the goal and how it contributes to the bigger picture.

Relevant

Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it important for you or your organization?

Once you identify the key benefit, add that into your goal so it helps your team members understand the importance of the goal and how it contributes to the bigger picture.

Timely

This is one of my favorite parts of SMART goals….setting the deadline.

The timeframe will create a sense of urgency. It functions as a healthy tension that will springboard you to action.

Examples of Measurable Goals

Now that we know what a SMART goal is, it’s time to help you make your own SMART goal.

Let’s start with the first step: specificity.

Specific

A specific goal should identify:

  • What’s the project or task at hand?
  • Who’s responsible for the task? If you’re breaking the task down, who is responsible for each section?
  • What steps do you need to do to reach your goal?

Here’s a bad example:I want to have a better job.

This example is poor because it’s not specific enough. Sure, it’s specific to your work, but it doesn’t explain whether you want a promotion, a raise, a career change, etc.

What about your current job do you want to improve? Do you want to change companies? Or are you striving for more work-life balance? What does “better” really mean?

Let’s transform this into a good example.

I want to find a new role at a Fortune 500 company that improves my current salary and work-life balance.

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If you’re not too sure what the specific outcome should be, you can use mindmaps to brainstorm all the possible options. Then choose a few or one from the mindmap.

With the example above, to become a better growth marketer, I have to explore different learning options like online courses, blogs, books, or in-person courses before I made a decision.

Measurable

Goals need to be measurable in a way where you can present tangible, concrete evidence. You should be able to identify what you experience when reaching that goal.

Ideally, you should go for a metric or quantity as quantifying goals makes it easier to track.

Here’s a bad example:

I will get a promotion at work for improving quality

Here’s a good example:

I am going to land a promotion to senior VP by improving my work quality. When I say work quality, I will measure this by projects completed, revenue earned, and success factors important to my superiors.

If you’re having difficulty measuring your goals, you can use a goal tracking app. They’re a great way to measure your progress, especially if it’s time-based.

In addition, I love to use the following strategy to keep myself accountable and ensure I’m hitting goals:

Reminder emails.

I schedule emails to myself asking for measurable data on my goals, and even CC others to hold me accountable.

For example, if you work with a team, CC them on your email to keep yourself honest and on-track.

Here are five methods you can use to measure your progress towards the goal:

  1. Keep a record – Have you recorded all your actions?
  2. Assess your numbers/evidence – Are you breaking your commitments?
  3. Create a checklist – Can you simplify your tasks?
  4. Stay on course – Are you moving forward with your plan smoothly?
  5. Rate your progress – Can you do better?

Achievable

When it comes to being able to achieve your goals, you should stick to Pareto’s principle. If you’re not too sure what it is, it’s the 80/20 rule.

Don’t just attack and go for everything at once! Pick things that give you the most results. Then, work on the next objective or goal once you’ve completed your first ones.

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Here’s a bad example:

To get more work-life balance, I will examine all factors of my work and how to trim down the time I spend on them.

Here’s a good example:

This week I will record my time spent on projects to analyze the amount of revenue or success they generate. Projects that fall short of production will get less time and resources than others. 

Relevant

It’s always important to examine your goal to ensure it’s relevant and realistic to what you’re doing.

This is where the bigger picture comes in.

Here’s a bad example:

I want to be promoted to CMO because I need more responsibility.

In this case, it’ll be unlikely for you to receive a promotion if the purpose and reason behind your goals are not strong.

Here’s a good example:

I want to be promoted to CMO because I enjoy digital marketing. I’m currently excelling in X, Y, and Z digital marketing practices, and I believe that via a promotion I can further grow the business via X, Y and Z.

The why will help you grind out in moments when you just want to throw in the towel, and also provide more purpose for your goals.

Timely

And…finally we’ve hit the deadline.

Having a due date helps your team set micro goals and milestones towards the goal.

That way, you can plan workload throughout your days, weeks, and months to ensure that your team won’t be racing against the clock.

Let’s start with a bad example:

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I’m going to land a new promotion this summer.

Now, let’s turn this into a great example:

Within the next month I will increase marketing revenue by XX%. Then, within three months I will expand the digital team, hire two new employees and scale it. Within five months I will leverage this success into a new role.

So that’s how you create a measurable goal.

Here’s a summary of the example above in the order of its acronyms.

Overall Goal: I want to transition into a new role with a reputable company.

  • S: I want to find a new role at a Fortune 500 company that improves my current salary and work-life balance.
  • M: I am going to land a promotion to senior VP by improving my work quality. When I say work quality, I will measure this by projects completed, revenue earned, and success factors important to my superiors.
  • A: This week I will record my time spent on projects to analyze the amount of revenue or success they generate. Projects that fall short of production will get less time and resources than others.
  • R: I want to be promoted to CMO because I enjoy digital marketing. I’m currently excelling in X, Y, and Z digital marketing practices, and I believe that via a promotion I can further grow the business via X, Y and Z.
  • T: Within the next month I will increase marketing revenue by XX%. Then, within three months I will expand the digital team, hire two new employees and scale it. Within five months I will leverage this success into a new role.

But before we finish off, I want to leave you with a note:

If you want to ensure you reach your goals, make sure you’re accountable. Ensure that you will stick by the goal and deliver the results that you want. Because sometimes, the goal might not just be for you. It could be goals for your clients, customers, and even loved ones.

For example:

Here, Housecall Pro promises customers that they grow up to 30% in one year.

By placing that statement on their landing page, they’re keeping themselves and their goals accountable to their customers.

For personal goals, tell your friends and family.

For professional goals, you can tell your peers, colleagues, and even your clients (once you’re ready).

Bottom Line

So to wrap things up, if you want to measure a goal, be SMART about it.

Start with a specific outcome in mind; make sure it’s measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely to your existing schedule.

While 92 percent of people fail to reach their goals, you can be the exception.

Reach your goals by setting targets and objectives together.

More About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Green Chameleon via unsplash.com

Reference

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