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Home | Job Seekers | Employers | News | More  630 Job Openings 343 Companies 10269 Resumes

Job Seeker Bright Spots

Five Steps to Reaching the Stars

By Margaret Hansen,


Creating your life's goals can be overwhelming. Try this for fun:

Write Your Own Obituary

As Stephen R. Covey's second habit states, "Begin with the end in mind." Morbidity aside, writing your own obituary offers you a great exercise in goal setting.

  1. Where will you live and work? What type of work?
  2. What will you achieve in your career and personal life?
  3. Other areas, such as:
    • Charitable activities
    • Education
    • Retirement and hobbies
    • Reputation among peers, family, colleagues
    • Your values

Your obit becomes a list of your long-term goals.

Dissect Big Goals, One at a Time

Pick the most important goal and decide what would need to happen first. Then take these sub-goals and decide what - if anything - needs to happen before they occur. Eventually, you'll have a list of short-term goals.

Set Specific Deadlines

Whether on your smart phone or an old-fashioned wall calendar, Robert D. Lock, author of Taking Charge of Your Career Direction, recommends setting deadlines.

"A target date not only helps you make goals specific and measurable, it increases your motivation and commitment to the goal," says Lock.

Check Out Some Free Web Tools

Websites like offer a free place to post goals, get inspired by and inspire others, learn goal setting advice, and receive encouraging "cheers".

Another site,, offers an unusual but effective option to place a bet on yourself. If you put your money on the line (optional), StickK will charge your credit card if your goals aren't met and donate the money to your choice of friend, foe, or charity.

The Commitment Contract concept is based on two principles of behavioral economics:

  1. People don't always do what they claim they want to do
  2. Incentives get people to do things

Founded by a Yale University economics professor, about 30 percent of StickK's users fork over their credit card to help achieve their own goals.

Stay Smart

How do you know if you're heading in the right direction? Make sure each goal passes the SMART test:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Achievable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timely

Good luck and have fun taking steps toward a wonderful life, designed by... you.

About the Author:

Margaret Hansen has been writing professionally since receiving a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maine. She has worked for multiple organizations as a weekly newspaper reporter, a weekly newspaper editor, and in a variety of internal/external marketing communications roles. Her freelance career has focused on writing and editing for print, email and web publications in the employment industry, as well as manuscript editing and resume writing. Margaret has been affiliated with since 2003, most recently as the content manager/writer/editor for the company's award-winning employment-related newsletters. To suggest articles, or if you are interested in writing for, please email her at mhansen (at)'s mission is to help job seekers find real, local, jobs in Rhode Island and reach their career goals.

With, job seekers can conveniently search jobs by location, category, duration, and more. Users can also browse jobs by category and/or city. All employment opportunities are conveniently organized to facilitate the search of jobs - including full-time, part-time and temporary positions, as well as seasonal and volunteer work. Job seekers can save their custom search preferences, and even choose to receive automated Job Alert emails on a daily or weekly basis. is Rhode Island's number one resource for job seekers and employers, offering insightful advice and articles through our award-winning newsletters and social media channels. is actively involved in the communities we serve, partnering with local chambers of commerce, sports teams, trade associations and career centers, and attending local career fairs and business-to-business events. How Rhode Island Gets to Work.