Step

All Steps

Align Life and Career Goals to Your Position to Create Market Fit

INSTRUCTIONS & EXAMPLES

Align StarsINSTRUCTION

This alignment exercise is for those that already know what career choice or business (for consultants/ freelancers) they want or have. The goal is to make sure your life and career goals are working together instead of being opposing forces, and that your position or business (if you are a consultant) is aligned with your career goals. There is a ranking column on the right under “Career Choice” that helps you rank how much this position or business fits with each career goal. You can use this ranking system also if you are trying to choose a job.

  1. Type in your most important life and work goals, values, or “must haves” in the first two columns. Make sure you list your “must haves” in order of importance. Whether you are an employee, consultant, or freelancer, you want to make sure that your work and life choices line up for the most part. So on the left side, fill out your life goals and on the right side, fill out what you want out of work.
  2. Look for are any conflicting goals, values, or “must haves”. If you have a job in an industry, or you are starting a business that conflicts with your life or career values and goals, you need to reassess, maybe change it, or at least know that there is a conflict. When they are working in tandem, you can get FAR more traction and work-life balance. For example, if you want to travel the globe, get a job that travels. By visually cross-comparing these two categories, you can spot conflicting life and work values/goals and adjust accordingly.
  3. Under “Career Choice”, type in your career position or business you are in, or have chosen, and use this ranking system to assure that your work choice aligns with your career goals and values. This might be somewhat of a duplicate if you went through this in the <strong”>Career Choice section. On a scale of 0-10, does your choice meet the career goal to the left? Score: “0”- it does not meet the goal, “5” partially, and “10”- it completely meets it. It should be a higher number if this is the right choice and you are aligned.
  4. At the bottom, under Market Fit, make sure you are in a viable field that will be around for a while by checking on the

If you are unclear on a choice at this point, go to Making a Career Choice: Step 1, and come back to this step afterward. If your scoring adds up below 60- consider finding another career choice. Any career choice above 60 will be more compatible, and it is up to you to determine what you want to forgo – if anything.

Example of Work-Life Alignment Worksheet

In this example, this position had a score to 77 which is generally pretty good, but there was no option to live by the ocean, and it was non-negotiable for this person and therefore he decided to look for a job closer to the coast.

ExampleLife Examples

It can be general or specific such as:
-run a marathon
-travel the globe
-get kids through college
-sans kids and buy a llama ranch in Montana

Or whatever brings you joy, growth, and meaning into your life.

Work Examples

Examples of goals could include: having a specific type of consulting company that brings in X amount of year and helps improve education globally, or if you are an employee- you work for a company making X amount a year that is involved in sustainable energy.

Consulting/Freelancer Example
-have a specific type of consulting company that brings in X amount of year
-my company helps improve education globally
-mentor the growth of my contractors
-Sell consultancy in 10 years and retire

Employee Example
-work for a sustainable solutions company
-have flexible hours that I work at home or in the office
-make X amount a year
-Become Director of Operations
-Retire by 65

HAVE A PARTNER?

Print out a clean copy of this first, and ask your partner to fill it out. Compare when you are finished. Make sure you and your partner are aligned and understand each others’ choices. It’s a great way to support one another.

OTHER USES FOR THIS ALIGNMENT GRID- DEGREE/TRAINING

Considering a specific degree or training? Try lining up the degree or training with your life and career goals to see if it makes sense.

Don’t forget to save your work with the button on the bottom right.


[ END OF INSTRUCTIONS- Go to Top -Toggle up by clicking top “Instructions & Examples” bar.]

Bring in any life goals into your career goals wherever possible to create a "2-for-1" scenario that creates better balance in your life.

Life Goals/Values (type in order of importance)
Work Goals/Values (Put similar life/career goals side-by-side.)
Your Position (Rank 1-10)
 
 
Total      
Step 4: Determine Market Fit (Is this a position with viable long-term growth? Check the job outlook of this position here.)

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Step

Skills Alignment for Transitioning to a New Position or Industry (Optional)

INSTRUCTIONS & EXAMPLES

INSTRUCTIONS

If you are moving to a new position or industry (for consultants or freelancers), do a gap analysis with your current vs. new position’s skills or talents. You can use a job description for that job or a job that is similar.

  1. Input the skills below. Start with the required skills and put an asterisk(*) by each of these skills.
  2. In the two columns to the right, choose if you already have the skill or need it. Do you have most of the required skills at least? Typically you are not required to have ALL of the skills or talents in a position. The job description acts as the hiring manager’s “wish list.”
  3. If you have any additional skills that you think might be really valuable to this position that might offset the ones that you do not have, please add that in the last box underneath.

If you are transitioning jobs or considering a new role, aligning skills, traits, or abilities can be vital to your job search efforts.

The new position I am considering is (describe) :
What skills, traits, or abilities are needed for new position or role so that you can be a good market fit for that position? HAVE NEED
What skills do you currently have that are not required but that could be an asset?
How are you staying on top of your industry? Blogs? Books? Podcasts? Videos? Courses? Update yourself now. Add these to your Action Plan. Get on email lists for your favorite blogs. Present this knowledge to others to be considered an industry thought leader.

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Step

INSTRUCTIONS & EXAMPLES

Inspire Others INSTRUCTIONS

How do you grow your value in your work and meet your supervisor’s (for employees) or client’s (for consultants/freelancers) expectations? Below is a list of key areas to focus on based on our research.

  1. Read each and describe how you are doing each of these below.
  2. Do you need to work on any of these?
  3. Fill out how you are doing or how you can do each below that is applicable to your work.

Add any needed items to your Action Plan.


High Performers Vs. Low Performers

In this article, High Performers Versus Low Performers – 7 Ways to Tell the Difference” by IMPROVING TEAM PERFORMANCE, Barbara Brown, PhD asked:

“What’s the difference between a high-performer and low-performer? High-Performers make positive contributions, Low-Performers do not make positive contributions. A high performer:

1. Communicates with customers in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals

2. Works with coworkers in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals

3. Manages workloads in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals

4. Manages personal and professional development in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals

5. Adheres to policies, procedures, and regulations in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals

6. Participates in meetings and other activities in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals

7. Manages change in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals.”

Here are some ways you can stay on top of aligning, cultivating, and communicating your value. By doing so, you will open the doors for new opportunities, a better salary, and ultimately more growth for yourself as well as the ability to create your own job security.

Based on our research, these are some of the ways you can stay valued at work for both new and existing positions. Fill out each below.
1. Accountability: Are you on time? Early? Do you stay late or help out when needed? Do you take pride in your work? How do you document your weekly results for your supervisor or clients to see? Give examples.
2. Business Generation: Do you make your clients', supervisor's or sponsor's business better somehow by generating revenue, cutting costs, improving processes, creating efficiencies, etc? Give examples.
3. Communication: What consistent methods and time frames do you use of communicating and reporting to your clients, supervisor, your sponsor (if you have one), and your team (if managing one)? Weekly? Biweekly meetings and emails? A project management software, etc? Are you conveying your efforts and value in these if relevant?
4. Key Metrics: What are the two top goals or metrics (for your clients, supervisors or sponsors) for each period: 90-day, 6-months, and 1-year?
5. Annual Performance: How are you improving your performance each year? Are utilizing training, courses, coaching, joining boards, associations, volunteering, acting as an industry-expert etc.?
6. Influencers: Do you spend most of your time at work with top performers and make sure you are aligning yourself with positive quality people? If you own a business, are you hiring top performers? Are you aligning yourself with outside networks that may be valuable to your supervisor or sponsor or your overall personal mission? Be specific.
7. Value Added: Are you going beyond your job goals (or client obligations for consultant/freelancers) by adding projects, sales, or services that align with your own career growth needs while also benefiting those you work for?
8. Feedback: Do you regularly ask for feedback on your performance from your boss, peers and clients? Have you made changes based on this feedback? If so, what?
9. Collaboration: Do you collaborate well with others and have good professional relationships? Are you trustworthy? A team player?
10. Team-Building: Have you learned the art form of rallying teams to get good results?

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Step

Map Our Your Annual Plan to Grow Your Value (projects/goals, awards, network, visibility, feedback, education/training, etc.)

INSTRUCTIONS & EXAMPLES

INSTRUCTIONS

A strategy combined with an action plan is the most important way you can make movement in your career. By mapping out an annual plan, you will stay focused, organized, and feel less taxed because you will know that you are on the right path to actualizing your long-term vision.

Include:

  • Top 2 projects or goals that will bring the most results to your department or position.
  • Build your network and assuring you have a sponsor that you are working with that is 2 positions above you. Being a “bridge” or “connector” person can be a highly valued trait.
  • Take on speaking engagements, functions, or volunteer work (for boards, associations, think tanks, etc.) that will give you visibility.
  • Seek out any awards you can for your department, work, etc.
  • Send out a 360 feedback survey to your coworkers once a year that asks questions about your work style, your interactions with teams, etc. to get some intel on how you are perceived. Take note of any areas you need to work on or pivot.
  • Sign up for training or education that will help you to continue to skill up.

Promote your value and growth by goal setting. Remember, a plan will give you a 42% greater chance of reaching your goals, than without one.

Example: Get job-60 days. Find sponsor-90 days, etc.

GOALS & TIMELINE
GOALS & TIMELINE

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Step

Align Yourself to Strategy of Your Business

INSTRUCTIONS & EXAMPLES

Efforts aren't resultsINSTRUCTIONS

The only way to truly feel valued at work is to be engaged, and the best way to be engaged is to know the business of your business. It helps to look at it from a macroscopic level, so by diving in and doing the necessary research, you will be able to look for new opportunities for growth by targeting your efforts effectively. Go through each section below and answer to the best of your abilities.

Employees

Go through each section and pull the data from:

  • Your company website
  • Supervisors
  • Colleagues
  • Research of your competitors

You will also tune in to your organization’s KPI. This is a good place to go to get more information for this.

Klipfolio’s: “KPI Examples”KPIs by KipfolioImage by Kipfolio’s site


Consultants and Freelancers

If you don’t have a business plan, make sure you start one. Here is a good place to gather pertinent information to keep on top of your goals and KPIs for your business. You can utilize information from this site below. Go through each section and pull the data from:

  • Your company website
  • Research from your competitors websites (or other sources)
  • Colleagues or people in your professional associations or networks

Another good source for freelancers is Brennan Dunn’s site: Double Your Freelancing

Know the "business" of your business so you can have a macroscopic understanding that will help you know where to focus efforts and be of far greater value to any organization at which you work. How does your organization make money? Track results, etc.

Organization’s Mission or Vision Statement
  
Organization’s Target Audience
(B2B, B2C, age, gender, etc. Be specific.)
Your Target Audience
(Specific to you or your department if applicable.)
Services or Products Your Organization Offers
(Research through supervisors, websites, colleagues, etc.)
Your Organization’s Competitors
  
Services or Products that Compete with Yours and Could Be Perceived as Threats
(Research your competitors through supervisors, websites, colleagues, etc.)
Your Organization's Differentiators and Strengths
(What makes your products, services, etc. unique to your competitors?)
Your Organization’s Key Performance
Indicators (KPIs) for the Major Sources of Revenue
Methods of Generation
(How does your organization generate income or revenue?)
What are the KPIs that you specifically need to address? (What are your department's overall goals and how do you measure success in your department?)
Organizational, Supervisor and Sponsor Goals
(in order of importance)
Your Goals
(in order of importance)
Progress Completed
(Percentage)

Notes/Opportunities

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Step

You finished the ALIGN YOUR Value phase. You can take a break or go on to the next phase of your roadmap. See your enrolled roadmap course for the next section. Add to your Action Plan if needed.

Results from finishing ALIGN YOUR VALUE:

1) Try to align any life goals into your career wherever possible. This will create a 2-for-1 scenario that will carve out a work-life instead of a career with a “side of life” scenario.
2) You’ve aligned any needed skills to your current job so that you can stay valued.
3) You have run through a list of ways you can stay valued at work.
4) You’ve mapped out an annual plan to grow your value and therefore your career and salary trajectories.
5) You’ve assured that your value is aligned to the business strategy of the company at which you work.