Goal Setting, Part 1: Decisions, decisions

Decision making can be simplified, if not made easier. The best approach is lateral thinking: decide where you want to go, then trace back from that point how to get there. This is a pretty reliable approach. It's thorough, and it at least allows you to make your first moves.

Flexible approach

An alternative is less obvious, but it's also highly adaptable: the flexible approach. This is where you decide on a broad career path, but work on multiple possibilities in stages. You get to defined stages, either through employment or qualifications or both, then look for the best options. So you'd start off as an accountant, become a CPA, move into financial accounting, get your MBA, and specialize from there. This is also, to some extent, a 'path of least resistance' approach, and it does work.

Structured approach

This is a purely conventional approach, working on a standard career structure of qualifications and progressions through your working life. It's extremely simple, and it works pretty much as it's supposed to work. This is the apprenticeship method in another form, really, and it's a clear path, which is a real positive for many people.

These are the basics. In the next parts, we'll discuss long-term and short-term goal setting.