I’ve blogged about this personally, but never professionally. I am one of those weird people who desperately need goals in order to succeed. I don’t just think they are a good idea. They are vitally necessary to the way I think and work.
To that end, I spend a lot of time working on setting them. They need to be flexible. They need to be challenging and interesting. They need to be time-bound and easy to measure. They need to be written down where I can check in against them. They should represent incremental steps toward my longer-term goals.
My long-term career plan is simple. I will continue working in SEO and internet marketing until I have established enough of a foothold in the fiction world to write creatively full time. This requires paying off debt and making sure my husband’s career is stable. It probably means moving house so I can have a dedicated office space. I might freelance or consult in internet marketing in the intervening years (it does pay the bills, and I do enjoy it). I don’t plan to spend the bulk of my time doing it, except that I will be using the skills I’ve gained in my own creative pursuits.
That’s my career plan – no definite timeline set on that yet. At the very least, that will take 3 years to achieve, my guess is closer to 5-7 to get everything aligned.
It follows that the most important of my professional goals should support this plan – which means building a strong author platform for myself while I work on getting Salvaged published. (It so happens that this is also one of my personal goals for 2013 – which have already been posted over on the other blog.)
Of course, if I’m realistically looking at staying in my current area of expertise for the next 3-7 years, I’m going to have to keep up. I’m going to have to stay on top of my game. I’m going to have to continue growing and learning with the industry.
One of the aspects of living a balanced life is to use our strengths every day. If you haven’t taken the VIA strengths assessment, I really recommend it. Two of mine are teaching and learning. I tend to learn easily and am hungry for new information, so that one doesn’t require extra work. I am targeting “teaching”, because that requires me to go a bit out of my way.
I’m looking at doing a virtual career fair as an SEO expert for some Tech HS students in the next few months. I’ve been talking with a friend about doing a webinar for NAWBO about SEO. Those count as teaching, certainly.
One of my other personal goals is to “Come up with a speaking topic for a conference and pitch it.” I’m not sure whether this idea will be for internet marketing or science fiction writing. I kind of want to pitch an idea for a creative conference – a writer’s conference or a sci-fi convention – something to get my name in those circles a bit more. However, I very well might come up with something for an internet marketing conference instead.
I will be able to post my goals toward the author platform – those are a separate subset. What I’m wondering is whether I should be looking at any other areas? Should I try to build this blog and twitter account more? (Or will I be getting rid of it eventually anyway?) Should I work on my portfolio? Get more Linked-In recommendations?
Still not sure. What do you think? What are your professional goals for 2013?