Have you taken the time to think about where you hope to be in 10 years? What career you hope to be in? What experience you hope to have gained? These are important questions to ask yourself! From these questions you can start to map out your path to success. While this is simply my personal recommendation for success of your 10 year goals, well…I’ve surpassed that 10 year mark…and then some, have had successes and failures, and hope that my experience can help you determine your goals and create a map to achieve them. Having clear goals and steps to follow will help you stay focused and on track and will reduce stress as you move forward because YOU HAVE A PLAN!
STEP 1 - Learn as much as possible about yourself - It takes some longer than others to realize what their true passions and talents really are. I think most statistics prove that it can be a long process with something like 50-75% of college graduates working in different careers than the degree they received. This could be because the job market can be hard or simply because they didn’t realize what they really wanted to do with their life. Take the time early on to complete self-assessment tests (not the 10 question quizzes on social media!). Take the time to ask others where they think your strengths lie. Take the time to list out what you’re passionate about; what excites you when you think about doing it as a career or even a hobby. What do you most like to spend your time doing? What could you work on all day and never get bored? Which activities did you most enjoy participating in when you were younger? What were your favorite subjects? What are your talents? See if you can find the crossroads between your talents/strengths and interests. This is a great starting point for choosing a career and setting goals.
STEP 2 - Based on what you learned from step 1, what are some careers that would be a good fit for you? If you could fantasize about your dream job, what would it look like? This is a good time to set aside reason and salary potential and just dream. List out as many ideal careers as you can based on step 1, even if they seem really out there.
STEP 3 - Now reel it back in - looking at the list you’ve made, order your potential careers in 2 ways. 1 - based on your interest and 2 - based on feasibility. Do any of them align? Does any one career stand out? And, well, why not go for #1 on your “interest” list? As they say, do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.
STEP 4 - Now that you’ve determined your top choices for ideal careers, what would it take to achieve those careers? I really believe that if you want it badly enough, you can make it happen! Especially if you have talents, strengths, and passion for that kind of work. List out the steps required to make it happen for your top 3 careers. What degree do you need? What experience do you need, whether it be through internships, volunteering, working, etc.? What’s the best entry point into that career - what entry job could get you where you want to go, and what experience do you need to get that job? List out the steps required in detail.
STEP 5 - Now follow those steps. It may seem overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time. Try to use your time wisely. Complete internships and volunteering while you’re still in college. Try to find a part-time or summer job that would help prepare you for the career you are aiming for. Find ways to save for the experiences you need to make you stand out amongst your peers. AND DON’T GIVE UP! Just because you come across a hurdle or you don’t get accepted into a program or you don’t get that entry job you were hoping for, do NOT give up! Some of the most successful people in the world failed time and time again before they found success.
If you follow these steps, I believe you will look back in 10 years with a smile on your face. You may not have reached your ultimate goal at that point, but if you can see that you are on the right track and moving in that directions, that you have purpose and you’re doing what you love, you will look back with a smile on your face! If you can clearly see all of the experiences you’ve had - perhaps the trips you took or the exciting projects you got to participate in as a result of striving for your goals - you will know that 10 years did not just pass, but were purposeful and successful. Be PURPOSEFUL in everything you do and you will find success!