How to set meaningful goals in a target-driven workplace


We asked EMEA Head of Talent Acquisition, Serena Pook to share her tips on how to set personal career goals in a fast-paced, target-driven environment like recruitment.

How often do you think about your professional goals? Or your life goals? It’s a question we ask of ourselves all the time, and the answer can vary day-to-day?

In a target-driven environment like recruitment financial goals can often take centre stage. Even if you’re hitting your numbers it’s important to remember to set goals for yourself outside of your targets. Here are some tips on how to work towards goals rooted in your personal beliefs and values.

  • Set and enjoy the little victories
    When setting short-term goals start by asking yourself – what do you want to achieve? It will help you to create a to-do list, and it’ll help you shape your purpose. A perfectly relevant goal could just be getting through the day and crossing-off the deliverables you’re meant to tackle today. Setting goals – no matter how small – can ultimately lead to a bigger plan or path.

  • Think big picture
    Ask yourself what are your aspirations? Is it to be promoted within the year? Is it to be the project lead on a new initiative? Whatever it is, be prepared to be uncomfortable. When you’re in a space where you’re not pushing yourself, it’s because you’ve become comfortable where you are. And that’s fine if that’s where you want to stay, but if you want to move to the next step then start immersing yourself in the fear of the unknown.

  • Build strong relationships
    Recognise that you need to get other people and teams on board to achieve your goals. Those relationships with your peers, stakeholders and superiors are critical; You’ll want to be able to sit down with your peers and get them to see your side of the story– especially the ones who don’t have the same vested interested in the end goal. Getting that sit-down means you’ll be in a better position to have difficult conversations upfront.

  • Be mindful of others
    There’s an art to raising your profile internally and getting the right stakeholders on your side. Raising your internal profile is massively important in recruitment– you need to showcase yourself but be mindful that you’re not stepping on or over anyone to achieve your goals.

When I look back on my career, there were opportunities that passed me by that I should’ve put my hand up for - but I didn’t because I let my fear get the best of me. It’s easy to fall into a pattern where you start to think, ‘I can’t do it,’ or ‘what happens if I do it and fail?’ When it comes to setting your goals – don’t doubt yourself.