10 Steps You Can Take Now to Reach Your Career Goals

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When you first set foot into your respiratory care program, you were probably thinking how great it would be to become an RT and help patients breathe easier. However, by the time you graduated from your program — and reached that goal of working with patients to help them breathe easier — you most likely had some other ideas about where you wanted to go in your new career as well. So you started setting some short and long-term goals. But now what? How do you go from setting goals to reaching them?

Matthew Pavlichko, MS, RRT, RRT-NPS, director of respiratory care and pulmonary diagnostics at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health in Lancaster, PA, has been in your shoes, and he has some great advice. Here are the 10 steps he thinks anyone can take to make sure they meet their goals —

  1. Dream. Dream your destination. Clearly define your goal, why you want to get there, and what success will look like when you get there.
  2. Commit. Make a personal commitment to reaching your goals. Those that deeply commit are ultimately successful in reaching their goals.
  3. Create a Plan. You have a dream and are committed to reaching it. Now you need a road map. A careful and organized plan will optimize success while reducing speed bumps along the way. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
  4. Find a Mentor. I cannot emphasize this one enough. Reaching your career goals can be challenging. Without support, you may lose commitment along the way. Find a colleague that you respect and admire. Ask them for assistance and guidance. They will be flattered, I promise.
  5. Listen. Growth and development require listening. Absorb as much information you can!
  6. Learn. Reaching a new career goal always requires learning. You will not reach your destination unless you continually learn and grow. Lifelong learning will bring joy and success that no one can take from you.
  7. Get Involved. If you sit on the sidelines and hope you reach your goals, you will be disappointed. Join a committee, participate in your department, make things better around you. Being engaged and involved also shows others you are committed to your goals.
  8. Get Uncomfortable. Learning a new skill, career development, and reaching your goals can be challenging. You will get uncomfortable. Enjoy it; that is growth.
  9. Stay Focused. Do not be swayed by the uncomfortable. Stay focused and always keep your goals in sight.
  10. Pay it Forward. Reaching your goal will bring joy and success. Share it with others and help them reach their goals. Reaching goals can quickly become infectious, spreading success throughout your department and our profession.

As you can see from Matthew Pavlichko’s tips, goal setting is the easy part. Goal attainment is much harder. But by following these 10 steps, you can get there!