Life Goals, by Jen Underwood

Let’s talk about life goals. I think everyone should have life goals that include both personal and professional aspirations. Who do you want to be? What do you want your family and friends to remember? What is truly important to your inner spirit – not only your bank account? Set these goals early in your career and continue to update them as life takes you in new directions.

I set my life goals in college when I was young and naïve to the realities of life and the business world. In good times, bad times, and in times of uncertainty and fear, looking back at my combined life goals list has been a wonderful compass to keep me moving forward in the right direction while remaining true to myself.

Over time, you will achieve some life goals, others change, new ones get added and others get removed. You can try to plan your life but as Heraclitus shared, “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.”

Although I went to business school for marketing and envisioned my future working in a creative agency setting, I ended up falling in love with data in my statistics class. My passion for data took my career into a completely unplanned direction that continues to surprise me. Another unanticipated change of plan happened when I fell in love with my husband. Our military lifestyle required many short-term moves around the world. Military life forced me to explore a variety of short-term roles that opened my mind to alternative career paths.

Throughout your career, you’ll face many unforeseen challenges – health issues, family member death, financial stress, failure, relocations, job loss, bullying, discrimination, and other tests of your personal character. It is during your most difficult moments that you can look back at your personal and professional life goals list to regain much needed clarity. Never forget who you are, what is important, and what you personally value.

Jen’s recommended book is:

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