Career goals are important at any age, but especially when you’re just starting out, making a name for yourself, and finding out where your passion lies. If you can set your career on a good trajectory early on, you’ll benefit for years to come.
There are many ways to set career goals, document career goals, and measure outcomes. But how can you quickly find goals that matter?
In this post, I propose a simple way to determine the best carer goals before 30.
Career goals before 30
If you’re early in your career, there is one question you need to ask yourself that should drive your goals. Dig deep on this one – spend time thinking about what you bring to the team that is unique and valuable.
The question is:
What can I do that will raise the energy level and performance of every person on this team, including me?
This question may seem too simple or possibly out of reach. But we’re all connected, and just one person can shift a team’s energy in a positive direction. If you can find a way to be that person, you’ll be an invaluable member of your team and set yourself (and your team) up for years of success.
When it happens, you know it
I recently experienced the impact one person can make on a team, and it was nothing short of amazing.
It all started at my 10-year-old daughter’s dance competition. She’s a fantastic child in so many ways, but I have to be honest – It’s not often that I’m moved by one of her dances.
Don’t get me wrong – the music, choreography, and costumes are nearly always on point. The kids work hard and genuinely love what they’re doing. It’s always enjoyable, and they typically score well at competitions. I love watching her dance and am proud of what she’s accomplished.
However, one performance at this competition was different. I was moved. Something magical happened on that stage. I felt so many emotions – pride, excitement, overwhelm. My heart beat quickly, tears formed in my eyes, a smile plastered on my face, and excitement pumped through my veins.
The whole room felt it too. The entire auditorium was standing and cheering (even people from competing dance studios) when they finished. It was a moment I’ll not soon forget.
This performance was so inspiring. Each dancer gave 110% and danced with all their hearts. But what was different with his routine? I watched dozens of dances that day, and many of them were great but certainly not inspiring. Every dancer contributed what seemed like more than their abilities would typically allow.
So, what was this magic ingredient here? What took this dance from technically sound to an emotional experience? It was clear that one dancer increased every other person’s energy level and output on the team. Let’s call him Andrew.
Andrew started the performance by himself while the rest of the team waited in the wings to come on. Before the other dancers joined, he was like a 1,000-watt bulb, light radiating from his pores. His energy was incredible, his technique nearly perfect, and his mastery of the dance evident. There was something else, though. He was performing at the highest level, having the time of his life, and entertaining the audience on an emotional level. We couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
All the other dancers reacted to Andrew’s energy on stage. Every person contributed at a higher level than they had in any of the other dances that day. His energy was contagious. Every person was doing fantastic, and they knew it! They were confident, entertaining, and seemed to know they were part of something special.
As I said, when they were finished, the crowd went wild. The dance won an award for best performance overall, and the team got an enormous trophy that everyone was proud to show off. My daughter was proud to be part of the team and part of that performance.
Ask the question and set the goals
Andrew can be the inspiration for a life-changing set of goals. How can all boats rise because you are part of the team? How can your enthusiasm be infectious? What is it about you that helps others to be their best selves? How can your presence make others more motivated and believe bigger things are possible?
When you’re creating your career goals before 30, think about what it would take to be able to contribute at a level that makes everyone around you better.
Remember that it’s not just a positive attitude and passion for what you’re doing. It’s also mastering the fundamentals of your job, developing skills that your team needs to succeed, building up others to perform at their highest level, and taking responsibility for the outcome.
If you can include this in building your career goals before 30, you will have the foundation for a rewarding and successful career. Next, check out ways to get ahead at work by making the effort and get your professional headshot lined up!