By Perminus Wainaina
It’s only 41 days left until we bid goodbye to 2017.
And as the year begun, you were excited as you jotted down every goal you wanted to achieve in your career.
You may have set up your goals in a daily, weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis. As you penned down every goal you were determined to meet this year, you were excited at the prospect of advancing in every aspect of your career.
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Perhaps some of the goals you set up included:
1. Gain leadership/managerial roles
2. Get a promotion
3. Improve systems and structures to contribute towards organizational growth
4. Get a salary increase
5. Change careers
6. Change jobs
On this day, Monday, 20th November 2017, have you achieved your career goals? If yes, pat on the back! If no, what went wrong?
Science indicates that at least 92%of people do not achieve their career goals at the end of the year while the remaining 8% do.
So what are these 8% doing that you are not?
Let us examine 8 reasons why you did not achieve your career goals
1. Lack of a clear focus when setting up your goal (s)
The first rule of goal setting is to make sure it is S.M.A.R.T.
S – Specific
As you set your goal beginning of this year, ask yourself, was it as specific as possible? Did it address one issue or was it a vague statement addressing a number of issues?
M – Measurable
Did the goal you set up have the ability to be monitored through evaluation of progress, inputs, outputs and outcomes?
A – Achievable
Did you have the capacity and resources to achieve your goal or was it too far-fetched or beyond your reach?
Was your goal tailored to meet your career objectives? Was it worth it and did it help you attain your other goals?
T – Time-bound
Did your goal have specific time-lines e.g. “I will change jobs this year” or were you working void of timelines?
If the answers to these questions are not aligned with the S.M.A.R.T acronym, that could be one major reason why you did not achieve some or all your career goals.
2. Failure to commit and follow through
Most people begin the New Year with vigor and excitement including yourself! As you set up your goals, you see them through for the first few weeks and even moths.
However, as the year continues to elapse, you begin to slowly but gradually lose track of your goals. You may not even realize it’s happening because you are consumed with other aspects of your life e.g. school, family, businesses and before you know it, the year is almost wrapping up.
You realize that the year has come and gone but you have not achieved all your goals.
3. Not seeking career advice
You are not a lone ranger. While we as humans are born alone, we are not solitary beings capable of surviving on our own understanding.
As you were setting up your career goals, did you seek the help of a mentor or take up career coaching?
If you did not consult others in your field or professionals when setting up your goals, you may have come up with goals that were not fully S.M.A.R.T resulting in the failure to achieve them.
4. Lack of patience and discipline to achieve the goal
It is indeed true that Rome was not built in a day and neither is your career! Working towards achieving a goal will require you to remain disciplined and patient.
If you did not exercise patience as you worked for your goals, then you greatly missed out on what could have been.
5. Inability to handle failure
When you fall, it is common practice that you pull yourself back up, dust yourself and keep moving.
At some point when you were working towards your goal did you give up after failing once or multiple times? This is where you might have missed the mark.
Always know this, disappointments are a part of life and attaining your goals will never come easy. A few times you will fail, but keep your eyes on the price!
6. Getting distracted
Distractions may have largely contributed to you not achieving your goals.
You purposed to follow through with your career goals only for other things to get in your way and make you lose focus. Not before long, you had forgotten your goals you set up including their location!
7. Making excuses
Did you find yourself giving a number of reasons as to why you did not achieve your goals? Eg you said you were too busy or things just came up, you had to travel, you did not have adequate resources etc.?
This “dog ate my homework” excuses may have well caused you not to achieve your goals. These excuses may have also come up because you lost focus.
8. Not having an accountability partner
The good thing about having an accountability partner is that they keep you in check and focused.
They follow up to see that you are working towards achieving your goal as well as monitor outcomes.
They ensure you meet timelines and deadlines.
Did you have a mentor or a coach?
Now you know what the successful 8% do differently to achieve their goals.
To this end,
Goal setting is a new year’s resolution for most of us. However, it is the follow through and accomplishment by the end of the same year that counts.
If you want to learn more about how to set clear career goals, we are here to help you make the most out of your career.
Which of these points made you not achieve your career goals? We would love to hear from you.