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Set Short-Term Career Goals

In These Tough Times, It's a Good Way to Help You Evaluate Yourself and Grow as a Professional

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Ioana Filip
Ioana Filip
They say it's good to have a career path, to set a goal for your future and do your best to achieve it. In these difficult times, making a long-term plan for your career may seem far-fetched, as the market seems to be in a constant change -- shrinking and often forcing us to rethink our careers.

While 2010 will still be a year of constant challenges for the entire market, as young professionals it may be smart to start planning our careers step by step, from short-term goal to short-term goal. It might sound a bit too calculated for a Millennial, but give it a chance; it will help you prioritize your work and will make you anticipate the next natural step. It may help you identify the best moments to take risks and will help you more easily evaluate your career situation.

So why not start thinking about what your career status will be this summer. Sure, it's only a few months away, but you can never be too sure about tomorrow's workplace these days. Set a realistic and attainable goal for the next three to six months and do your best to achieve it; in such frustrating times it's good to keep yourself motivated and optimistic to achieve something you've set your mind to, rather than make unrealistic plans.

Setting a realistic short-term career goal is not only ambitious, but it also requires a true understanding of your current situation. Again, realistic is the key word. Assess your strongest points and your potential short-term opportunities and barriers. Try not to focus on the negatives; it's bad enough the market doesn't offer you many things to be satisfied with right now.

A short-term goal can be anything from finishing a personal research project, shooting your first TV spot or selling an innovative concept to your favorite client. You set the goal, the plan and the steps. That's the beauty of it.

Make sure you are cautious when you start making promises to yourself, as those may turn out to be the most difficult to keep as well as the most disappointing. Bear in mind your personal barriers and work pressures when you set your goal so that you can accurately evaluate the risks of your own short-term plan.

Your short-term goals may pale in comparison to what you hope to achieve one day, but achieving them is at least reassurance that you are on the right track. Good short-term planning will also confirm whether you are pursuing the right career or if it's time to rethink the path. It's better to identify your strengths and flaws early in your working years, so that you can rethink your career if necessary.

I usually try to set a six-month goal, setting a deadline for each project. It often takes many sleepless nights to achieve my short-term goals, but the fulfillment I experience each time I complete a project keeps me moving forward.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ioana Filip joined the internship program of JWT Bucharest in 2006 as a student and was few months later hired as a copywriter. Still at JWT, she's now working on the agency's international brands on all mediums. A graduate of communication and PR with a major in advertising and media in 2008, she's also a passionate screenwriter and a social-media addict, writing regularly about it on her blog, ioanafilip.wordpress.com.

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