No Goals? No Career.

No Goals No Career

A Marketer’s Take on Goal Setting

“I’m horrified!” I exclaimed in response to my colleague’s statement. A department head had just said that young people today don’t find value in setting performance goals.

“They don’t set goals because they feel it doesn’t pay out in the short-or long-term,” was the explanation I was given after my outburst. While I won’t get into the debate that ensued in the room on whether the statement was true or false, it got me thinking.

I’ve always been goal-oriented. Even as a child I knew what I wanted to accomplish every day. I recognize that not everyone shares that trait but everyone can and should set goals, especially in the workplace. Because if you don’t set goals, you have no yardstick against which to measure your growth.

Now, I don’t mean getting a promotion or a raise at the end of the year. Sure, those are goals in and of themselves, but career growth is different.

Career growth is about developing your soft skills, technical skills and your emotional IQ.

If you don’t challenge yourself and improve those abilities, you end up limiting your career.

I was lucky enough to have several mentors and coaches who have helped me over the years in my career. And I am forever grateful and thankful that they took the time to guide, suggest, hint and even snap me out of mediocrity when needed.

When I was promoted to manager for the first time, the best piece of advice I was given by my boss was that I was now responsible for someone else’s career development. Their success or failure was my responsibility. I needed to coach them, develop their skills, push them, identify their goals and meet regularly with them to make sure they were able to exceed them each year.

Managing someone is sharing responsibility in that person’s career growth – it’s a 50/50 proposition

Today, I have my staff set their own goals with a plan on how to accomplish them annually. All goal are tied to each of the firm’s major goal initiatives, along with one personal “stretch” goal. We meet quarterly to touch base and see how they are progressing and make any adjustments. I push them to take a class or attend a conference once a year if possible. Something that will get their brain cells moving and creative juices flowing.

This is much more than providing and filling out a performance review at the end of the year. Performance goals are about pushing the boundaries of the employees’ current skills and developing them into well-rounded, productive and happy marketers.

Why do I go to all the effort? Because I want my employees to succeed – badly. I want them to be better than me. The better they are the better the department performs and the better the company performs. And that can’t happen without setting goals.