Getting the Career You Want Takes Focus

We’ve all seen the type of person who sets their mind to an incredible career goal and does it-just like that. They just DO the thing they set out to do, and their career flourishes.

Meanwhile, we’re juggling 1,000 different things that all seem equally important, while our dream career waits off in the distance, seemingly unreachable.

It’s not a big surprise that success takes focus, so why is it so difficult to have the self-discipline to ignore the distractions and go for what we want?

Set Clear Goals

It’s impossible to focus if we don’t know what we’re focusing on. The first step in getting that dream career is to make some goals. These goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-specific, or S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

Let me dig a little deeper and explain S.M.A.R.T. goal setting:

Specific: Instead of making a goal to take a blog-writing course, choose a specific course that you’ve researched and find reputable, and make it a goal to complete that particular course.

Measurable: Instead of setting the ambiguous goal to connect with new clients this year, you’d set the goal to connect with ten new clients each month. You want to set a goal that you can measure your progress against.

Achievable: Following with that last example, if you usually meet six new clients a month – ten is a good number to shoot for – 25 is probably unrealistic. You want your goal to push you out of your comfort zone while remaining achievable. Setting legitimately unreachable goals is a setup for disappointment and discouragement.

Realistic: If you are working 65 hours a week, have a house full of children now may not be the best time to make the goal to go back to school full time, in-person. A more realistic (or Relevant to your lifestyle) goal may be to take one online course per semester towards your degree.

Time Specific: Establishing a completion date helps you break it down into bite-size pieces. It also gives you a timeline for achieving the smaller goals that are necessary groundwork. You may be tempted to set an ambiguous goal to apply for your dream job this year. But a time-specific goal would be to set a deadline by which to submit your application. This way, you know that you’ll need to complete your updated resume by then, and therefore any required courses or training you want on your resume. I find it’s easier to start by setting the really big goals that I want to achieve and work my way backward from there. 

Get Back to the Basics

Okay, great, you’ve set some S.M.A.R.T. goals! Now it’s time to focus on them.

Getting the career you want takes focus, and focus takes shedding distractions. If you find that there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all of the things that you need to reach your goals, it’s time to take a serious inventory of how you spend your time, and perhaps commit to getting rid of some of your biggest time-wasters.

Also, when you find your mind going all over the place, you need to get back to the basics. It’s time to put the blinders on and be logical with your actions and decisions.

Don’t Get Desperate When Applying for a Job

When applying for a new job, it is so easy to get desperate and throw a lot of things at the wall, hoping that something sticks. Our own Dr. Jeannine Bennett, resume-writer extraordinaire, says, “If you put everything in your resume, nothing stands out. You don’t want to become just another needle in the haystack.”

What Dr. Bennett knows is that employers don’t want to (and won’t) spend tons of time going through your seven-page resume listing all of the work experience you’ve ever gotten, much of which probably won’t apply to the job you’re seeking.

When applying for my current position as Communications Director at Vision to Purpose, Dr. Bennett didn’t need to know that I worked as a wedding singer in Japan. Yes, it makes me look super cool, but it does not have anything to do with what I do here at Vision to Purpose. Putting it on my resume may have made Dr. Bennett scratch her head and wonder if I understood what this job does (and does not) entail.

Know When You Need Help 

If all of this seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, it may be time to ask for help. At Vision to Purpose, we offer a full range of services to help you land your dream career, including career coaching and resume writing. We also offer a free consultation to help you determine what services, if any, that you need. You can reach out to us here to schedule your free consultation.

About the Author:

Melanie Lemus is a communication specialist for Vision to Purpose, providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics.

About Vision to Purpose:

Vision to Purpose is an organization dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed through the offering of tailored career, life, and business solutions.

Need a resume writer? How about a career coach? Perhaps a business consultant? Look no further, Dr. Bennett and the Vision to Purpose team can help! You can learn more about Vision to Purpose by visiting

Ready to take action and land your next job or get that promotion you’ve been eyeing? Let’s make it happen together!