Goal Setting: Start Small, yet Think Big

Posted: June 6, 2011 in General, Internships, Mentoring, Networking
Tags: , , , ,

American author Napoleon Hill once said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” When you were a kid, you probably dreamt of being a professional athlete, the President, an astronaut, or some other profession that you have most likely moved on from by now. Over the years, your interests have changed, and consequently, so have your dreams and goals.

Currently, your #1 career goal is to break into the sports industry. That is the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.” The real question you should be asking yourself is, “How do I accomplish that goal?” The answer is, “Set smaller goals.”

When I tell you to set smaller goals, I do not just mean thinking about the things you are going to do that will help you accomplish your ultimate goal of landing a job in sports. You have to write them down for them to become more real. This way you will not only constantly remind yourself about what those goals are, but you will also feel more committed to them now that they are on paper. Let me tell you firsthand that it will be that much sweeter when you are able to cross off a goal written down on paper.

As for the goals themselves, I would break them down by categories that include but are not limited to the following:

1. Research –  Spend ___ hour(s) every week learning more about the different sports careers you might want to pursue.

2. Networking/Informational Interviews – Email ___ sports business professionals every week about meeting them so you can ask them out about their jobs and for career advice.

3. Mentoring – Every week, reach out to ___ high school or college alumni that work in sports and ask them if they would be willing to be your mentor.

4. Resume/Cover Letter Work – Set aside ___ hour(s) every week to update your resume and tailor your cover letter to internships or jobs that you plan on applying for.

It might be difficult to focus on each and every one of these categories on a weekly basis given your time commitment to school and extracurricular activities. I would recommend spending time pursuing at least one of these categories each week. Do something different the next week, the week after that, etc. It is important to develop a routine, yet vary your goals to ensure that you touch on the different categories. After all, this is your career we are talking about. You have to take it seriously. Once you get into the groove of accomplishing these small goals on your journey to breaking into sports, you can set your sights on more ambitious, long-term personal and career goals. The sky is the limit.


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