We all have multiple goals like relationship, career, financial, travel, personal goals, etc. Goals give us a sense of direction and focus in our lives. Our personal career goals help us determine what we want and why we want it. This enables us to focus our energies in the right direction and achieve professional success. Similarly, organizations also have goals. It helps them run, manage, and grow the business efficiently. Like in any relationship, it is important that your company’s and personal career goals align with each other. Today, we will discuss why and how you can align your organization’s goals with your personal career goals.
Understanding your Organization’s Goals
An organization has certain fundamentals which can help you understand its goals. These are:
- Mission – Every organization has a defined purpose beyond making money – a mission – the fundamental reason behind its existence. For example, Google’s mission statement is: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
- Vision – An Organization also defines its aspirations for the future – a vision – what it aspires to create, achieve or become. For example, Google’s vision statement is: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
- Beliefs/ Values – Organizations also identify the guiding principles that help them define their business activities. These values lie at the heart of the organization’s mission. You can understand them by examining the actions of the company. For example, Google’s core values include: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” “The need for information crosses all borders.”
- Dynamic plans – Based on the mission, vision, beliefs, and the overall business environment, a company creates plans to conduct its affairs. These plans can be at an organizational level, departmental level, or even at an individual employee level. Understanding these plans can help you get a better grip over the organization’s goals.
Understanding your Personal Career Goals
The keyword here is ‘career’ and NOT ‘job’. You might take a job for different reasons. However, a successful career requires both short and long-term goals that you try to achieve. Some examples of personal career goals are:
- Becoming a CEO in the next 7 years
- Exploring avenues that help you gather more experience in a certain domain
- Acquiring a certain degree or certification to gain an edge over your colleagues
- Improving your income by x% in the next ‘y’ years
- Becoming the go-to professional in your area of expertise within your organization
Also, remember that personal goals must follow the S.M.A.R.T. methodology. That is, they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Random goals, usually, go unfulfilled.
Why do I need to align them?
Over the years of talking to professionals either as the HR Manager (earlier) or as a Career Coach (now), I have come to realize that in many cases there is a huge gap between the company’s objectives and the individual’s career goals. In some cases, the employee is simply unaware of the company’s goals and creates his/her objectives without taking them into consideration.
It is important to understand that a company works best when all its employees are aware of its goals and align their efforts to fulfill it. Organizations always prefer employees who are sensitive to its mission and vision and make conscious efforts to contribute to achieving them.
Professionally, aligning your personal career goals with your company’s goals can be one of the most powerful career strategies as it makes you desirable to the organization. If you love your job and align yourself with the organization, then you will find the company investing in you too, creating a win-win scenario.
An organization’s goals usually take the following aspects into consideration:
From the figure above, it is important to note that an organization meeting its goals relies a lot on its employee’s goals since they can help achieve customer goals leading to satisfied shareholders. Hence, figuring out a way to help your organization meet its goals is in your best interest.
How can I align them?
A company usually defines goals, objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) for every role in the organization. When you accept a new job or role, ensure that you understand the following aspects clearly:
- Expectations of performance are clearly defined.
- Desired output from the role is explained and quantified (wherever possible).
- Guidelines regarding conduct, actions, and individual responsibilities are provided.
Once you have these details with you, you need to sit down and find out ways in which you can create personal career goals keeping the company’s objectives in mind.
At Change Ur Story, we know the benefits that the employees and the organization can derive out of aligned goals. Through our Corporate Coaching Programs, we work with all employees and help them understand the importance of the company’s goals and endeavor to provide clarity regarding their role in the organization. We primarily work with key employees to ensure that the right message is driven across the organization leading to mutual benefit and success. If you feel that you (as an employee) or your team members have personal career goals which do not align with your organization, then drop us a line and allow us to work with you to fine-tune the alignment.
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