For me, this military life has created some, shall we say, interesting adventures in my career path. By training and passion, I’m a teacher and educator first and foremost. By passion and opportunity, I am forging a new path as a writer.
My goal for last year was to marry the two fields together more fully. I launched my own blog, MilKids Ed. It focuses on military children in the classroom. I offer tips, advice and tricks for parents and teachers of military children.
So far, it’s been slow but steady. It has brought me amazing opportunities (like the fact that I’m even writing this article and others for NextGen MilSpouse!) and helped to forge essential connections.
So, how can I improve and grow my career? I’m making a career development goal for 2016.
This week is the week that you will pick one career development goal for yourself and make a plan to achieve it as part of NextGen MilSpouse’s You Got This: 52 Challenges to Make 2016 Your Bitch.
Week 4 Challenge: Pick a Career Development Goal and Make a Plan for How to Reach It
Challenge Details: Set aside 1 to 2 hours to brainstorm and pick one short-term career development goal. Use the printable NextGen MilSpouse Career Goal Worksheet to write down your plan to reach this goal.
Your Deadline: Feb. 1
Bonus Points if you post a photo of you proclaiming your career goal on Instagram, Twitter or the NextGen MilSpouse Facebook Page with the hashtag #2016IsMyBitch.
Free printable! Career Goal Planning Worksheet
Click on this link to download your free career goal planning worksheet from NextGen MilSpouse.
You don’t need to be currently working outside the home to make a career goal. If you’re a student, your college classes may be your career goal for 2016. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you could brainstorm your plan for re-entering the workforce when your child starts kindergarten. Or maybe you’re waiting until you move back to the States to start your job search. Don’t put any limitations on this goal and don’t let yourself make any excuses. Remember, you got this.
Your career goal should be short-term, specific and tangible. Not sure where to get started? Let me walk you through a useful and effective tool to set goals: the SMART method.
As a teacher, I am used to creating SMART goals. Essentially, these are goals that have the following qualities: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
In order to achieve even writing this goal, I’ll need to break it down even more and be very clear about the actions that I need to take.
My goal for 2016 is to grow my MilKids brand.
First, let’s think of a website that almost every teacher has visited at some point: Teacher Pay Teachers. Everyone goes there for fast lesson plans or printables, and many people even “follow” teachers that produce good work. Almost all of the teacher-authors also maintain a blog, which is linked through their TpT site. Bingo!
Here is my SMART goal:
Specific: I will grow my MilKids presence by becoming a seller on Teachers Pay Teachers. By creating excellent lessons, units and printables, my name and reputation as a teacher and writer of excellence will grow. People will be driven to my blog via Teachers Pay Teachers.
Measurable: My current baseline average viewers per day is 15.29 (yes, I know it’s small. Education is a super niche market and is relatively hard to break into). My goal is to have a 30% to 50% increase in daily blog traffic overall, with at least 5% of daily traffic being driven directly from TpT. My analytics page identifies where viewers are coming from, so this should be easy to track.
Achievable: I already have the blog. I’m already a freelance writer. And I have been designing my own worksheets, units, lessons and assessments for years. I will need to improve the design of my materials and actually post it on TpT. This part will just take time and practice.
Realistic: I think this is fairly realistic, over the long-term. While I might not see the spike in readership initially, I think that with repeated exposure and increasingly well produced products, I should be able to see an additional average 4.5-7.6 viewers per day by the end of 2016. My end goal is fairly modest and easily tracked.
Timely: Building and growing a brand doesn’t happen overnight, especially when there are literally thousands and thousands of blogs. By giving myself the whole year to accomplish this goal, I am allowing for the fluctuations in readership, as well as giving myself time to improve my products. I do have a hard deadline, but also can reassess my progress throughout the year and increase my end goal accordingly.
So far, I have set up my TpT shop and have begun working on some products. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, some of them have been published and downloaded or purchased.
Fingers crossed that hard work and diligence can pay off for me this year!