As a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, I was excited to see that Ron Santo was elected into the baseball Hall of Fame by the veterans committee this year. This achievement and Ron’s dedication to find a cure for diabetes, a disease that he suffered from, led me to think about two broader career topics.
What is your career end goal?
Ron Santo’s goal was to reach the Hall of Fame. What is the highest level you are hoping to achieve in your career? Is it to be awarded a patent in your field? Achieve a level of Subject Matter Expert? Pass a certification test? Speak at a conference on a topic related to your field? Become published in a book or article? Spend some time thinking about the highest level you want to achieve. It will be different for everybody depending on the work you do and the work you want to do. Once you write down what you want to achieve, spend some time thinking about the actions you are going to take to achieve that goal and the timeline you have.
What will your legacy be?
Ron Santo loved baseball. In addition to his career playing the game, he was also a radio announcer for the Cubs. Beyond baseball, though, Ron Santo spent a significant amount of time raising money for diabetes research. He raised over $60 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This leads me to ask, what do you want your legacy to be? Spend some time thinking about what legacy you want to leave after your death. For some people this will be directly correlated to their career. For others, their career won’t be a part of their legacy. Once you decide what you want your legacy to be, spend some time thinking about how you can begin working towards that now.
The beginning of the year is a time that many people spend setting goals for the upcoming year. This year, consider including goals related to your career and the legacy you will leave behind.