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Hello everyone.  

As we fight against the coronavirus pandemic, I assume that many of you are working from home. 

Under such circumstances, I have chosen the theme of my blog to be "how to set mid to long-term goals", as I personally feel that this is a topic that should be addressed in the midst of this situation. 

1)Why is it important to set mid to long term goals? 

Through my job as a consultant meeting hundreds of people each year and also engaging with my subordinates, I notice many people are highly likely to hit a wall when they talk about “setting goals”. Here are some of the voices I hear:  

・I don't know how to set goals. 

・I am not sure about the meaning of setting goals. 

・I can set short term goals but nothing longer. 

Then, why is it important to set goals? The answer is simple: it will be a  for what you are doing” right now” (=for short term).

I meet quite a few people on the job per month, but regardless of age, gender, level of life style, nationality, or life events, very few people know 100% what they want to do based on their mid to long term goals.

So, don't worry if you have a vague anixiety about your mid to long term future, it is normal. It is better that you do have doubts, as it becomes a good opportunity to start setting your goals.  

The "goals" for short term and mid to long term are totally dependant on you, which means there is no right way in setting goals, nor a right way.  However, there are efficient methods t o set your goals, so please refer to the following perspectives when you implement your new goals.

Once you do set your goals, you will have more insight in your day-to-day work, leading to greater motivation.

The first and foremost critical point in setting your goals, is to understand what you value, how you perceive, and what you believe in. 

I will explain this further in my next explanation on how to set your goals.

2)How to set your goals 

In setting your goals, you must first think about your "To Be" (what you want to become) and "To Do" (how to achieve what you want to become) separately. This is the most complex concept, but it is important to put them into practice when setting goals. I will explain in more detail by citing my experience.  

I am 37 years old now, and before I joined en world, I first worked in the HR industry (job advertisement), then, in the web industry (internet advertisement), and then the HR industry (recruitment). I was the type of person who selected a job based on what I wanted to concentrate for the short term, what my intuition felt at that time, and conditions at hand. I got married when I was 32 years old, although I had decided to change my job and get married hte year prior. The thoughts I had about my job and life at the time were:

 “Getting Married... In other words, I may have children in the future.” 

"I want to raise my children in a rural area, but I want to work in Tokyo.” 

"IShould I start my own business? That is risky. As I will have my own family, I will need to save a certain amount of money.”  

Let me summarize this by using the To Be/To Do mentioned above:

* To Be (What you want to be, your mid to long term goals)

To have a financial and mental stability to be able to go back and forth from my home in a rural area and Tokyo, have a strong network to be able to receive business from Tokyo. 

=In other words, to be in a state I will not be financially restraint by going back and forth the rural area and Tokyo. 

* To Do (Things you should do : Short-term goals/things you must choose to achieve your mid to long-term goals) 

・Prefer a compensation scheme that is performance-based  

・Prefer a corporate culture that focuses on output and gives considerable discretion to sales rather than requiring us to carry out a fixed sales style instructed from the company. 

・Prefer a job that I love doing and is appreciated by others, so that I can keep working long-term

=In other words, I needed to work at a performance-based recruitment firm where I had the discretion to work the way I like 

In retrospect, in order to create “a state where I can comfortably go back and forth the rural area and Tokyo” (To Be) 10 years later at the age of 42, I chose en world to “work in a position that is performance-based and work style is discretionary".    

3)Hints on setting your goals 

| Think about what you want to achieve long-term

We tend to consider our mid to long term goals based on “only our current job", however, you may set your goals based on any purpose beside your work, such as “I want to be of impact to people who are…”, or “I want to build my house in ….”, or  “I want to buy a car with cash”,  etc, something that you want to achieve even if it may take some time. I think it will be easier for you to think about and maintain your purpose by breaking down from “future → present”, focusing on “how you want To Be” (a general proposal) rather than “what you want To Do” (particular details of it”). 

| Decide what not to do

The word "goals" unintentionally makes you think of “what you want to do”. However, I encourage you to set your goals by deciding the opposite, what you don’t want to do”. To put this in a clearer image, instead of choosing from 100 options, isn't it easier for you to decide on your goals from 30 options after eliminating 70 which are not for you? The basic premise is to exclude goals/environments which have absolutely no connection with your future. 


What did you think of the article? I believe that "thinking blindly" is the cause of confusion. So I recommend you to think in a more simple framework when you are lost, and imagine the person you want to be in the long run. Then, organize your short-term goals to focus on “what you want to do” and “what you like” as much as possible to achieve these mid to long term goals. 

■Read a previous article >> 4th Month: "Importance of Output"

Yuichi Aoki 
Nikkei Division 
Associate Director 

Joined en Japan in 2006 as a new graduate. In 2011, involved in the launch of a sales organization for an advertising platform business at a gaming company. In 2012, joined Recruit Agent (now Recruit Career) and came back to the recruitment industry. ​Joined en world Japan in 2014 as a consultant specializing in IT for Nikkei clients. Appointed as Associate Director for the Nikkei division in 2020.