Many people seem to think that goal setting and career planning are things only super-successful people do.

Unfortunately, most people spend far more time planning their wedding or buying a second-hand car than they do making formal written plans for their life. And fewer than one in 50 actively plan their career and life through formal goal setting.

Most leave their career to chance, fate or to others. Imagine if we did that when choosing our marriage partner. Absurd of course, but not actively taking the chance to plan for the future means we are leaving this choice up to our managers and co-workers.

It has always made me sad throughout my human resource and recruitment career to see someone such as a 45-year-old accountant with two children in private schools, a house in the nicest part of town, and two European cars, hate what their life has become.

The typical story was that a parent had been an accountant and it seemed a safe bet for a successful career. What the parent did not factor in when encouraging them to follow in their footsteps was that they hated money matters and wanted to be an architect.

Twenty years later, they want to change their career but can't afford to drop $150,000 a year and go back to study. They are caught in the "revolving door of affluence" and have become "rat-race refugees".

They think because they cannot escape from their career, they need a better-paying position to balance their life and family. So now they are trapped in an even more senior role that demands more time at the office and less time at the place that matters most - home.

A friend of mine is in the medical sector and has a strong focus on what he wants out of life. He has a medium and long-term plan, taking him overseas working for the World Health Organisation in 10 years.

Every decision he makes, from training courses to job opportunities, is balanced with the long-term view of this career destination. The vision he has also provides strong motivation when things don't go to plan.

It is essential to have a clear idea of what your short and long-term career goals are. If you fully understand your long-term goals, your short-term decisions will be easier.

Take some time to plan your goals today to ensure you have an enjoyable and fulfilling life tomorrow.

Ask yourself these
- What are 100 things you want to do/have/achieve before you kick the bucket

- Where do I ultimately want to be in my life, professionally and personally? Is climbing the corporate ladder important to me, or am I happy with a less stressful (and less well-paid) job?

- What are my strengths and what do I do well? To answer this, ask 10 family members and friends to give you honest feedback.

- What type of job do my family and friends think I would be most suited to?

- What would be a great career choice to make now if I could walk into any role?

- Wat type of job do I want to be doing in 10 years' time?

- And what do I want to be doing in 2031?

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