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Focus on your NEEDS

I'm continuing on the theme of goal setting as I believe it is so important in personal and professional life to ensure we are mindful about where we are headed. It's vital to spend time defining goals that are right for you, that serve you at this stage in your life and that are meaningful and motivational for you so you can enjoy the path to reach them.

At work we tend to be good at focussing on professional development goals, like gaining Chartership, or completing the next technical training course we want to go on, or improving our presentation skills. These are all great, however I think we need to consider a wider range of goals for holistic, sustainable career success.

As part of the StemazingWomen Accelerator mentoring programme I run, I use this framework to identify where women are already focussing and where there are gaps that need greater focus for goal setting. I thought I would share it in case it's useful to you or your teams.

It's called Focus on Your NEEDS:

Of course it includes identifying goals around Development of skills, knowledge and performance at work, which could include both technical and "soft" skills. You may have a number of goals in this area, but this is only part of the picture for our overall professional development.

The other areas I think are really important to invest your time and energy on, but are quite often overlooked or not prioritised on the same level as development of skills and performance, are:

  • Cultivating your Network. Networking is a skill in itself. Being able to develop a strong professional network provides you with insight, information, support, influence and opportunities that will benefit you and your business. Networking opportunities are everywhere and provide you with the chance to gain knowledge, broaden your perspective and build your confidence. You don't have to be an extrovert to enjoy and benefit from networking! You can develop this life skill if you are intentional about it.

  • Protecting your Energy. Nurturing yourself for both mental and physical wellbeing is vital for you to flourish and shine at work. We all know the importance of healthy diet, exercise, mindfulness and sleep, but do we actually prioritise ourselves enough to do it? For sustainable success in your professional life, you need to maintain and nourish your personal energy.

  • Making time for Evaluation and seeking feedback. If we go through life on autopilot, we are missing opportunities for self-reflection, evaluation, self-awareness and growth. It’s important to constructively evaluate how we performed in situations, how we impacted others and consider what we choose to work on for improvement next time. This isn’t about beating yourself up about it, but objectively review how a situation went and mindfully evaluate it recognising what went well, what you’d like to improve and what you will aim to do differently next time. Only then do we take control and responsibility for our self-growth.

  • Recognising and celebrating your unique Strengths is important for authentic confidence that will radiate from you and impact those around you. When we focus on our weaknesses or what we are not good at, we are missing the opportunity to build on what we are naturally amazing at. Working to amplify and articulate what makes us uniquely brilliant builds our confidence and resilience. Striving to understand other people's unique strengths and what makes them uniquely brilliant will improve team cohesion, performance and support a culture of inclusion.

By first considering all these areas equally you can then identify and prioritise goals that are most valuable for you at this stage in your career and life. Then you can go on to planning how to achieve them in the knowledge that you have a more balanced and holistic approach for you as a complete individual.

Let me know if you found that useful and how you normally identify your goals.

Thanks for reading!

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