Professional Development

A 5-Step Guide to Setting and Meeting Career Goals

A 5-Step Guide to Setting and Meeting Career Goals 2313 Inc
Nobody with any degree of motivation imagines that they’ll be in the same job, at the same pay rate, five years from now. But what do you do if you want to move beyond your current position? You need to set goals—but how do you do that for maximum chances of success? Here are some tips.
 
Make your goals SMART
Unless your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely, you’re not going to be able to achieve them. It’s not enough, for example, to say that you’d like to own your own business. You need to set a goal like, “I will own my own business in five years.” This specific goal is also measurable because you can track your progress toward that goal. It’s achievable and realistic if you are motivated, and timely because you’ve set a time limit for achieving that long-term goal.
 
Create milestones
Because SMART goals must be measurable and achievable, create milestones (or short-term goals) in support of your long-term goal. For example, you could create a short-term goal of finding at least one mentor within a month, or taking an accounting or bookkeeping class within a year to support your ability to manage your business finances.
 
Build your network
Once you’ve decided on the goal you want to achieve, some of the milestones you create should revolve around building your network. Seek out mentors in your desired career field, talk to people at networking events and conferences, and build connections with people online through career-oriented social media channels. By building your network, you’ll have a better chance of successfully achieving your goals.
 
Be committed and accountable
You can create all the long-term and short-term goals you want, but if you’re not committed to them, you won’t succeed. If you believe your goal is important and attainable, you’re more likely to do the work necessary to achieve it. Likewise, you need to be accountable, so make sure a mentor or fellow entrepreneur is there to hold you to your long-term and short-term goals.
 
On the other hand, be flexible
You may find that you need to change your timeline for achievement of your goals. For example, if you have a goal of graduating from college in three years, but then realize you can’t do that while also working full-time, don’t be afraid to modify that goal. Maybe you can take one or two evening classes each semester.
However, there’s also a chance that a goal you set may no longer be important to you; in that case, set yourself a new SMART goal to achieve.
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Meaningful Ways to Handle Rejection

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Everyone gets rejected, but will you let rejection stop your career in its tracks, or will you turn it into an opportunity to grow

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Rejection hurts. There is no way to avoid it. Your first step is to acknowledge the rejection–but don’t dwell on it. Convert that rejection into motivation. Here are some strategies that will keep you moving forward.

1. Don’t Expect Rejection

Anticipating rejection can lead to procrastination. Reaching out to a customer can be scary. But then again…what if you’re just what that customer needs when they need it? Don’t let the fear keep you from putting your best foot forward!

2. Establish Clear Goals

Have you created a clear set of goals? Get specific about all of your goals. Establish daily, weekly, and monthly goals. If you need help setting goals, consult your team members or supervisor. 

3. Create A Work Routine

Create a work routine. Make customer contacts at the same time every day. As you improve your skills, you’ll reach more people. The more people you reach each day, the greater your chances of getting to “yes.”

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4. It’s Not About You

Don’t take the easy way out by making rejection personal. Learn to see each rejection as an opportunity to understand something about yourself.

5. No Doesn’t Mean Never

Once you hear a “no,” acknowledge it and continue talking. If you don’t have what your customer needs, you may know someone who does. Be a useful resource. You’re establishing and maintaining a long-term relationship.

6. Start With a Smile

Start your day by visualizing success. Picture your customers saying “yes.” Sometimes a positive attitude is all you really need to get that sale squared away.

7. Toughen Up

You can’t take a break every time you get a rejection. You need to toughen up and build up your endurance. Rejection is a great teacher if you learn to see it as motivation.

8. Ask for Feedback

Always ask for feedback when you’ve been rejected. If you don’t understand why it happened, you won’t know how to prevent it from happening the next time.

9. Keep Moving

Working with purpose prevents rejection from moving in and taking over. Choose to get things done. Organize your workspace. Finish up tasks you were putting off. Taking constructive action will improve your attitude.

Think Like a Manager To Help Grow Your Career

2313 Inc. Think Like a Manager

Learning to think and work like a manager gives you the perspective you need to earn professional recognition and reach your goals.

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Great managers aren’t just born overnight. Sure, some people naturally possess some of the skills necessary to excel at management, but most great managers are great because they have years of experience and learning on their side. 

What can you do to prepare yourself for a management position? Learn and practice the necessary skills – no matter where you are in your career. Peter Drucker, a well-known management consultant and educator, is considered the father of management studies. He broke the manager’s duties down into five basic tasks:

1.    Sets Objectives

2.    Organizes

3.    Motivates and Communicates

4.    Measures

5.    Develops People 

Encourage employees and sales associates to develop their understanding of business and management practices. Drucker’s management tasks inspired the following tips that will teach you to think and work as a manager, no matter where you are in your career.

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Keep Developing Management Skills

There’s always something new to learn about management and business. Keep your skills sharp by reading new management books or even finding online classes to improve your management skills. Then, create a study group at work to support and apply what you learn to real-world problems. You know the old saying: practice makes perfect!

Connect With Your Team

Tell your team members, team leader, and supervisor that you want to contribute to your team’s growth. Come up with a pitch for a team-building activity, a volunteer project, or a social event that will improve team cohesion and productivity.

Find a Mentor

Some companies have formal mentorship programs, though that’s not completely necessary in order to find a mentor. Your supervisor might be interested in mentoring you, or you can look for a mentor at a networking event. Mentorship will improve your management expertise and develop strong professional relationships, which you can use as resources once you become a manager.

Don’t Keep Your Career Goals a Secret

How will you advance in your career if you don’t tell anyone about your goals? Let your supervisor know that you’re interested in becoming a manager. Complete your regular assignments and volunteer for special projects when you have the time to do them well to show that you’re willing to go above and beyond.

Becoming a manager will help you to advance in your career and develop the skills you need as a leader. Make a commitment to your future by using these strategies to increase your skills and your opportunities for advancement.

Creating Your Own Professional Development Plan

Creating Your Own Professional Development Plan 2313 Inc.

Creating a professional development plan focused on your career growth will help you reach your goal.

Resources for professional development are available in many locations. Local colleges, technical schools, and public libraries offer short and long-term programs to improve professional skills. The Internet is another source of educational opportunities, featuring blogs devoted to professional development and improving business skills. Once you know what you want to study, it’s time to create a development plan that meets your needs. Here are some ideas that will help you get started:

What Do You Know?

Determine what you know and what you want to learn. Create a list of skills you use every day and identify the skills you want to improve. If your goal is career advancement, review job descriptions that interest you and add the required skills to your list.

How Will You Learn?

There are lots of resources available to you when you begin studying: books, continuing education, online courses, and more. Choose the type of learning that works best for you.

Time and Money

Review your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule and reserve time for professional development. Even a small amount of time devoted to reading a new book will improve your abilities over time. If you’re interested in taking a class, you should create a realistic budget and start saving now.

Stay on Track

Track your progress as you follow your professional development plan. Keep a journal, and record the books you read and classes you attended. Include your big and small victories; any progress is good progress. Take notes on the subject areas that require more training.

Find a Mentor

A mentor is someone in your profession with greater experience who is interested in sharing their skills. Search for mentoring opportunities in your professional community. Your employer may offer a program, or a colleague may be willing to share her expertise over a cup of coffee.

Volunteer to Do More

Opportunity comes to those who ask for it. If you want to learn new skills, let your supervisor know that you’re interested. Volunteer for projects that require that you improve or learn a new skill. Learning new skills will keep you motivated and will help improve your confidence.