We all have goals we strive for throughout our careers. Sometimes, we're lucky enough to achieve them. But other times, we find ourselves chasing those objectives for years on end. My colleagues and I are certainly familiar with the latter scenario. In fact, here are goals that three Motley Fool contributors have yet to reach.
1. Get a little famous
Daniel B. Kline: As a writer, I'm lucky that I make an exceptional living and enjoy a platform that puts my work in front of millions of people. You might be reading this on Fool.com, in USA Today, on MSN, AOL, or on numerous other websites that partner with The Motley Fool. You might also hear me on The Fool's Industry Focus podcast or on a local radio show in your market.
These are all amazing things -- everything I could have ever hoped for professionally. The only professional goal left for me is to go from well read to well known. That's a big leap because there really aren't many financial journalists who have managed to get there.
Of course, I'm not expecting to become Lady Gaga. Aside from Jim Cramer and Suze Orman, few financial journalists reach that level. What I would like is to make a few more media appearances, appear on some more radio shows, and have the occasional person look at me and wonder if they saw me on TV or if we went to high school together.
This probably isn't an unattainable goal. There are plenty of radio shows and less-than-prime television programs looking for mildly interesting guests. If I make the time over the next few years, I believe it's possible to go from successful writer to a guy a few more people recognize.
Selena Maranjian: I've been in the workforce for a long time, and I've been working for The Motley Fool for more than 20 years. My pay has supported me over all these years, but I've long had the sense that if I had moved from job to job over the years, especially from company to company, I'd be earning more money now.
Well, I've recently run across some studies that support that thought. Workers get the biggest increases in their salary when they've been at their job for at least two years but not more than five years, according to a report from the human resource management company Automatic Data Processing (ADP -0.12%), which studied data related to some 24 million workers. Those under age 25 got the biggest pay hikes, averaging 11%, when changing jobs. Meanwhile, annual pay increases were recently an average of 48% higher for those who switched jobs, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Does this mean that you -- or I -- should start looking for a new job immediately? Not necessarily. After all, many people are getting maximum satisfaction from their current employers, and job satisfaction isn't only tied to the money you earn. Another strategy is simply to ask for a raise at your existing job. Many people who would otherwise get one never ask.
3. Publish my novel
Maurie Backman: I wrote a novel about 10 years ago -- a pretty good one, if you ask me. The few friends and family members I shared it with enjoyed it, too, though they're admittedly somewhat biased. Still, everyone who read that novel encouraged me to try to get it published. Only I never tried.
The reason? That novel was a story I loved creating, and it was something I was truly proud of (still am). As such, I didn't want to turn a source of pride into a source of rejection. It's tough to get a novel published these days, and I figured that if I never attempted it, but rather kept my work around as something I did just for myself, it wouldn't turn into a negative.
Still, I do think that story has potential, so trying to get it published isn't completely off the table. There's also the option to self-publish, which I might look into if it comes to that. Either way, I hope I get up the guts to get that novel out there -- even if it means putting my pride on the line and facing my share of disappointment.