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September 23, 2014 / Stephanie Vermillion

Back to School Means Back to Career Goals

Remember the days of back to school? I mean real back to school from a kid’s perspective, not Sunday coupons and stressing about carpools. I’m talking about those big decisions like picking the perfect folders, pens (colored gel, please) and pencil bags.

For me, the assignment notebook was the true sign of a new school year. I used pens and folders all year long, but keeping my assignment notebook updated rarely lasted past September. I always wanted to use it. I bought a “cooler” (think Spice Girls) assignment notebook every year hoping it would entice me, but sadly even Posh Spice couldn’t help me follow through on my organization goal.

We all have an “assignment notebook woe” or two in our careers. 

Back to School Means Back to Career GoalsNow, fast forward 15 years and I may not be struggling with assignment notebook troubles anymore (thank you, technology!), but I still have mini career goals I know I could pay more attention to. And I’d guess I’m not alone. We all have those lingering “assignment notebook woes” in one form or another during our careers.

If you’re looking to rev up your career and fulfill your goals, there’s no better time to start than back-to-school season. It’s really how we’ve been raised from K-12, then during those beautiful university years.

And, by following back-to-school season, you can set goals and segment your progress in six-month semesters to evaluate how far you’ve come incrementally and where you still have to go.

Build a list of any lingering goals you may have overlooked.

Are you trying to build up your work portfolio? That’s an easy one to forget about day in, day out. Do you want to start a blog? I hear you. It took me upwards of two years to develop this one! By building this list, you can hold yourself accountable while ensuring you don’t wait to fulfill your goals until it’s too late.

Set deadlines for when you want to achieve each goal.

If you’ve spent one day in the PR world, you know deadlines are a girl’s (or guy’s) best friend. They keep you on track and help you plan out tasks to meet the end goal. If you’re starting a blog, set a launch deadline of six months from now. Spend the next six months developing a title, aggregating content and creating a posting plan.

And, if you want to get more detailed, go ahead and set deadlines for those three planning tasks, too. Can you tell I live for deadlines?

Reward yourself when you achieve – or even make progress toward – your big goals.

Weight Watchers tells participants to plan little (non-edible) rewards for every weight loss milestone, and the same goes for PR. When you launch your blog, let yourself splurge on a new purse or pair of shoes. If you completed a kick-butt content plan for your blog (not the final goal – but progress toward it) have a smaller reward on-hand, such as a new OPI nail polish or a special trip to your local ice cream shop, to keep you going.

The more you reward yourself – when you truly deserve it – the more motivated you’ll be to reach your big goals, and the more likely you’ll be to find career success and happiness.

Do you use back-to-school season as a time to regroup and go get those goals? Share your tips below!

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