TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

Visualizing Your End Game

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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How many times have you been asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Whether they were referring to your personal or professional life, this question can be daunting at best.

It is important to have a clear vision of where you want to go in life and what you want to achieve. Instead of setting vague perimeters of what you want to accomplish before retirement, break it down into three different stages of your career: beginning, middle and end. Knowing what you want and setting goals can help keep you on track no matter what life throws at you.

STARTING OUT
So, you’ve just graduated college and are looking for a full-time dream job that will pay millions of dollars? Think again. Most college graduates are not prepared for what awaits them in the real world. A LinkedIn study found that recent graduates tend to have high expectations of their jobs after school. In fact, 49 percent of them think their job does not require a college degree.

You might be struggling with what you want to do, but try to get out of the habit of wanting a job and think about the bigger picture instead: your career. Look at it as a long term, positive goal for yourself. However, just because you have a career doesn’t mean you can’t take some much needed you time. Don’t compromise the things you love to do just because you think you need to be an adult.

Our Advice:

  1. Develop – and memorize – your career vision statement.
  2. Establish healthy financial habits – you may be tempted to spend your hard-earned money, but don’t skip regular deposits into your trusted savings account.
  3. Secure a position that will put you on the track for success – don’t say "no" to a potential opportunity just because it isn’t what you thought you would be doing after college.
  4. Maintain a positive outlook – you’re bound to face adversity, but it is essential to keep rolling towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

MID-CAREER
You just turned the big 3-0, a big milestone. While you might think your life should be together by now, that’s not necessarily the case. You are about to face a lot of life-changing obstacles, so it’s important to be financially smart. At this point, you are well into your career and want to get married, start a family, own a home – or all three! These things are expensive, so make sure you are making the right financial decisions for your future. Life is short, so don’t forget to make time to do the things that make you happy and spend time with your loved ones.

Our Advice:

  1. Begin investing – speak with a financial advisor and make smart decisions on where you place your money.
  2. Advance in your current role – if you’ve been in your current position for more than 4 years, it may be time to ask for that promotion or raise.
  3. Cast fear aside – people will try to sell you different formulas and plans, but make sure you always trust your instincts.
  4. Be open to change – it’s okay to change your mind both professionally and personally.

APPROACHING RETIREMENT
You may have reached all your goals by this point, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more to set. You have the house, you got married, you bought a car, you started a family and you advanced in your career. So, what’s next? Focusing on your future. As you gear up for retirement, pursue your passion (if you haven’t already). Take this opportunity to focus on what makes you happy, spend time with your family, and cherish the special moments you make along the way.

Our Advice:

  1. Review your retirement plan – make sure everything is where it needs to be financially.
  2. Become a mentor – use your experience and wisdom to help a young professional out as they begin their career.
  3. Pursue your passion – if there is something you’ve always wanted to do in your job, now is the time to do it.

As cliché as it sounds, life truly is like a box of chocolates. Keep in mind the above as you set goals and move towards the next phase of life. By focusing on those things you can control and setting the tone early, you should feel optimistic even during even the most uncertain of times.

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