How to map out your executive career roadmap using simple goal setting
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins.
If 2016 is the year of career change for you, begin by articulating your goals and then recording them. There is evidence that this an effective practice.
According to Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University in California, in her study conducted on goal-setting with 267 participants, results found that individuals are 42% more likely to achieve their goals by writing them down.
Choose no more than three goals at a time.
Taking action builds clarity. Keep it modest by choosing three goals that will get you one step closer to your primary goal. I always like to follow the business calendar and record quarterly goals and I choose no more than three goals. For an executive who is planning a career change, one goal could be to “Complete my executive resume by March 1”. The next step is writing the goals down. Keep the sheet close at hand or take a photo of it and store it in your phone. Revisit weekly, at least.
If you are the analytical type, you will likely question the “how” of this process. As Mike Dooley says, “Don’t mess with the cursed how.” By writing the goals down, you are more likely to succeed. Let the universe worry about how this will happen for you.
Don’t underestimate the amount of time and effort required to make a career change, whether it is to change companies, industries or functions altogether. The current national average for job transition is 240 days which is equivalent to 8 months.
What will the roadmap look like?
Your plan needs to be both comprehensive and simple at the same time and needs to cover the full job-search cycle.
- Job search strategy – do you know what organizations you want to target?
- Career marketing documents which include a branded resume, optimized LinkedIn profile, executive biography and endorsements.
- A professional networking scheme that gets you in front of the right people at the right organizations.
- An interview strategy that sets you apart from your competitors, including a 90-day plan, a compelling presentation, endorsements, to be used as leave-behind materials for your decision makers. A job offer letter that clearly positions you as the logical choice for the position.
- Salary negotiation planning – knowing what salary you can command as well as a termination clause that protects you within the first 24 months on the job.
- An onboarding plan that ensures your success in the new role.
According to Mark Murphy, there is a huge opportunity cost for unsuccessful new hires. Executives are hired for technical competence and then terminated for poor behavior. Tendering your resignation is a big step and the first 90 days on the new job will set the stage for success or failure. Place as much effort into your first 90 days as you have in your job search.
See this article: “Why New Hires Fail” by Leadership IQ: http://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/35354241-why-new-hires-fail-emotional-intelligence-vs-skills.
Course correct as you go.
Airline pilots are off course 99% of the time and although they always know their destination, they also know that they can adjust their direction as they move toward the destination. And you can too.
What are your goals?
Choose your top 3 goals for Q1, make them meaningful, concise and in alignment with your values. Check them daily and ask yourself, “what’s the first next step to reaching it?” Baby steps work. Repeat until you reach your destination.
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” Goethe
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