Business magnate, investor, and tech pioneer Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, at age 56. He made a big impact in his lifetime, and his legacy lives on.
An infographic from Resume.io has captured Jobs’ insightful career advice, as well as those of other successful founders and entrepreneurs, to keep your career moving forward. Jobs once said:
“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”
Focus on your next goal
The above statement outlines the importance of setting fresh goals to make sure that you keep up the momentum in your career. If you get distracted by your current achievements, you might lose sight of exciting opportunities and long-term ambitions.
Jobs certainly never let the dust settle on his achievements. He had already achieved fame and wealth by 1977, just a year after co-founding Apple. He then continued to seek out and develop new ideas, systems, and products for the next three decades.
It’s absolutely fine to celebrate a single success, of course, but unless you set your sight on a new goal, you could be limiting your longer-term career prospects. What Jobs’ catalog of innovations and accomplishments demonstrated is that goal-setting has to be a dynamic and continuous process, rather than a one-off event.
Ask ‘what’s next?’
Making sure you’re equipped for future success doesn’t mean that you have to have one definitive end-goal in mind. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Steve Jobs didn’t know back in 1976 that he would end up unveiling the iPhone to the world in 2007.
He was able to continue revolutionizing the world of consumer technology with an ever-expanding portfolio of innovation because he knew how to ask ‘what next?’
Progress is often incremental in nature, and new ideas and developments can grow out of past successes. Jobs’ career is a testament to setting goals that build on the foundational skills and knowledge you achieve and having the foresight to seek out new challenges that keep you moving forward.
This is relevant to any career, in any field. You just need to set your sights on the next thing that will motivate you to succeed. You might take stock of what you’ve already done, but the focus is on where you’re headed next.
Build confidence with achievable goals
Now you need a system to keep you accountable. All-or-nothing goals can feel impossible to accomplish and are a sure-fire way to sap your confidence. Instead, set incremental goals to build momentum through your career. This is much more practical and achievable than relying on one major goal to define whether your career is a success or failure.
Once you’ve identified your big, audacious goal, break it into smaller, more quantifiable goals to make it easier to manage it. Every small goal achieved will contribute to a more sustainable sense of progress. When you’re ready to set a new goal, ask yourself:
- When do I want to achieve this goal?
- How long will it take?
- What resources and skills do I have?
- What resources and skills do I need?
This will help you to reflect on where you’re at and give you a clear and practical sense of what you need to do to achieve your goal. With each new goal, you’ll find that you are building on an ever-expanding repertoire of resources, skills, and experience that fuel your progress even further.