When it comes to achieving your career goals, most admins have the drive to accomplish them – but what they lack is a plan for implementation.
If you don’t take the time to plot out a plan of attack for achieving your goals, then they can get away from you. And before you know it another month, quarter, or even year will go by. This is why it’s vital that you create a plan that will help you tackle your goals and hold yourself accountable for them.
Your action plan doesn’t have to be something complicated. It can be as simple as a list in a notebook or a Word document. The important thing is that you get your goals written down and start making progress towards achieving them. The following tips can help you do just that!
- Break a big goal down into smaller steps. Take a large goal, such as landing a job at your dream company, and break it into smaller pieces, like updating your LinkedIn profile, creating a professional portfolio and reaching out to the company’s HR department. This helps you identify the individual steps that need to be taken to accomplish the overall goal.
- Assign realistic dates. Setting attainable dates for reaching your goals, and adjusting them as you go, is a crucial part of your action plan. Write down a finish-by date for each of your goals. And if you miss a deadline, give yourself a new deadline. Then evaluate why you missed it in the first place. Was the timeline too ambitious? Did something or someone get in the way? Recognizing what hindered you can help you avoid the same problem in the future.
- Set reminders to keep you on track. Handwrite reminders on your calendar, schedule task reminders, or set up one-on-ones with your boss or mentor. It doesn’t matter how you choose to remind yourself about your finish dates for your goal, so long as it helps you remember.
- Keep a journal. Journaling has a lot of benefits for admins and their careers, but it can be especially helpful when it comes to goal setting. Keep a journal and each day write down what single action you’re going to take that day or week to achieve one of your goals. Writing down what you want to do and when you want to do it by will keep you motivated to make progress toward the goal.
- Recruit an accountability partner. If you want to stay on track towards achieving your goals, it’s vital that you check in with someone – whether it’s yourself, a mentor, your executive, a colleague, or a fellow admin. Chances are good that you’re going to encounter obstacles or get sidetracked from time to time. So you need someone who can help you get back on track, encourage you, and provide support.
- Create a visual goal board. A physical representation of your career goals can keep you on track by reminding you what you’re working towards. Post it in a place where you will see it every day.
- Recognize partial accomplishments. Achieving your career goals is a long-term challenge. But that doesn’t mean you should wait until you achieve them all to reward yourself. Give yourself some credit – and maybe a treat – when you check a goal or a several steps toward achieving a goal off your list. A little reward can go a long way in maintaining your motivation!
To achieve what you want in your admin career, you need to set goals. And to achieve these goals, you need to measure and regularly evaluate your progress towards them. Don’t let another day, week, or year pass by without making progress toward yours – create your action plan today and start crossing some goals off your list!
Download our free career planning template to help get you started.
© 2014 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.