What are your career goals, and why? How can someone effectively create a personal career goal for themselves?
To help business professionals develop career goals, we asked business leaders and organization founders this question for their best advice. From finding a mentor to prioritizing meaningful work, there are several suggestions that may help you catalyze your career for years to come.
Here are 11 ways to create personal career goals in a small business:
- Find a Mentor
- Clarify the “Why”
- Focus on the 80/20 Rule
- Do What You Love
- Embrace Fear
- Accept That Goals Change
- Expand on Past Goals
- Develop Your Network
- Set Many Small Goals
- Value Meaningful Work
- Seek Growth Opportunities
Find a Mentor
My career goals are to grow my company so that it is eventually acquired by a large beverage company. I hope to lead this company to grow substantially and employ many people. Someone can effectively create a personal career goal for themselves by getting a mentor who has accomplished similar tasks themselves. You can utilize this mentor to guide you on your personal career goal path and work to achieve your goals.
Lauren Picasso, Cure Hydration
Clarify the “Why”
Start with your personal vision in mind. If you aren’t clear on your vision, or your “why”, then setting personal career goals can be difficult. Once you clearly see your future state, focus on what that looks like, what are you doing, where are you standing, and what are you wearing once you get there. I might not have the complete roadmap to get there, but I focus on the first 3 steps. When I set the goal to transition into operations, I saw myself leading a small business and running the operations. I didn’t know when or who, but in due time, focusing on the next three steps, I found my way to my dream role.
Jenn Christie, Markitors
Focus on the 80/20 Rule
My primary goal for 2021 is to focus on the 80/20 rule when it comes to my work and time. The 20% of my time and energy that accomplishes 80% of the results in my business is where I want to focus my attention. I want to focus on perfecting my current skill set rather than trying to wear every hat in my business. My goal is to become a better entrepreneur by being a better manager and knowing what to get off my plate. I want my vision for my business and for myself in 2021 to be so large that I will only be able to accomplish it with the help of other people. I want to include more people in my business by giving them key responsibilities and autonomy to make decisions.
Alexander Shute, FaithGiant
Do What You Love
My career goal has always been to do something I love and through that, I will find my passion. It doesn’t matter if it is working solo or managing a team, I have always followed my heart when it comes to my career. If something didn’t feel right, I would move on to the next opportunity. I guess that is how I got to where I am today, having started my hospitality-based business.
I work for myself and I love what I do, which makes it easy for me to give my all. Now, my business goals are to continue to grow, continue to learn, and continue to help my clients grow their businesses. My advice to someone looking to create a career goal for themselves is to start writing down what it is you love to do. Then ask yourself what it is you need to be able to do every day to get the most out of it. Ask yourself what will make you feel your best and work towards that in all aspects of your career.
Jen Bee, Restaurant Results Coach
Once you hit lifelong goals that you have set for yourself, it’s another jump to finding motivation for another. A career goal I have is to become comfortable with acknowledging any fear I have within my life because your career and life should go hand in hand. Becoming fearless is a trait I admire in many people. I want to continue to understand that the role of fear is to warn and protect, not to scare and prevent. Some advice I have for creating a personal goal is to widen your perspective. When you are curious about the world around you and ask questions to understand things, you are automatically expanding your perspective and horizons at the same time.
Connor MacDonald, Ridge
Accept That Goals Change
After college, I was working as a product manager at a Big 4 company and I thought that was my dream. But now, I own and operate a wonderful business that continues to grow every year. To me, that’s my new career goal. While career goals are extremely important, when you’re creating your personal plans, keep in mind that some things may change. As time goes on, you are going to learn about new opportunities that weren’t available to you in the past. You’ll develop new skills and decide you might be better suited in other positions.
Tom Mumford, Undergrads
Expand on Past Goals
When you’re hoping to create a personal career goal for yourself, the first thing you may want to do is look at your past goals. Were you able to achieve them? If so, can you expand upon them to create a goal along the same vein? Often, looking at the successes of our past can help us see our strengths, therefore enabling us to set more attainable goals.
Greg Gillman, MuteSix
Develop Your Network
Networking is not only imperative for building relationships and perhaps collaborations down the line, but it is an important building block for brand recognition. That’s why one of my career goals has always been to network as if my life depended on it! The more leaders you can connect with, the more opportunities you have to discuss your brand and bring up topics and ideas that will make you (and your company) memorable. In this way, when they are in need of a product or a service that relates to your business, your brand will immediately jump to mind. This is basically PR 101 but a true goal to be accomplished with pride and ingenuity.
Heidi Robinson, Because Market
Set Many Small Goals
Everyone tells you to think big. The trouble with “big” is that it is usually vague. Success comes from methodically focusing on specific objectives. For example, if you want to be a CHRO, don’t waste time on vague conversations about “getting a seat at the table.” Instead, learn to read a balance sheet. Perfect your project management skills. Become tech-savvy. Polish your public speaking. Pick one thing that will add value to you and your organization, learn it, and repeat. Before long, you’ll not only have your seat at the table, you’ll have something meaningful to say.
Tim Toterhi, Plotline Leadership
Value Meaningful Work
At this moment, my biggest career goal is to create the best financial comparison website in all of Denmark. I want to make all our comparisons and content so incredibly valuable, that there is simply no way it is not the best. Of course, I have monetary goals as well, but I firmly believe that goals have to be meaningful to you. By focusing on something meaningful to you that is at the same time valuable to others, the money will follow, too.
Paw Vej, Financer.com
Seek Growth Opportunities
One of my career goals has always been to build a stellar, high-quality team. One of the best ways to attract top talent to your company is by offering the opportunity for growth. Many talented professionals turn down lucrative positions all the time because they just can’t see a clear path to learn, grow, and even move up within the company. As we all know, employee retention is at an all-time low. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to offer continued training, promotions from within, and even the availability to move to a completely different department that may better fit an employee’s skill set.
Travis Killian, Everlasting Comfort