What the experts say about GOALS

We asked our mentors, how important are professional goals and, if you have them, how can you keep them?

Here’s what they had to say…

  • Professional goals are important because they helps us grow and prevent us from existing in a situation where we just maintain a status quo. The truth is that we never know when we might want to move up or on from a current position and setting professional goals means that we will always be ready for change. As far as keeping goals, I treat professional goals the same as I treat personal goals. For me, this means setting accountability for myself. If I have a goal, I try to do something each week or each month to help me obtain this goal. Keeping track of these actions keeps the goal on my mind and helps me maintain progress.
  • I love to set goals for myself because I enjoy having a challenge and trying something new. Goals give shape to the year ahead and give you something to look forward to. I think it’s helpful for employees at every level, and goal setting provides an opportunity for the manager and staff member to have discussions about how the staff member’s goal fits in to the bigger picture. It’s important that goals are attainable, and sometimes staff don’t think about that and are happier when we’ve worked together to make them less vague and achievable with the right amount of effort. Being a manager has made it easier for me to understand this and set appropriate goals for myself.
  • Professional goals are important, because it is very easy to get involved in the day-to-day scheduling, ordering and programming in your library job and lose sight of where you want to be in the future of your career. While a supervisor or staff member is busy keeping the library running smoothly, she should also “schedule” their own professional goals; take time to analyze where she want to go and how to get there. Then she can create calendar reminders, if necessary, to make sure to enroll in the workshops, network with crucial contacts, and create the programs that will help her move forward in her career.
  • Professional goals are important for my sense of where I want to go with my career. I try to set 2-3 goals that are attainable–things I know I can work on throughout the year. I let my manager know what I would like to accomplish, so that she can be an active participant in my plans. She can also serve as a good guide and offer helpful suggestions. That way, at evaluation time, she is totally on board with why something did or did not happen. Personally, I feel a good sense of accomplishment when I have set a goal and meet the goal at some point in the year.
  • Life and work get so busy and it is so easy to chase after the immediate task or problem in front of you that getting derailed from what we need to do happens before you know it. “”When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s easy to forget that the initial objective was to drain the swamp.” That is why it is so important to define your goals and post em where you can see them on a daily basis and be reminded of what your real goals are.

If you could use the advice of a mentor, for anything from one, little question to a career-long conversation, find someone at http://mentors.neo-rls.org/users

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