2 answers

Which is a better strategy focusing on the long term or short term?

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I was wondering #strategy

2 answers

Giuseppe’s Answer

Updated Brookline, Massachusetts

Depends on your situation. There was a time when I was flat broke, lost, and had no idea what I was doing with my life. So I got the first job I could find and I hunkered down. The job was terrible, I hated it, and I wasn't happy. But I had an income and paid all of my bills and felt safe and reasonably secure. Then, as my savings built up, I was able to think about the long term. Once I had some financial breathing room, I took a new job that was on a career path and came with training. Although that new job paid less than my old job, I knew that it would give me training for something bigger down the road. Now, I'm at a state where my work is about what I want to accomplish in 5 to 10 years. I hardly ever think about the short term, unless of course if short term thinking covers the steps that will take me to my long term goal. So, where are you now? Do you have pressing short term goals? If thinking about the short term is in service of the long term, great! But if you're always thinking short term, you'll end up unhappy in the long term. My recent attendance at my 15 year high school reunion cemented this conclusion. I saw guys who traded long term satisfaction for short term excitement. And I saw the opposite too. If you can afford to think long term, do it. But if you can't, there's no shame in focussing on the short term. But try to get past it as fast as possible.

Artemio’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

Hi Janet: Both short and long-term focus are important. My suggestion is to create a long-term plan with specific short-term goals that would allow you to move forward. Short-term goals should align and reinforce your long-term objectives, but they also should keep you engaged in achieving them. For example, if one of your long-term objectives is to graduate from college, your short-term goals should be to get accepted in an undergraduate program you like, receive credit for the classes you take, enroll in summer classes to shorten the time to graduate, study for exams, submit papers on time, etc. As you accomplish those individual short-term goals, you will be put closer to achieving your long-term objective. Good luck!

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