Years ago, the idea of a social media marketing career was unthinkable.
For individuals just starting their careers in the early 2000s, it was impossible to set career goals for becoming a Social Media Marketing Manager – the concept didn’t even exist. Today, however, the position can be found in marketing departments of almost every industry.
If you’re just starting out in a career, it can be overwhelming to try to set goals without a clear idea of where you’re headed. You want to move forward, but may not know what opportunities are even available. Can you still use goal setting? The answer is yes.
Instead of focusing your goals on a specific position or title, adjust your thinking to focus on accomplishments. Whether you are new to an industry, or the industry itself is new, it may be more efficient to set goals that prioritizes a skill set. How can you effectively correlate your goals when the target is unclear?
Set Immediate Goals
When you’re just beginning in a career, it is essential to establish yourself as a professional who is serious about their job. Begin building a solid working relationship with your colleagues. Set yourself apart as someone who shows up on time, is willing to work hard and is a team player. Your goals during the beginning of your career should include building connections with potential mentors and leaders within your field.
Set Short-Term Goals
As you settle into your career, start to look ahead. Observe what positions may be available for advancement. What do others do to achieve promotions? Take note of the skills that others have. What skills, certifications or trainings do the people at the next level of your position possess? Set short term goals to obtain the training you need to position yourself for advancement.
Constantly be aware of new opportunities for learning. Is your company offering workshops or conferences to employees? Even if the subject matter does not directly apply to your position, take advantage of the opportunity to expand your knowledge. During the beginning stages of your career, your goals should include networking, education and determining your path forward. Instead of focusing on obtaining a specific position in ten years, focus on moving forward in the next few years.
Set Long-Term Goals
It is hard to look long-term when you may change companies, change careers, or are working in a field that is still developing. Set universal long-term goals instead of tying them to career specifics. Your future goals may include financial security, running a business, a flexible work location or more. Align your career choices with working towards your long-term goals. Then integrate your short-term and immediate goals for maximum success.
Goal setting for a shifting target can seem difficult. When you’re not sure of your next step, how can you set goals effectively? By focusing on the progress, not the target. If you are unsure of where to go, focus on moving forward and positioning yourself to pivot. Once you know the next target, it will be easy to shift your actions to accommodate the specifics of your goals.
Michele Bailey is the Founder of My Big Idea™. The My Big Idea™ Personal and Professional workshops provide guidance on aligning work goals to life goals and helping participants move forward to prepare for a future by doing their very best with today’s changing and unknown times. Find out when our next workshop is offered. Or, book your own by contacting us.