Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, once said: “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.”
Og Mandino, U.S. businessman and motivational author and lecturer said: “The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams.”
And Stephen Covey, internationally respected leadership authority and author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, said: “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
These three quotes from respected leaders may give you some inspiration regarding the importance of planning and goal setting. If you’re new to goal setting, you can read an article on my blog that I wrote last January: http://www.harveycareers.com/blog/how-to-ensure-you-achieve-your-new-years-resolutions-2010-goals/.
For career planning you may want to create one-, two-, five-, and ten-year goals. BlueSteps a service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (the association for retained executive search firms) suggests that you, “set goals for yourself at each organization you join and for each position you assume, with interim objectives to provide markers to measure your progress or signal the need for change.”
Ultimately, you may want to plan your career through till your retirement. Ask yourself, “What do I want to have achieved by the time I retire?” Then, back your way into your goals. Consider where you are now and what you have to do and/or learn to reach your ultimate career goal.
While the economic environment may be causing you to accept whatever job you can get, I would caution you to consider your career goals. While you may need to take a bridge position—one that will hold you over until you can get back on track, make sure you continue to search for the opportunity that aligns with your goals. You don’t want to get stuck in a dead-end position that detracts you from your long-term goal. If you must take a bridge job, consider taking one that will help you develop a skill set or knowledge base that will strengthen your candidacy for your next step in your career.
Given that interviewers frequently ask about your career goals, having a well-thought-out response will position you as a visionary executive capable of leading an organization.