Event Recap – BrownBag Series – Goal Setting: How to Achieve Your Career Objectives

Close your eyes; picture your ideal job environment. What do you see? Is it a multinational company or a startup? Listen to the sound around you; what do you hear? Are you working alone or are there people surrounding you? Ask yourself what is it that make you happy? If you do not know the answer, then ask yourself what is missing? Our guest speaker, Michelle Berner, started this month’s session with such thought-provoking questions and demonstrated the power of picture of setting goals in life.

Every year begins with new hope and inspiration. We make New Year’s resolution and often fall behind. This year, we started our Brownbag journey with a two-part session on “Goal Setting” to help our attendees in achieving their career goals. Sometimes we are unsure about what we want, but we know what we do not want. Our speaker, Michelle Berner, helped the attendees to understand their career goals and what would be the next steps for moving forward by using a very famous adage “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

The best way to understand your career goal is to picture yourself in an ideal job environment and then ask yourself why this place is making you happy. Who else is there? What’s the social environment around you? Is it an academic lab or industry? What type of work you are doing, are you selling your ideas or managing people? Ask yourself why does it feel so good? If you can’t picture, then ask yourself what’s the barrier? What are the things that you value most and would like to have in your next job.

Some people might not have any clue about what they want from their job. In that case, think from your personal experience what made you happy in your previous job and what didn’t. Understanding your career goal is all about asking you constantly “WHAT YOU VALUE MOST”. For some people it might be money, for others it might be something else like: leaving an impact on peoples’ lives, keep on learning and growing in career, etc.

Once you have an idea about what you want to do in life, don’t wait! Just do it! It’s a long journey with many stepping stones and along the way you will face challenges. Don’t be afraid of the hurdles and show some self-compassion. Ask yourself what worked best for you in the past. Asses and redirect your energy as appropriate; clarify your vision if needed and choose the life that you always wanted! It’s an iterative process; you learn from your mistakes and then you brainstorm and identify the stepping stones.

Once you have an idea about all the things that you could do to reach your goal, ask yourself what is the first thing to do? Identify the best possible next steps. Self-awareness is very important in this journey. Understand what action steps are you motivated to do and why? Motivation is absolutely necessary for sustainability. Know what you need to learn, the resources available to you, connect with people who can help you.

At the end, ask yourself why achieving this goal is so important to you right now; use the reasoning to motivate you throughout this journey. Look forward to the reward and keep moving forward. Michelle Berner is coming back on February 26th for the second part of the workshop “Measure Your Success: Evaluating Your Progress” and will help our attendees to understand the barriers that they faced in achieving their goals, and how to overcome those.

Lisa Parvin

BrownBag Event Coordinator