How Goals Help You Achieve
Career Success Sooner

By Anne Brown
Co-author of Grad to Great (Dalidaze Press, 2007)

One sure fire way to take the frustration out of a difficult job search is to get in the habit of setting career goals. But it’s not enough to just set goals, you need to be set job search goals that are attainable and then stay motivated enough to reach your long-term career objectives. Learning how to set effective goals takes practice, but the effort is well worth the self-discipline because having career goals will make you more successful in your job search and ultimately more productive at work once you do land the job. Making goal setting a habit will also help you realize your career aspirations sooner.

So, just how do you set effective career and job search goals?

One of the best first steps is to focus on setting smaller, measurable goals. For example, instead of stating that you want to get a job after you graduate, break that giant goal into a group of smaller, more manageable goals, such as:

  • Research ten companies in the next week
  • Obtain the contact information of the person who has the authority to hire me
  • Apply to at least six companies within the next four weeks

Next, keep track of your progress. Each time you accomplish a goal, celebrate. Grab a burrito bowl from Chipotle instead of eating at the dorm or in your apartment. Pretty soon achieving your goals will seem easy because you know how to make them manageable. On your mark, get set, GOAL!

Anne Brown is a former journalist who became involved in writing about career development and success strategies after gaining experience in a wide variety of fields and industries herself. Her advice for recent graduates about setting goals during the job search was recently featured in the Chicago Tribune.