March 29, 2014

Seriously? Penny Davenport says….plus 10 steps to career success

Goals, goals, goals. The English Premiere League is delivering a thrilling conclusion to the 2013 / 2014 season. Watching football teams come together spectacularly well, or disintegrate in front of your eyes, equally spectacularly, is like a mini-masterclass in psychology. Those individuals that can withstand immense pressure thrive. The mentally fragile start to crumble. The Machiavellian (that’s you, Mourinho) take centre stage.
In sport, as in life and as with our careers, we need to know where we are headed. We need a goal. In footballing terms, the goal is a huge white net and we need to score more than the other team to win. In your career, you also need a goal. That will help to steer you, and will also tell you when you have got there, or when you have “won”.
This is the third step to career success. Step One was, “Do what you love,” and Step Two was to, “Do what you are good at.” By now, you will have identified two lists of things you love to do, and things you are good at. If there is some overlap, even better. This will make your career acceleration, or transition, even easier. Step 3 is to, “Identify your goals.” Write down, in plain English, what your 1 year, 3 year and 5 year career and personal goals are. You cannot succeed without doing this. Some examples are:
  • 1 year – Achieve a 6 month overseas placement
  • 3 years – Be promoted to the next level
  • 5 years – Own my own business
  • 1 year – learn conversational Italian
  • 3 years – own my own home
  • 5 years – take a career break and have a sabbatical (ooops, this might not be compatible with owing my own business but its good to have it out there)
Your goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound.
Once you have identified your goals, you can take steps towards achieving them and can work to address any gaps you may have in, for example, your skill set or experience.
In the case of my beloved Arsenal, if our worse fears come true and we end another season without achieving the goal of a major trophy, plugging those gaps will include recruiting or developing a strong leader on the pitch and adding a tested striker to the mix.

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