Posted by: Admin | January 26, 2011

After the questions… the answer!

Now we’ve posed the BIG questions it’s time to look at how to put your new plans into action. Goal setting is something that comes naturally to some, less so to others, but it is crucial to success. Just as you can’t get from “A” to “B” if you have no clue where “B” might be, so you need a road map to get there once you’ve located the destination.

So, imagine that, having undertaken all the previous exercises, you’ve decided you’re going to give up your job in admin that you used to enjoy but that now feels stifling, and you’re going to become a hairdresser. Perhaps that’s what you wanted to do at 16, but your parents had other ideas for you. Or maybe you’ve always enjoyed styling your daughters’ hair and would like to do something creative for a living. How do you put your plans into action?

The key is in that last sentence: you have to take ACTION. You have your end goal in sight, but just as you wouldn’t stand at the bottom of a mountain in your flip flops and think, right, I’m going to climb to the top of this here mountain, you need to break down the task in hand into manageable chunks. You need to make a plan. Crucially, that plan needs to be SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Time-bound

Returning to the imaginary scenario, the SPECIFIC goal is to get a job as a hairdresser. The question is, how? When goal-setting, always work backwards: find out what qualifications or training might be needed (ask at your local salon!), then research the ways and means of obtaining those certificates. You should also investigate the market – how many salons are currently recruiting? What can you expect to earn? Would the hours fit your circumstances?

Draw yourself up a MEASURABLE timetable. For example: I will talk to the girl who cuts my hair about her training at my appointment on Tuesday. Then after you’ve spoken to her: phone the local college and ask them to send a prospectus on Thursday. You can also give yourself looser timetables such as: complete my CV by the end of February. There’s no hard and fast rule, just make sure that the timetable you set yourself is ACHIEVABLE and TIME-BOUND. Make a list and tick the tasks off as you complete them so that you have a visual record of your progress.

There might well be obstacles to overcome such as working out how you can work and train at the same time and still pay the rent. You might need to investigate lines of credit, such as a Career Development Loan, or, if you are on a low income, an Adult Learners’ Grant (ALG). If you are based in the UK, check out the education section on the Government website for more information.

It could be, after all your research, that you discover that your circumstances dictate that now is not the best time to change track.Whilst disheartening, remember that “no for now” does not necessarily mean “no forever”. Make yourself a longer term plan and take small steps towards your goal in the mean time. So, for example, our would-be hairdresser might look into volunteering at a care home where the residents would appreciate a shampoo and set and a chat over the curlers – all good experience and also to be recommended if you’re still not 100% certain that you’ve chosen the right goal. Try to think sideways – if there’s not much work for hairdressers at the moment, but you’ve seen a job as a salon receptionist advertised, try for that – what a great way to observe the trade and see what it’s really like.

Remember:

Do your research

Set up a SMART plan

Look for ways to get practical experience

Know that you are as entitled as the next person to achieve your dreams

 

GOOD LUCK!

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