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10 Reasons Why Your Friends Should Be Jealous of Your Workplace Culture

10 Reasons Why Your Friends Should Be Jealous of Your Workplace Culture

Have you read stories about how newer companies are changing the way we view workplace cultures? You know, there is the company with a built in slide to get from floor to floor or the companies that provide free food to employees.

Don’t even get me started about all of the awesome benefits companies like Google and Facebook offer to employees (free food, free gym, and free car washes just to name a few).

If you’re reading this article from your dull boxed in cubicle while sitting in a 10 year old office chair drinking crappy instant coffee, then there’s a good chance you envy the way many newer companies are transforming the workplace.

On the other side, if you’re lucky enough to be reading this from a bright, vibrant office in the lounge room while drinking a delicious organic tea, then there’s a good chance that your friends are completely envious of your workplace.

Not sure where you stand? Here are 10 reasons why your friends should be jealous of your workplace culture.

1. Your company has low turnover.

At a time when more and more millennials are job hopping and rarely stay in one position for more than a couple of years, having a low turnover rate is something to be admired.

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If your entry to mid-level employees are sticking around long term, there’s something keeping them there aside from just a paycheck. More than likely, it’s because they genuinely enjoy where they work.

2. People are always looking to join your team.

There are certain companies that have such a strong reputation of having a great workplace that people anxiously wait for a vacancy to open up so they can swoop in.

I hate to bring it up again (not really), but think about Google, Facebook, or Zappos. These are all companies that have received a great deal of attention not just for their economic success, but for their workplace culture.

If your company is known for being a great place to work, then people will want to work there.

3. The chain of command is a little more flat.

Have you ever worked at a job where you had 10 different bosses above you? A lot of older companies are setup with this more “traditional” hierarchy structure, but modern companies are proving that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Having a workplace where there aren’t 20 VP’s makes it easier for good ideas to be heard, and also gets rid of the whole “us against them” attitude that can ruin a workplace.

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4. People don’t have a case of the “Mondays”.

Let’s be honest. If you absolutely dread Sunday evenings because you know you have to go to work on Monday, that’s a problem.

Unfortunately, so few people get to experience working for a great company with a fun and exciting work culture that the “Mondays” has become way too common. Modern workplace cultures have managed to blur the line between work and fun.

5. Employees fight for the company.

Most companies have some sort of mission, goal, or company philosophy. What happens at a lot of traditional minded companies is that the CEO and company spokespeople push the mission, but the lower level employees couldn’t care less about it.

Heck, most of the employees probably don’t even know what the mission is at all. But employees at forward thinking businesses feel like they are a real part of the company and work harder to make it a success.

6. Your company fights for employees.

At the same time, the company is willing to go to bat for their employees.

Whether it’s helping someone get through school, making it easy for parents to tend to their kids when necessary, or other gestures that aren’t necessarily required but are very valued, it shows that the company cares about, and believes in their team, and that’s what people want to be a part of.

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7. Nobody’s walking on eggshells.

There’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable at work. You don’t want to say the wrong thing to one of the big wigs, or you feel you have to hold your tongue in certain situations.

Not only is that type of workplace cold and uninviting, but it also leads to a lot of missed opportunities because people are afraid to voice their opinions.

8. Innovation is a priority.

If your company has been doing everything the same way for fifty years with no signs of changing, then your friends probably aren’t too jealous of the culture at your workplace.

Rules are great and can add some structure, but there should always be room for new ideas and change.

With a lot of newer companies, innovation is being made a top priority. If you think of a better way of doing things, you’re able to voice it and actually be rewarded for pushing the envelope.

9. Your colleagues are happy.

Take a look around your office. Does everyone have a look of gloom and despair on their face? Is the overall team morale just kind of “meh?” In a strong workplace, you’ll notice that people are smiling and seem excited and happy.

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10. The workplace is fun and stimulating.

I’m not sure what it was about creating offices and workplaces in the 90’s, 80’s and years prior, but a lot of them feel dark and dreary. Thankfully, more and more companies are realizing the effect that the environment has on employee satisfaction.

Twenty years ago, the thought of having an entire game room in the office would have sounded crazy. But today, I’m happy to see that it’s becoming more of the norm.

There’s no way to avoid the fact that the way workplaces are run is changing. Companies that are stuck in the past and placing the satisfaction of stockholders above the satisfaction of employees are going to be in for a rude awakening when they realize the top candidates don’t want to work for them.

It’s an exciting time for businesses, and if you don’t feel excited and energized to go to work, then hopefully this article will somehow find it’s way to your boss.

Featured photo credit: CQuadratNet via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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  • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
  • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
  • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
  • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

For Changing a Job

  1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
  2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
  3. Get a raise.
  4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
  5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
  6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
  7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
  8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
  9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
  10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

For Switching Career Path

  1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
  2. Find a mentor.
  3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
  4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
  5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
  6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
  7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
  8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
  9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
  10. Create a financial plan.

For Getting a Promotion

  1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
  2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
  3. Become a mentor.
  4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
  5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
  6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
  7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
  8. Become a better communicator.
  9. Find new ways to be a team player.
  10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

For Acing a Job Interview

  1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
  2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
  3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
  4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
  5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
  6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
  7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
  8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
  9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
  10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

Career Goal Setting FAQs

I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

4. Can I have several career goals?

It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

Summary

You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

  • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
  • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
  • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
  • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
  • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

More Tips About Setting Work Goals

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

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