6 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself About Your Career Goals

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Remember how back in January, you set some pretty big goals for yourself? How are you doing with those? How many of them have you actually accomplished? Are there some on the list you haven't reached yet? Or are there some that you don’t even want anymore?

Now that we’re more than halfway through the year, it’s a great time to assess where you are with the goals you set at the beginning of the year. So let's take a minute to look at them and honestly ask yourself where you are in the process of reaching them.

For the ones you've achieved, BRAVA! It always feels great to achieve something you set out to do. And for the goals that are in progress but maybe not quite there yet, BRAVA AGAIN for working toward them!

But what about the ones you haven't achieved? It’s time to ask yourself—honestly—why not. Have you really been taking action on them? Or have you just been talking about them? Usually, when you are having a tough time reaching a goal, it’s due to a variety of reasons. To figure out what those reasons are, ask yourself the following fool-proof questions to help you reassess whether they’re reachable and viable.

1. Are my goals in the direct line of what I want?
For example, if you really want to work in film and television, why do you have so many theater goals on your list and none about getting you closer to working on TV? Make sure you’re actually working toward what you really want.

2. Are my goals within my control?
If you have a bunch of goals that are completely out of your control, then you will constantly be frustrated. You don’t actually have control over whether someone hires you for a job but you do have control over whether you were prepared for the audition and whether you are consistently working at strengthening your craft. While it’s important to have specific, job-related goals, this should usually be the ultimately-leads-to part of your goal after you’ve committed to the things you do have control over.

3. Are my goals obsolete?
When you look at your goals, do they reflect things that have no relation to your life now? For example, you were saving for new headshots but you just booked a national tour that’s going to take you away for two years. Maybe now you don’t feel like you need to worry about those headshots for the moment. Take that goal off your list and make a new one that is about your life now.

4. Have I changed my mind?
This is a tricky one because you want to make sure you’re not simply changing your mind every few months just because you haven’t achieved the goals you’ve already set. Remember: a true master can live in no results for a very long time. Don’t jump ship when you really haven’t given yourself a chance to succeed.

5. Did I think too big?
If you are honest with yourself, were your goals far too lofty for where you are in your career? Many young actors think that within a few months of graduating they will be working steadily. And while there are indeed some who will, more often than not, it takes much longer than you expect to achieve your acting goals. Make goals that are appropriate for where you are.

6. Do I actually like my goals?
Achieving your goals should be fun, which means that working toward achieving them should be even more fun. If you don’t really enjoy what you’re working for, then you aren’t going to have much fun when you actually get there. A great way to have fun with your goals is to write them down, print them out and put them everywhere where you can see them every day, all the time. That way you know exactly what you are looking to achieve and can ask yourself every day, “What can I do today to get closer to my goals?”

Leslie Becker is Broadway actor, Billboard artist, and best-selling author of “The Organized Actor.” Since 1994, her teachings have helped hundreds of thousands of actors create successful careers and, more importantly, to be strong individuals so the highs and lows of the industry are balanced by a strong belief in themselves. As an actor, she has appeared in 10 Broadway and National Tour productions and has starred in over 50 regional shows. She is the host of the Facebook Group Organized Actor Alliance and offers free tips for actors at OrganizedActor.com.

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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Leslie Becker
Leslie Becker is Broadway actor, Billboard artist, and best-selling author of “The Organized Actor.” Since 1994, her teachings have empowered thousands of actors to be strong individuals so the highs and lows of the industry are balanced by a strong belief in themselves.
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