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Working on your work goals

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Published: 17 February 2022

University of Sunderland in London student smiling in a classroom

The path to the career you want can be a long one, measured in years rather than days.But as a University of Sunderland in London student, you are at least on that path and taking some huge steps down it. 

But actually getting to where you want to be can be tricky. Life gets in the way, things you can’t plan for, good or bad, turn up and can delay your journey or even change the destination entirely. 

While it’s always good to be adaptable and accept that the goal you set for yourself in your 30s might not be the same thing you want in your 50s, learning and practising discipline as a student will give you the determination you need to hit your long-term targets. 

Do a little every day 

There’s a principle in habit building called ‘no zero days’. The concept basically states that you shouldn’t let a single day go by without doing something to take you closer to your goals. 

A lot of people are put off by the idea because self-help guides often tell us to make big, noticeable leaps forward. But ‘no zero days’ teaches that any action, no matter how small should be celebrated as an achievement. 

Even a short walk is better than sitting on the sofa doing nothing, after all. When it comes to your career goals, try taking action, no matter how small, that helps you be the person you want to be.  

Maybe spend five minutes scrolling through Twitter for business leaders to follow, or write out a to-do list for the week. Whatever it is you decide to do, remember to be grateful to yourself for getting started, it’s the hardest part. 

Get inspiration 

Do you want to own your own company? Maybe become a manager in a business you admire. Whatever your goal is, there are people who have done it before you. Learn from them. 

Take the example of the CEO you like. Look through their LinkedIn, their profile on their website and news articles about them. 

Work out how they started, the steps they took along the way, what roles they did before they become the boss. 

This, or at least something like it, could be your steppingstones to the same position. It gives you goals to aim for at the least. 

Remember, CEO’s rarely start at the top. Everyone had to follow a path to where they are now. It’s a really good idea to take inspiration from others, especially their mistakes because it means you won’t have to go through the same pitfalls yourself. 

Keep a check  

The number one problem people face when working on their career aims is distraction. As we said in the beginning, it’s normal and healthy for goals to change. But keeping broadly to the plan you set for yourself is realistically the only way to meet your ambitions. 

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to check in on your career path every so often. Whether that’s monthly, yearly or more, take some time to look back at where you’ve come from. 

That will give you a huge boost of inspiration because it’s so easy to forget all the hard work you had to put in on your way up. But also remember to look forward to where you want to be. Keeping a track of your aims will help you adapt, grow and excel as you reach for the top. 

For more advice and information, go to our Careers and Employability page. You can read about employability skills on our news pages 

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