One of the podcasts that I listen to frequently is Radical Candor. The episodes are short, the quality of the recording is good and they give you actionable steps to start working on whatever it is they talked about in that episode.

Today, I listened to “Career Conversations” and it dawned on me that this philosophy would work perfectly outside of the office as well as in the office.  What I mean by that is that we all strive to set personal goals for ourselves (New Years Resolutions anyone?) and have good intentions but lack the resolve and understanding behind how to make those goals reality.

I have a tradition each November to sit down and plan out my next year’s goals.  I start with a theme and place goals around that theme.  2017 is the year of Challenges.  I wanted to focus on doing things that made me uncomfortable, pushed me outside of my comfort zone.  I identified that talking in public was one of those things that scared me.  My action plan was to join a Toastmasters group and get accepted to speak on 6 different occasions.  From there, I identified how I was going to accomplish these actions.

Radical Candor’s podcast reminded me that I was being short-sighted in only planning for a year.  What happens with this goal in year 2 or 5?  What was the big goal that I was trying to achieve?

I decided to commit to answering this question.  The first step I took was to find an accountability partner.  An accountability partner should be someone who isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear or be nice for the sake of being nice.  They are going to listen and ask really hard questions, many times, questions that you don’t necessarily want to face and answer, but need to be answered.

I am going to use the podcast as the blueprint on how I am approaching this.

Focus on 3, 6 and 12 month & 3-year goals

  • Have a life story conversation.  Look for pivots (changes) in your life.  What motivated you through those pivots?
  • Have a visions conversation.  What are your dreams? They don’t have to do anything with what you’re currently working on. 2-3 visions statement.  Start with dreams and bring it into focus.
    • What kind of role do you imagine?
    • In what industry do you imagine working in?
    • What sort of state/size company do you see yourself in?
  • Put together your short-term action plan
    • Skills development; places where you can go to build your skill set.
    • Who can help you develop your network?
    • What is your next job?
  • Who will do what and by when?

I challenge all of you to listen to the podcast and comment back on how you are building a career conversation with yourself and what that looks like!