A couple of weeks ago we posted a blog about starting your training – setting your goals and making plans. How are you finding it? Here at Acorn Ecology we know how hard it can be starting out on your career as an ecologist. There’s just so much to learn and so much to do. It never feels as though there’s enough time to do everything! Be focussed. Know what you want to achieve. Set your goals for this week and for 5 years time. You may find this extract from Sue’s book, How to be an Ecological Consultant useful:
Most people do not have much of a plan for their careers. In fact it is said that people spend longer planning their holidays than their lives, longer planning the birth than the childhood, and longer planning the wedding than the marriage!
Where do you want to be in 10 years? For example – running your own consultancy could be your 10 year goal. Then a 5 year goal, to get to that 10 year goal, might be – senior ecologist specialising in bats and badgers. Write it down. Starting with the end in mind makes you far more focused. Once you have a clear picture of your destination your journey is much more rapid and directional, you can then start to plan and achieve the steps to getting there – it is like going on a car journey, knowing where you are going and taking a map. Without a destination in mind you would not even know which way to turn out of the drive! As we have already discussed in the CPD section*, you can now plan your training each year to align to your long-term goals.
I have a technique for planning the various aspects of my life and since I have been using it I have achieved 100 times more than before and have become totally focused on achieving those goals.
Start by writing down your 5 year goal and then write down your assumptions and where you are right now. Then start to work out where you will need to be in 4 years, 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, 9 months and 6 months. Finally write down what you need to do in the next 3 months to start getting you to that end goal. Although your 5 year goal may seem massive and difficult to achieve, you simply need to take small steps consistently over time in the right direction to achieve your goal. Set the goal, plan the steps, then work the plan by taking action.
*CPD is continued professional development. There is always more to learn in ecology and you will continue learning through your career.
Sue’s book is available to buy from us. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01392 366512 to order.
- Be specific. Vague goals are hard to stick to.
- Be able to track your progress and make sure you monitor it!
- Make your goals achievable (aim high, but not out of reach).
- Give yourself a time limit and stick to it!
Make your goals manageable, measureable, and achievable. You can check yourself every few weeks to see if you’re on course. You’ll be there before you know it.
How can Acorn Ecology help?
Whatever your goal, one of our courses can help you achieve it. We have a large range of courses on all aspects of ecology, whether you need to up your survey skills, or your reporting skills. Have you identified that gap in your knowledge? What can you do this week to get on your way?