Thursday, October 7, 2010

Developing a game plan to reach your personal and financial goals

I've spent a lot of time in the last ten years trying to figure out who I am, who I want to be and how I can get where I want to be, with the resources that I have at my disposal.  Its funny because small steps have inched me closer and closer to reaching my ultimate goal.  

My goals have changed along the way.  I've wanted to do a lot of things basically but essentially everything I wanted to do had a central theme.  I wanted to help troubled youth....something that I was back in my early adolescence.  I don't only want to work with youth though, I also want to impact policy either through research or advocacy.  In addition to these career goals I also want to be paid well enough that I can retire a wealthy woman one day.

I am one step closer to meet my updated life plan.  My life plan is to work with and improve the life's of at risk youth (through research and policy advocacy).  I also want to be a wealthy woman one day.  I have other endeavors I would like to do like write a book or two but I do not see them as being my career. 

I recently started a position working with youth.  The job is pretty ideal for me and it offers the possibility for advancement.  It also offers the possibility to do some of my own programming there and participate in research projects.  It is not full time and I am pretty confident that I can get my little consulting business off the ground while I am working there.  My new position covers my living costs.  My second job (which I had prior to starting my new position) is in a computer lab helping students with homework.  I rarely have to do much aside from opening the center and closing it.  So I spend my ample free time, perfecting my business content, eventually I plan to complete a web page.  My second job doesn't really pay me much money but the quiet time in front of computers is really nice.  I am making up for the lack of compensation with my business content getting completed and organized.  There are also interesting networking and learning opportunities there.  So I plan to stay there a while even though it is minimum wage.  I think it is helping me reach some goals.

There are people who would hate my new position (the hours, violence, emotional related work and pathogen exposure make it not a job for everyone) and my second very low paying part time job is well very low paying.  These two positions are ideal for me with my current goals.  I see a lot of possibilities working with these two different organizations.  I am not earning much but living frugally I am able to invest up to my goal, which is maxing out my tax free savings account each year.  It's my retirement vehicle of choice.  I am young enough that if I manage to max it out every year then I should be able to retire a rich lady.  I am also able to spend plenty of quality time with my family with my working hours.

Your game plan can change.  I could decide if my business takes off, that the part time work I do at the computer lab is no longer worth my time.  I honestly thought I would have already quit but I really like that time to myself.  I could get offered a better position at some other organization and switch companies if it seemed like a better fit for me.  I could realize that my business idea is not really ideal and modify it.  The thing is that by making a plan I am getting somewhere.  I am working at a career position I am excited to go to everyday that does pay me well per hour.  My second job is paying me to set up my business and it is also time I can use to do other hobbies.  I am excited by the possibilities for my future.    

So my question is what is your career goal and how are you going to get there?  

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