January 20, 2021

Goal Setting

Wondering how to create Annual Goals that translate into career advancement?

It’s that time of year when we consider Goal Setting and what we want to accomplish each year. 

Having spent most of my career leading Human Resources teams, I am often asked a lot of questions about how to effectively set and achieve annual goals, that will directly impact my upward career advancement and compensation positively?

Here are some tips that I have given in the past.  You may find these helpful for you or for sharing advice with the teams who you manage: 

  1. If you’re choosing the same goals year after year and not achieving them as aggressively as you would like, then consider why you’re not achieving them.  Spend more time on understanding the obstacles that are preventing you from getting there, and focus 2021 on overcoming those obstacles first, so that you can get to the Goals.
  2. It’s great to set optimistic goals, but make sure that they resonate with your Company’s and Division’s Goals.  There’s no point in setting goals that have nothing to do with what your boss, and your boss’s boss deem as a powerful contributor to the company’s success.
  3. Are your goals realistic?  Its great to have stretch goals to impress your peers and boss with ambition, but are you really able to show that you can successfully achieve them.  Try mini-goals instead, like stepping stones each year, to achieve the big goals. Every success counts, no matter how incremental.
  4. Continuous Learning.  I am always surprised when people ask me “Why is that person advancing faster than me in the company?”.  Its usually a result of the other person’s continuous effort to keep learning.  There are so many courses offered online now, so many books that are available either written or audio, and so much great knowledge out there to enrich our lives.  A lot of companies offer financial support for learning through their benefit plans, so if you’re not using up that benefit each year, that could be one of the reasons.  Keep adding certifications and trainings to your resume. 
  5. Publish your Goals.  Always have a copy of your goals posted near you, so that you see them every day.  Talk about them often with your peers and boss.  Not only will it get you to focus on achieving them, but you make others aware that you are goal oriented and care about your career trajectory.  Post them on your desk, carry them in your pocket, or put them in your calendar to pop up ever 2 weeks. 
  6. Mentor.  It’s always a great learning experience for you to mentor others, and to have your own Mentor.  Look into any mentorship programs that exist in your company or any associations that you belong to.  Mentoring or being mentored is career advancement on steroids.
  7. Ask others what their goals are.  You can learn from your peers, and create awareness that you are a goal oriented professional. 
  8. And finally, stay with the goals and don’t give up.  We all have setbacks and challenges, but its what you do with those setbacks that differentiates you in your bosses eyes.

Good Luck! 

Lakeshore Human Capital Inc. (“LHCI”) is a boutique executive search firm that provides superior client service, comprehensive sector and functional knowledge, and senior partner involvement on every assignment. 

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