Home Careers Career Goals: Focusing on Present-Day Goals Is Helpful for Long-Range Planning
Career Goals: Focusing on Present-Day Goals Is Helpful for Long-Range Planning

Career Goals: Focusing on Present-Day Goals Is Helpful for Long-Range Planning

Start a management degree at American Public University.

By Courtney Carroll, SHRM-CP, GCDF, MBTI
Training and Development Program Manager, Human Resources, APUS

In today’s busy society, it can be healthy and beneficial to look at career planning from a long-range perspective. However, burnout can happen if we push ourselves too far and too fast. We need to remind ourselves that doing our jobs exceptionally well and becoming seasoned subject matter experts are valuable and desirable traits.

To accomplish these goals, we need to live in the present. Here are a few tips from board-certified counselor and life coach Michael J. Formica for focusing on the present.

Take a Breath

Focusing on the present begins with breathing. Take a deep breath in and let it out through your nose. This type of breathing helps you relax.

Be a Witness

Increase your awareness of what you are doing in a given moment. When you’re reading, say to yourself, “I am reading this article.” When you’re driving your car, say to yourself, “I am driving my car.” When you’re listening to music, say to yourself, “I’m listening to music.”

Let the Rest Go

After you acknowledge what you are doing, let the thought pass you by. Avoid jumping on the tail end of your moment with other thoughts that may enter your mind such as “I need to read more articles like this,” “That driver really needs to slow down,” or “Oh, I love this song.” If your thoughts try to hitch a ride on what you are witnessing, simply bring your mind back to the action at hand.

Come Back to the Breathing

Once you let the rest go, take another breath and repeat the steps. Formica advises, “Inhale, and release your exhale to unbind yourself from the shackles of the past and the anxieties of the future.”

Focusing on Your Present-Day Career Goals

Driven individuals who work best with specified goals for which to strive may want to incorporate career goals that help them focus on the present. Present-focused career goals may include:

  • Learn one new thing in my role per week and share it with my manager and/or team.
  • Make a list of all the people I helped this week.
  • Take the next one (or two) years and soak up as much knowledge as possible about this position.

The next time you feel pressure to push ahead in your career, remember that doing your job exceptionally well, becoming a seasoned subject matter expert and setting present-focused career goals are extremely valuable attributes. They help you fulfill an organization’s needs and are good career strategies.

Start a management degree at American Public University.

About the Author

Courtney has 8+ years of training and development experience and 11+ years of management experience, is a Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), a Global Career Development Facilitator and Myers-Briggs certified. Courtney holds a Master of Arts in College Student Development and Administration and earned a Master of Human Resource Management from American Public University in 2016. Courtney has experience in the higher education, hospitality and retail industries.