What You Need to Achieve Your Professional Goals

June-July 2024
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Take a minute and think about some goals you have for your career. If you’re just starting out, then maybe you want to earn your first promotion or prove yourself by flawlessly managing a new project. 

If you’re an industry veteran, then your goals may be more personal or aspirational — the desire to finally go out on your own and open a boutique firm, harness your extensive experience as a PR consultant, or create something meaningful and lasting.

Regardless of where you are in your career, before you can truly grow and move forward, you need something vital, but often elusive: self-confidence. You need to believe that you can achieve the goal in front of you, and you need the tools to overcome the fear of embracing a new challenge. 

Putting in the work to achieve a professional goal can be scary. It requires us to think differently, take risks and potentially fail along the way. However, the moment we begin to identify what frightens us, pinpoint the obstacles in our way and take deliberate steps to overcome them, the realm of possibilities widens remarkably. This isn’t just theory; it’s a reality I’ve lived.

Take a leap of faith.

My personal journey is a testament to the fulfillment that comes from overcoming long-held fears and finally achieving a professional goal. For me, this involved a long-awaited move into entrepreneurship — and achieving my years-long goal of writing a book. 

I had always wanted to start my own PR practice, but fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of independence kept me tied to more predictable career paths. By taking small, actionable steps toward my goal and seeking out mentors who had once been in my shoes, as well as a community of supportive, like-minded people, I was finally able to realize my dream of owning my own firm that designs customized communications strategies. 

But my professional dreams didn’t stop there. For years, I harbored the desire to write a book — a dream that remained unfulfilled due to a blend of fear, procrastination and self-doubt. What propelled me to finally go for it was the decision to join a cohort led by Julie Landi at Live Your Vision, a company dedicated to elevating and empowering women.

It was in that cohort, made up of a group of amazing professional women, that I spent a year sharing my hopes, listening to the stories of others and learning the importance of taking that first, often scary, step forward.

During my time in Julie’s cohort, I gained the confidence I needed to finally write “Chart Your Path: A 9-Step Method to Getting Unstuck” — a book that addresses the very challenges I faced. Through a combination of personal stories, others’ stories and insightful observations and practical tools, “Chart Your Path aims to guide readers through life’s hurdles, helping them find their purpose and create the life they’ve always dreamed of. This supportive guidance applies to both personal goals and professional endeavors, helping readers apply practical tools and shared wisdom to their own unique paths. 

Find the support you need to stay accountable. 

Let’s get back to that goal I asked you to think about earlier. What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from going from “I’ve always wanted to…” to actually doing, achieving and enjoying the results of realizing your vision? 

Now that I’ve made it from point A to point B, the first piece of advice I’d share is this: Seek out a support system, whether it’s a cohort of fellow professionals or a mentor, someone who has walked this path before and can help guide you. Surrounding yourself with people who understand your aspirations and want to hear about your progress provides the encouragement and accountability you need to move forward. Every little, small step by every little, small step. 

Harness this success story and make it happen. 

While our dreams for professional growth and success may vary, we all have them. And while no one wants to settle for the status quo, so many of us do — simply because we feel scared and stuck. 

Give yourself grace for what you haven’t done yet, and then give yourself permission to go for it. Think about your dreams, reflect on what’s in your way and then find the support you need to come up with a plan and stick to it. 

I spent years wanting to open my own firm and wanting to write a book, and now that I’m on the other side of these goals, I know that they’re possible. I finally made a long-held professional dream a reality, and so can you. 

Return to Current Issue Culture & Well-Being | June-July 2024
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