Thursday, November 18, 2010

Goals and road maps

I spent about 30 minutes this morning mapping out my 12 month goals for a committee that I co-chair. And, as boring as it sounds, it felt kind of rewarding. This committee needed both a vision for the future and a road map for the "now," and I'd come up with all sorts of reasons why I didn't have time to do it.

I was tired of having this item languish on my to-do list, so I tackled it this morning. And in less than an hour, I had short-term, middle-term, and long-term goals for the committee.

As an aside: I feel like I could write an entire post about how to-do lists just don't work for me. I know that my life lacks focus and vision, though, when I require one to figure out what projects have parts still moving and what's coming up for me on the horizon.

The act of developing a plan for this committee got me thinking about how I should be doing this very thing for my professional life. I have to write goals as part of my self-evaluation process, and those are very useful. They give me a road map for what projects my supervisor and I have both agreed carry importance.

They're often very specific to my unit, though, and don't always encompass the ways in which I want to stretch myself in any given time period.

I don't know about you, but I get caught somewhere in between the daily minutiae (and not getting overwhelmed by it!) and the pie-in-the sky goals for my career. Rarely do I consider where I want to be, professionally-speaking, in 12 months and then craft a plan to get me there.

When I consider who I want to be at the end of the next 12 months, three questions come to mind:
What topic do I want to learn more about? What skill to I want to possess or hone? What organizations or projects do I want to get more involved in?

I feel like the answers to these questions can help construct a road map by which I can develop professionally.

There's no time like the present, I suppose.

I will reflect on these questions today, and use my answers to construct a professional development road map that exists separately from my self-evaluation goals.

Have a plan? Use it to be awesome! Don't have a plan? Join me in making one today!

Be proactive. Be visible. Be awesome.

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