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How long did it take for you to reach your goals?


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BJ’s Answer

Depends on your goals.

I recommend having several levels of goals. As an athlete, my goal was to set a world record. I never got an individual one, but did set a world record as part of a relay team. However, that wasn't the goal I thought about every day. I had smaller goals, derivatives of the bigger one. I wanted to do best times. I wanted to win at a certain meet. I'd meet with my coaches (parents, bosses, etc) to talk through what good goals would be for me. Then I'd chase those.

Figure out those dreams, then work backward into what the little things will be on the road to achieving them. Then get people to help you to get there and the sky's the limit.

Good luck!

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Ryan’s Answer

The funny thing about goals is that they are constantly changing. I think the best thing to do is to keep assessing your goals and how you can keep making progress towards accomplishing them. Once you do achieve your goals, keep pushing yourself and set new larger goals. I three sets of goals; short-term (less than 1 year - less than 2 years), long-term goals (greater than 2 years), and ludicrous goals (...ludicrous). For example, right I got married, my wife and I set the following list of life goals (Boat, Baby, Bayshore, and Billionaire). Purchasing a boat was short-term, having kids was long-term (on the low end of the spectrum), buying a house on the water was long-term (high end of the spectrum), and becoming a billionaire is a ludicrous goal. I'll likely come up short on the ludicrous goal.However, if I aim and come up short of being a billionaire , I'll probably be a millionaire and live a good life. #lifegoals

Ryan recommends the following next steps:

Set Life and professional goals - be true to your heart and see what happens.

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Samantha’s Answer

Hi Marc,

I think that this is a really interesting question. While my goals have definitely changed over time, I also think that it is good to have tiers of goals. I would say my broadest goal is of course to be happy and fulfilled. When we look at the professional as opposed to personal goals aspect of this, I have found that no matter what you do, being at a company where you enjoy the people and feel like you are making a positive impact at the organization makes you excited to get out of bed and go to work every morning. Then, within that, I look at career advancement opportunities at an organization and try to plan where I see myself in the next 5 years. Those goals are my long term goals and then I make shorter term goals in order to achieve that plan.

It took me awhile to figure out exactly what industry I want to work in - I work in accounting but that function is needed across most industries. I think while you're young, if you have the opportunity to explore different possible industries, that helps too to figure out where you want to be for the long term once you know the field you want to be in. For example - I work in accounting but have worked at a non-profit, at a retail company, and now at a tech company. I would say that, by far, working at a tech company has been one of the most exciting, mentally stimulating, and fulfilling jobs. The people are great and the job is fast paced and now I know I want to set goals that allow me to continue progressing in this industry!


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Sobia’s Answer

Interesting question Mac! I'm sure by now, with all the other answers to this question you've noticed one key theme. It's all based on everyones personal lifestyles and experiences.

The answer to your question depends on your personal consistency in the following:
1) Creating short/long term goals for yourself
2) Persistently taking initiatives towards the goals
3) Understanding once you've achieved it
4) Developing new ones to follow-up with

By doing so, you're setting up a system that will allow you to maintain and see your progress in terms of your personal goals.
Personally I find that balancing long and short term goals is key for me. The short-term goals allow me to keep track of my progress and doesn't let me feel overwhelmed by the expectations I have set for myself.

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Marc!

Thanks for making me think! I never considered myself much of a goal-setter when it came to my career. I was a police officer, enjoyed being on patrol, and did not want to be a supervisor. I kept on eye on special positions that came open, but, other than that, stayed where I was.

I also can't seem to get into diet and exercise goals. . .

But, when it comes to finances, I've got it covered! I am 57, retired, and my house is paid off, 8 years after buying it! I pay my credit cards in full each month, and work with a financial planner to make sure things are on track. I never really said, "my goal is x-y-z" but knew in the back of my mind I wanted to quit working as early as possible. I invested from an early age, paid off bills starting with the highest interest rate first, refinanced my mortgage when rates dropped, etc.

I actually think it is odd that I can do this with money but not with fitness!

good question!


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Sharon’s Answer

Hi, what a great question. In all honesty my main goal was always to work hard and try and be happy doing it. Goal setting is something that tends to be multi-faceted, home life goals, personal goals, fitness & nutrition goals, and sometimes just getting to the end of the week goals.

Over the years I have set goals of course, but I tend to add an element of flexibility to my goals, not carrying any guilt or drama if i missed my own deadline, just constantly reassessing and moving the goal posts.

Fundamentally if you set yourself a 30/60/90 day plan, and be prepared to be flexible with the outcomes, it gives you a strong foundation to them move to longer term goals, but don't restrict yourself to career goals, expand a little out side of that and set your self up for achievements over and above those at work. You'll be happier in the long run, and have more experience to offer.

Sharon recommends the following next steps:

set 30/60/90 day plan based on where you are today, and where you want to be in 3 months, then work out how to get there.
Understand the gaps that will stop you and ask anyone you need to help you fill those gaps.
At the end of 90 days, don't be afraid to do it all again.

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Rod’s Answer

Hello that is an interesting question. When I got my engineering degree I wanted to become a chartered engineer. I live in the UK and a professional engineer can get the qualification and put C. Eng after their name. That was my goal in my 20s and I did before I was 30.

But I am still working 40 year later. Goals and plans are important. If you don't have a plan you can't change it. I have learnt to set goals and plan for the next 5 years. Further than that is too far in the uncertain future!

Rod recommends the following next steps:

Think and plan what you want to do for the 5 years after finishing your education.

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Jake’s Answer

I have accomplished many goals, but it is important to always set goals for yourself so you are constantly challenged and raising the bar for yourself.


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JJ’s Answer

Wow, I love this question. I think goals are met daily, very slowly yet intentionally. I got a full ride college scholarship. That was a HUGE goal for me. I earned it daily with good grades, good conduct and many leadership activities that required interaction, positivity, and directional thinking. It’s those small daily tasks that add up to achieving a goal. I’ve achieved many now that I’m older and have had time. Each one was accomplished by the same things: perseverance, determination, trial & error, positive thinking, relying on mentors/experts, learning constantly, flexibility, showing up on time, doing extra, being purposeful...
There are no secrets to hard work. Be professional which means being polite, prepared, productive and prompt.
All The Best,
JJ Batcheller

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Jackson’s Answer

There are short and long term goals! Don't be afraid to count the small wins on the way to your long term goals.


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Mark’s Answer

Interesting question that I think really depends on where you are in life. From my perspective, I'm focused on having short term goals and long term goals. Short term goals could be as small as hitting my sales quota each month, quarter, year. Long term goals are much larger and in line with planning for retirement, career aspirations etc. For me, I initially hit a goal of earning $X by a certain age, when I accomplished that I changed the target to continually be shooting for a new number! I would say that while I feel I've accomplished a lot professionally and personally, there are still quite a few goals that I have in front of me, so it's a constantly evolving process in my opinion.

Mark recommends the following next steps:

The most practical step is to write your goals down, both short term and long, and then re-visit those goals often.
My wife and I have a list we create every year, so it becomes almost a game that we enjoy to be able to circle back and check items off the list that we've been able to accomplish. Make them attainable to start off so you aren't setting yourself up for failure, and re-visit them often to check in on your progress and ensure you're staying on track! Good luck!

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Mitchell’s Answer

I review my goals quarterly and twice a year with my wife. The funny thing about goals is they change as our priorities adjust. I find it good to have professional and personal goals which do mix together. Short term, mid term, long term goals are how I strategize what is important for myself and my family.

Goals should be categorized in the different terms and be realistic to achieve in a short amount a time if it is a short term goal and so on. Setting up goals that are not realistic is setting yourself up to fail. Once identifying goals, create your proper steps to achieve them and get after them. I find it best to write them down and track them with action items and target dates. Once you invest in creating and managing your goals, you will find that you will begin achieving them. Saying this is a goal or some day, is not a plan of action.

Best of luck with your goal planning and achieving.

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Zach’s Answer

Hi Marc,

My goals are always changing as I grow, but I have a few concrete goals I want to achieve in my life. My recommendation, right down 1, 5, 10, 20 year goals you like to achieve and then build a plan to achieve them.

Example: if you want to be a VP in business in 10 years, then understand what it will take to get there? Build a path that you believe will be the best to help you get there.

Most important thing: Some times your goals will not be reach in the timeframe you want. So don't be disappointed about that.

Zach recommends the following next steps:

Write Down Your Goals: 1,5, 10, 20 yr.
Build a Plan to Achieve Them
Understand That your Goals will Change over the Years
Revisit and re-establish during this journey.

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Lindsey’s Answer

I think the best way to think about achieving long-term goals is attaining and celebrating smaller goals along the way. For example, if your goal is graduate college for with a great GPA, celebrate good grades each semester. If your goal is to comfortably retire when you're in your 50's or 60's, set a savings goal for each year. I also recommend writing down your goals and checking in on them every couple of months. I find that this helps with accountability, thus helping you achieve your goals quicker. Don't forget that goal timelines are subjective to every person. Try to remember that someone else's career timeline or progression might look much different than your own ... and that's okay!

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Jamie’s Answer

I applied for my current position 3 times before i was able to get the job i am currently in. I just kept shadowing analysts and making myself available to work on projects. I never gave up and continued to work on my skill sets to obtain my current position. I believe it took me 2 years to finally achieve my goal.

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Luiz’s Answer

Hi Marc
I tell you my own experience.
I was 22 years old when I graduate in engineering.
In few months I had a job in a big petrochemical and I earned enough to have a well succeed life.
In addition, when I was 49 years old I also graduated myself in Administration and did my master degree.
Then I started a new profession, like a college professor, teaching mathematics and management for students.
Also, from this time on I was very well succeeded in my second profession.
My conclusion is that if you do what dou you like, don`t worry about success, because it will come some day.
Good Luck!

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Puneet’s Answer

Ideally, NEVER. As you get older and get more experience with work and life...your goal changes.

1) You should start by defining long-term and short-term goals.

2) Check back monthly (or sooner) on short-term goals and their progress. Change the short-term goal(s) if your circumstances change.

3) For long-term goals, check quarterly to see if you are on track.

4) Find an accountability buddy. This will really help to ensure you stay on track.

I hope this helps.

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Dana’s Answer

I find it helpful to set goals that will exist over different timeframes. For example, what does success look like for me in the next day, week, month, or year? It can be overwhelming to work towards huge, far away goals, so breaking it down into more actionable goals will make it easier to feel like you are making progress.

I don't think I'll ever reach a point where all of my goals are reached – life would be so boring! Whenever I hit large milestones I like to reflect on what is next. It's amazing how the goals I have now are things I couldn't have imagined 5 years ago. Keep working towards the things you know about today and you'll be amazed by what you can accomplish.

Dana recommends the following next steps:

Look at skills associated with jobs you want and draw up goals to gain those skills
Create actionable goals with a clear success metric. Goals that are too ambiguous will be hard to know you've "accomplished"

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Lydia’s Answer

Hi Marc,

Goals are an ever-changing element in an individuals career which can relate to many different areas including job roles, responsibilities, personal growth etc...

For me personally, I have always set myself small goals i.e. take on additional projects outside of my role. The more you focus on gradually taking on more responsibility & challenging yourself with new projects, the more it will be picked up on and the opportunities will find you.

Through the power of LinkedIn, networking and focusing on increasing and publicising new projects and skills gained, I managed to reach my goal of becoming a manager sooner than expected which was within 4 years.

As I progress in my career I'm certain I will have new goals and the key really is just to remain patient and focus your efforts on constantly growing your strengths. The key is to always keep yourself constantly challenged.


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