Plan your goals and stay the course

As some of you may know, my daughter is traveling around the world and world schooling my 8-year-old granddaughter in the process. You can check out her blog at

The reason I bring her up is the other day someone asked me how she did it. 

She didn't wake up one day and decide to travel around the world. She wrote out meticulous steps, took her time to research, took her time to budget her money and then she set off. 

It's the same with a job interview. I have had people ask after an interview why they didn't get hired? My answer, before you start faulting the company you are trying to get hired at or the position that you want is to figure out what is wrong with your plan.

  • Have you researched the makeup of the company?
    • Have you got your degree but stopped your education?
    • Do you stand out with skills that can enhance the current complement?

When I was interested in one company, a tip I heard made sense. I went on my lunch hour and watched the people coming out of the agency. Were they smiling, clustered in groups, talking with each other? Or were they walking with slouched shoulders, heads down, no eye contact, miserable and beaten down? I didn't want to work where the staff looked like they hated coming to work each day. That attitude is infectious.

  • Have you been honest with yourself?
    • Is your attendance at your current position/job exemplary? Or do you take long lunches, long breaks, come to work late, leave early? If you think no is watching, you're wrong. All your peers notice. And your boss may know too.
    • Do you make snide comments about "everything" and I do mean "everything"?
    • Believe it or not, you aren't Wanda Sykes, so stop being a comedian. What you think of as funny, could be turning people off and will impact your long-term goals. No one wants to work with a jerk.
    • Are you a braggart? Constantly telling everyone how "well" you do your job. Make darn sure that it is perfect or close to perfect before you start bragging. Honestly, people will be looking for ways to bring you back to earth.
  • Get a mentor.
    • I can't stress enough the importance of having a champion on your side. That person will point out your blind spots. When folks told me 25 years ago that I was tactless, I took that to heart. And I continue to work on softening how I communicate, not because I'm not being me, but because I don't want someone going home at night, shamed because I'm too brutally honest. Which is just another word for "rude". 
    • Create a timeline for yourself based on your skills, the companies minimum qualifications and what you can add in that time.
    • Be SMART. Specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and time-bound. If your first goals aren't met, don't be afraid to adjust them. You will be further than you were had you done nothing. 

I got a postcard in the mail from my granddaughter. She is in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has been to Greece, Italy, Paris, London, Morroco, Spain, and Germany so far. She is 8 years old. Her mom set goals. She is learning that those goals can take you anywhere, around the world. 

 Her postcards from Greece, Madrid and Rome. 

Her postcards from Greece, Madrid and Rome.