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What are your career goals? Have you examined them recently? Do they still make sense given that you or your position may have changed since setting them? Do they still make sense given that the world around you has no doubt changed since you set them?

If you’re having a hard time deciding what your career goals are, remember this: Every goal you choose should be based on how it will or will not contribute to your career success. 

I learned from both my own career, and from having spoken to hundreds of people about theirs, that difficulties in setting career goals are almost invariably tied to not having a clear and internally derived definition of career success.

Some possible goals you might have, though you will certainly have others to add to this list, include:

•    Flexibility in your career 
•    Self-employment
•    Employment (if unemployed or self-employed) 
•    Greater or lesser responsibility
•    Better clientele
•    More fun projects
•    Promotion
•    Early retirement
•    Better work-life balance
•    Skills improvement
•    A credential or certification

Before you set your career goals, think about what constitutes success for you. Does this definition come from you or is it something you got from someone else? Have you documented this definition? Once you know your own definition of success, choosing goals becomes much easier.

In my opinion, if you want to achieve greater success in your project management career, these steps can help: 

1.    Define and understand what success means to you personally
2.    Articulate it in writing
3.    Identify the goals that will move you closer to success
4.    Document your goals so as to activate your Reticular Activating System (RAS)
5.    Share them with your network so as to activate its RAS
6.    Make a plan to implement your goals
7.    Reevaluate your goals periodically
8.    Adjust them accordingly 
9.    Go back to step one

This article was originally published on PM Voices. Read the full article here.

Filed under: Articles
by: Sharmeen Hussain

Updated: 8 November 2012/ Responsible Officer: Director, IS / Page Contact: ITS Project Office