Share Your Goals with Your Team
Since I started writing down my goals, I have a couple friends hold me accountable to them.
We periodically meet to review the goals we each set and check progress. Also, when we connect on other matters, personal and professional, we ask about certain problem areas or challenges. Goals change, but then we explain why they no longer made sense and what we've decided to do instead.
Having people holding you accountable to what you said you were going to do—to what you want to do—keeps you from slipping.
So if you don't have defined goals, get on that. Remember that they shouldn't be just career goals—they should be goals for all your life's facets (career, family, friends, education/growth, and so on). And then find someone you can share them with--preferably people who also have their goals written down.
Even consider sharing them with your coworkers. Yes, including your boss.
Horrified? Don’t be. Being cagey doesn’t pay off. People seem to think they must pretend to their supervisors that they don't have aspirations outside their immediate job responsibilities—especially if their ultimate career goals aren't offered at their workplaces at the moment. Not true. Only with the help of your supervisor can you create a work plan that gives you skills that move you in the right direction—while still doing valuable work for your employer.
Once I had an employee who decided she wanted to work in the nonprofit space—and might even want to be a social worker. For FrogDog, she was a project manager. She and I built a plan to give her valuable, relatable experience while she worked with us and to transition her over time into a nonprofit role. I helped her network in the nonprofit community and made introductions for informational interviews. She and I are still in touch today. She works at a nonprofit that serves families. (Direct social work wasn't for her). I'm grateful for her work when she was at FrogDog, and I'm happy that she's where she wants to be.
If you hide what you want and who you are from your supervisor, you won't get the full value from the position—and your employer won't get the best work from you. Resentment can build on both sides. Why not work together? Everyone has dreams. Your supervisor gets that.