Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

My Career Goal

Posted 8/11/2017

Over the years I've been asked many times for advice on career steps and pathways. That's not just from recent graduates but right up to mid and senior level managers. I always come back to sharing something that has always worked for me. I call it a "fuzzy career goal". 

It's fuzzy because you don't need to know exactly what it is. If you do, that's fantastic. But most people are unsure.

I'll give you a personal example. When I was a recent graduate my career goal was to work in the overseas headquarters of a global corporation. I wasn't sure what it looked like. I didn't know what level I'd be at or when it would happen. But it was something I really wanted to achieve. It became in hindsight, my fuzzy career goal.

So starting out in my career I chose to work with international companies.

Later when I was considering a move from my initial employers, my career desire had sharpened and when I interviewed for a new employer, the most important criteria for me was " does the company offer international assignments, at what level, and how likely would that be someone from an F&A background (my background)". If the answers (and examples) weren't convincing I wasn't interested.

At my third employer, the cosmetics company Revlon, I was considered for a Country Controller's role in Thailand. But at 27, I was judged not to have enough experience. But I persisted with my career goal and with my next employer Procter & Gamble, I was transferred (aged 31) to work in one of their Divisions at their global headquarters in the US. My fuzzy career goal was achieved.

The point of this story is about setting a goal and making choices along the way that are consistent with achieving it. There will be many opportunities you're presented with. They will come from your current employer and externally. But you need to know which are the right ones. And at times there can be more than one right choice. But as you get closer to your goal, it becomes clearer and the pathways narrow. 

Here is the fuzzy career goal model I share. I hope it helps.