Don't forget to set your own goals.

posted September 25, 2017

What Are Your Goals?

Lauren Byers

At Dagger (and I imagine at most agencies) one of the first questions we ask clients when we’re kicking off a project is, “What are your goals?” This is true when on-boarding new clients in order to understand what defines a successful client-agency relationship in the long term. This is also true in the shorter-term on a project level, as each individual project may be targeted toward a different goal, all laddering back up to the larger strategy. When we define our goals, we can then identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that allow us to objectively assess if the project was successful or not.

As marketers, we recognize and acknowledge why goals are important–so why aren’t we more vigilant about setting them for ourselves?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

We’ve all been asked the dreaded interview question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Up until now, it truly was a dreaded question because it’s one that’s always stumped me. The one question I couldn’t answer was also the one question that only I have the ability to answer. When I interviewed at Dagger, I’m embarrassed to say that I answered along the lines of, “Maybe a brand manager…?”

I kicked myself all the way home for that answer. On the one hand, it was a terrible response for someone interviewing at an agency. Why would an agency want to hire someone who had dreams of hopping to the brand side in five years? And on the other hand, it wasn’t true. (Thank goodness Dagger didn’t read too much into that one!) The real answer? I had no idea.

Notice the past-tense ‘had’? Since that fateful interview back in early 2016, I’ve had some time to think. One thing I did get right in that interview? I shared my passion for video storytelling. And with (a lot of) help from my manager here at Dagger, I’ve mapped out quarterly, annual, and long-term career goals as I work toward the role of producing full-time.

If you love something, set it free…

It’s impossible to overstress the importance of putting your goals out into the world. Once you do, two really great things happens. The first one sounds a little scary, but it’s so important: people hold you accountable. Just as our clients hold us accountable to helping them meet their project goals, we need people to hold us accountable in life. The second thing that happens is that people will want to help you. Despite our fear of what people might say when we share our grandiose dreams, people really do enjoy helping other people succeed — it’s fun to be a part of that success, and it’s rewarding to help someone achieve something they’re passionate about. Once your co-workers or manager, and even your friends and family, know what you’re trying to achieve, they’ll want to help you do it!

Since joining Dagger in May of 2016, I’ve had the pleasure of producing and associate producing a number of video shoots, both live action and animation, from start to finish. I helped produce a mock late-night show. I’ve helped produce shoots on Hermosa Beach with a two-time Olympic beach volleyball medalist (twice!), an eight-part video series featuring breast cancer survivors to promote awareness and raise money for research, the cutest science experiments you’ve ever seen and a lot more.

While there are still some things on my goal board that I haven’t achieved yet, I know that I’m getting there and I know that my Dagger family will help me do it. This process of setting goals (and checking in on them regularly) is something that everyone at Dagger does, and it’s completely changed my outlook and approach to work. I still wince a bit when someone asks me where I want to be in five years (a lot can change in that time), but breaking down those five years into digestible bites makes everything feel that much closer.