Career Jumpstart Series - Step One: Goal Setting
“Ugh. Goal setting?”
The older and more cynical I got, the more I resented goal setting. I would pick up a self-help book or listen to an audio book and someone would say those two words. I would then have a very visceral negative reaction.
I was all about goals in high school and college. I was laser focused and I believed wholeheartedly in goals. I was a Music Education major, so my training was all about learning objectives and getting specific. My career seemed really black and white. I thought if you set goals and worked hard enough, things would go your way.
Then I got out of school and discovered that life is really messy. Psychology is very messy. Things don’t always go the way you plan. Life is not black and white, and hard work guarantees nothing.
Then, around six months ago, I read a friend’s article about setting long term goals and my perspective was profoundly changed. I figured out a few things.
Here are a few things goal setting is:
A blueprint for your brain, not unlike plans for an architect to build a house.
A tool to shape your values.
A way to discern the best options to move forward.
Something to refer to when considering a new opportunity.
Changeable and flexible as you age and experience life.
Here is what goal setting is not:
Something to go after without the thought of the cost to yourself and others.
Something you failed at if you did not achieve it by X deadline.
One of the first conversations I have with a friend or client involves some form of the phrase “what are your goals?”, get big, state them in first person, and be specific.
In my experience, goals are the basis on which everything else is formed. If you set goals you will find your values, figure out your reasoning as to why you do things, and be able to build your career in the direction you want to see it go.
Recently, I wrote this step-by-step guide to help jumpstart your artistic career. Goal setting is the first exercise.
Next time, we will talk about the second step, income goals.
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