Operations Planner
«  »

Goal Setting is the essential component of Growing Your Career Up - (part 2 of 2)

publication date: Jan 11, 2011
author/source: Kathleen Hogan, MBA Publisher HospitalityEducators.com

Growing Your Career Up - (part 2 of 2)

By Kathleen Hogan, MBA, Publisher   HospitalityEducators.com

January , 2011

January of 2011 marks the beginning of another year and another opportunity for the hospitality industry and its professionals.  The start of a new year is a good time to begin anew with resolution(s), re-dedication(s) and a fresh focus.  The Fall/Winter of 2010 offered some action steps to reset and/or jumpstart those internal motivators of enthusiasm, confidence and drive in Part 1 of Growing Your Career Up.  The action steps highlighted the importance of:

• Reading to expand your thinking and knowledge base

• Enhancing/advancing your skill sets through continuous learning, additional training,                             and acquisition of certificates or certifications

• Performing a personal SWOT Analysis


Part 2 continues with more action steps for the hospitality industry professional that focus on goal setting, individual motivational DNA and networking.

 1. Goal-Setting.  If you truly expect to advance your career and improve your life situation, listing your short and long range goals is a must.  The list needs to be specific with clear benchmarks.  Short range goals for the current year should be measured and reviewed on a quarterly basis while long range goals should be analyzed in time frames of 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years out.  It is critical that you revisit your list of goals regularly and quantify your goals using consistent measurements.

The value of  goal setting is clearly presented in the book What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School by Mark McCormack and the Harvard Business School Study on the Class of 1979.[1]

Identifying your goals can be challenging as it often requires a process of elimination to narrow the list to those that are most important, most essential, most attainable and most desired.   Author Steven Covey provides sound advice when he writes, “begin with the end in mind.”  (If you have not read his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you should.)  To that end (no pun intended), writing your own obituary to include your life and career accomplishments is a useful and enlightening tool for building your list of goals.

Consider these questions as you write:

•What do I want the world to remember when reading or saying my name? 

•What do I want to contribute, achieve and leave behind. 

•How do I want to be remembered? 


Make that list of goals answering these questions:  what?, when?, how?, and why?.

Remember to be specific, write them down and look at them.  Put the list on your mirror, your vision board or somewhere you can see the list each day.  Post the list in multiple places to keep your goals in focus.  


2. Motivational DNA.  There are many ways to stimulate people, but what works for one person may not work for another.  It is important to understand what drives you and keeps you engaged. 


Tamara Lowe, author of the book Get Motivated! and Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Get Motivated Seminars, Inc., offers a Motivational DNA model that designates three areas:  drives, needs and awards.  Drives are the internal forces that mobilize a person to act.  Needs are the core requirements that a person must have in order to feel fulfilled.  Awards are the preferred remunerations that a person desires for achievement.


Whether you possess the tendencies of a leader, producer, or connector in the Drives category, coupled with whether you prefer stable versus variable conditions in the Needs category, and prefer internal or external Awards determines your unique DNA. 

 Knowing your own Motivational DNA is one more tool in identifying the best career choices and career moves as you advance your career and work towards achieving your list of goals.  You may decide, for instance, being a sales manager is more fulfilling than being a director of sales which has many administrative responsibilities.

 What you need for a work environment to stay engaged and productive is determined by your Motivational DNA. 

 Two burning questions need to be asked and answered on a daily basis.  They are:

1. What do I want?

2. What do I need?

 Fulfill your needs while you focus on your wants.  Doing this holds the vision for the future before you.  Too many dreams are lost due to lack of vision or lack of active attention to the vision.

 If you have never created a vision board before, now is the perfect time.  Take a square of cardboard, a poster, a mirror or a bulletin board (either cork or french style) and affix words and pictures that capture the direction you want to go in terms of needs and wants for your career and life.  Magazines are a great source for printed words and pictures.  Use your imagination.  A particular fortune from a Fortune Cookie, for example, may be included in your board along with your list of goals.  Another suggestion is to include play money or Google blank check, find a blank bank check to download and/or print out.  Make the check out to yourself, future date it and fill in the dollar amount you want your Net Worth to be by that future date.

 The vision board brings your goals, needs and wants to life and keeps them visible when you place the board within daily view.  In later years, it will be interesting to look back at the board and note how much of your vision has been fulfilled.  New vision boards can be created over time when life changes take place.  These changes may involve a career move, geographic move, or the start of a new life stage.  Dream BIG.  It is true that “a picture paints a thousand (or more) words”!

 3. Networking.  There is social networking using online entities such as Facebook or Twitter, business networking using online entities such as LinkedIn or BNI, and face-to-face networking during social or business affiliated functions.  All have their place, but the business professional who uses multiple networks in concert with each other is able to achieve optimum effectiveness.  The large and small hospitality brands are all taking advantage of the opportunities afforded them through networking on multiple levels.

The individual hospitality professional has a new opportunity to connect with industry business groups and other professionals across the world to stay informed on latest trends, connect with the leaders in their industry, become aware of business/position opportunities, and obtain introductions or references beyond their immediate geographic location.  Being mindful of the saying, “you are known by the company you keep”, leveraging online networking with face-to-face interaction is a must.  However, the real success is in not succumbing to the “popularity contest” mindset of number of connections over quality of connections.  The “quality” is defined by selectively connecting with those groups and individuals who align with your career goals and actively, genuinely participating in discussions within the group.     

 Holding onto your enthusiasm, confidence and drive while making your mark are your responsibility.  Keeping that motivational balance and work/life balance are your responsibility and an ongoing challenge. 

 Notice there has been no mention of money or fame as it will or will not come and probably rise and fall over time.  There have been, literally, dozens of hotel and restaurant brands created and introduced in the market over the last 25 years.  Some have excelled and many have disappeared but the people behind those brands remain in the workforce.  Keeping your competitive edge is dependent on taking action steps to gain upward mobility in your career.  Fame and compensation are external incentives that can enhance the internal motivators already mentioned, but striking a balance between the two is very important and your best way to gain upward mobility in your hospitality career.

    Kathleen Hogan, MBA

Publisher and Co-Founder of HospitalityEducators.com  

She has a background in management, banking, and finance with a Master’s Degree concentration in Human Resources Management.  In addition, Kathleen is a hospice volunteer in Phoenix, Arizona, where she currently resides. Kathleen@hospitalityeducators.com


1] What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School by Mark McCormack:

The Harvard Business School Study on the Class of 19791 dealt with the impact of goal setting on the quality of life.  The findings were that people who set goals are more likely to succeed and experience greater wealth and happiness. 

In the book, Mark McCormack tells about a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program. In that year, the students were asked, "Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?" Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all.

Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

In spite of such proof of success, most people don't have clear, measurable, time-bounded goals that they work toward.

Search the Site