5 Reasons to Plan Your Career Goals (Right Now)


“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

Albert Einstein

As a long-time goal setter, I hear, like everyone else, those naysayers who poo-poo goals and ambitions and even New Year resolutions. Don’t let that be you. But in case you’re tottering on the edge of ignoring some career-oriented goal-setting this year, let me offer up some good reasons to plan your career goals right now:


1. You will go nowhere or head to an undesirable place if you don’t know where you’re going.

There are countless sayings about a ship with no rudder, a trip with no map and that sort of thing. It’s also true for your career. If you haven’t thought through the direction you want to take, you will most likely be one of millions who hate their job. You will simply drift from one thing you dislike to another until one day when you wake up to what you have (or haven’t) done and you realize you wasted a lot of your time.


2. Your daily actions will have greater meaning if you know their purpose.

Let me put this another way: Other than drawing a paycheck, do you know why you’re doing what you’re doing? When you’re doing something that’s part of a bigger plan, it gives purpose and meaning to each thing you do.


3. You will create your own motivation and excitement when you see yourself making strides towards a bigger goal.

Some people think the motivation to do something simply falls out of the sky. It doesn’t work that way. You can create your own motivation when you have a vision of your own “big picture.” That can help drive and sustain you even on the worst days.


4. People who are clear about where they’re headed are happier and are more successful.

Do you think the U.S. President is a happy person with his career choices? Do you think he got there by accident? You can say the same of all happily successful people. They set a goal that excited them and they’re happier than a dirty pig to have achieved it.


5. Goals help focus your attention on an end result.

When you have a goal, you know what to focus your time and attention on. It helps you prioritize things and make better decisions. You know where you’re headed, why you’re headed there and what you have to do to get there. Nothing’s better than razor sharp focus to make you feel empowered.

I hope any or all of these 5 reasons for planning your career help you move forward in figuring out your goals. You’ll be glad that you did and even happier when you can start checking off those things you accomplished.

What’s your most ambitious career goal? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image: Flickr

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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