Connecting the Dots

This post was born from an e-mail I received over the weekend. A student I’ve shared a few messages with about my agency’s internship program shot me a note, outlining personal goals for the next two years.

My readers should take note this is a wonderful thing to do. First, everyone should have specific goals in mind — educational, professional, social, financial, etc. Just as important, you should come up with a timeline / deadline and something to quantify or measure the success of the goal. In a PR campaign, these would be your objectives. Get these objectives on paper to make yourself accountable.

The student listed a number of realistic objectives — she was on the money providing a timeline for each objective. However, it was missing something — a road map.

Consider your objectives your destination. You know where you want to go — that’s often the easy part. How are you going to get there? Just like a road map, maybe there are a dozen ways to get to where you are going.

To wrap up this point, give yourself some direction with a route — action items that will help you stay on path and will seem less ambiguous in your day-to-day. Once you have all your dots connected, you’ve put yourself in a much better position to meet your objectives.

~sample roadmap~
Background: Let’s say you are heading into your senior year. You’ve just completed your professional road map, anticipating an internship after college that pays little to nothing at all. Bottom line, you need to save some money before entering your position.

Objective: Create a separate savings account for your summer living costs, accumulating $10,000 by the end of the year.

Strategy 1: Cut / limit unnecessary costs from my daily routine.

Tactic 1: Limit my weekly allowance to $X.
Tactic 2: Instead of buying lunch, pack my own.
Tactic 3: Etc., etc., etc.

Strategy 2: Allocate appropriate percentages of my income to my new savings account.

Tactic 1: After paying for rent, bills, etc., X percent of my paycheck will go into my new savings account.
Tactic 2: X percent of my graduation money will go into my new savings account.
Tactic 3: Etc., etc., etc.

I hope this helps put my advice in perspective. If you need some help connecting the dots on your road map, feel free to e-mail me at ryancaseymcshane@gmail.com. Use the subject line “Connecting the Dots” for my reference, and I’ll happily provide you some input.

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One thought on “Connecting the Dots

  1. Ah, grasshopper, you have learned much. Perhaps I should graduate you to chief grasshopper. ;)

    Actually I still find myself learning these things… or being reminded of them. I wish someone had explained this to me earlier, though. I remember having few goals past graduation. I knew I wanted a degree in journalism. But then what? Of course I got married not before graduation and it changed my entire life scheme… dreams, goals, everything. Although I’m truly happy with the way things turned out and am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, I still wish I had plotted myself a road map. In a way, I feel as though I missed out on a few things and will spend the next few years making it up. Then again, it gives me something to look forward to. Thank goodness my husband is supportive!

    PS… This post reminded me SO MUCH of you in your later college days when we worked at PDQ. I remember you always saving money for this or that and planning trips, etc. Way to go!

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