I’d venture to say not one person reading this article has gotten this far without taking a personality test. There are entire websites dedicated to such valuable pursuits such as, “What does your handwriting say about you?” and, “What’s your signature color?” and even, “Which of The Golden Girls are you?” These sometimes irresistible time-wasters are fun, but how many of us has applied the same consideration when it comes to career targets?
Goals are as individual and unique as the person setting them. They can range from the very short-term, like making that phone call you’ve been dreading, to the long-term, like reaching that 5-year sales trajectory you’ve had your eye on. Like the path our careers take, none of us approaches the process to accomplishing those objectives in the same way. Let’s get a head start on New Year goal-setting by putting a little thought into how your personality sets (and achieves!) a goal.
THE FIRST STEP
For some of us (and you know who you are), identifying and committing to the goal is a non-issue. In fact, this part is so easy for your Type-A friends that the difficulty often lies in selecting a goal that’s reasonable. Not necessarily one that’s a walk in the park, but one that’s challenging enough to keep you motivated at every step. A more analytical type might put just as much research into choosing a goal as the execution of the goal itself. This person might be looking for a few small wins in their column before speaking about their intentions out loud.
GET OUT or LEAN IN
Being a successful professional is all about recognizing the opportunities to build on experiences and lessons learned in our daily lives. The beauty of this process is, we don’t start over from square one. Every hurdle and hiccup along the way teach us how we as individuals handle the shortfalls. If you know your approach to your goals is aggressive, stay aware of instances in which a target simply isn’t a great fit. If the objective creates an imbalance, it might be time to pivot. On the other hand, if you’ve kept an alternative in mind the entire time, the temptation might be too great to jump ship. As in life, seek the happy medium.
SUPPORT IS KEY
Many of us have sought independence in our careers since day one. There’s a lot to be said for the sense of accomplishment you get when a project is complete, and you handled each and every step. But don’t turn a blind eye to a coworker who is willing and capable of providing some assistance or even being a sounding board. However, if you know yourself to become too dependent on that sounding board, take intentional steps to make decisions based solely on your knowledge and experience. Either way, you may surprise yourself!
Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all career path, there’s no one process to goal-setting. You know yourself best; don’t force yourself into a production schedule just because it’s how your boss or coworker does it. Fine-tuning this practice not only benefits you and your team, but is an accomplishment in and of itself.