• 18/06/2024 17:02

Goalposting at work: what is it and how to deal with it

Imagine this: You're doing a good job and on track to achieve your latest career goal, but suddenly you're faced with a sudden change in direction. Perhaps you narrowly missed out on a promotion but now need more work to “prove yourself”, or perhaps you have been asked to completely change your approach, undoing all your previous efforts. If you are interested in what goalposting is at work, then in this example you can see what it means.

Content What is Goalposting at Work Develop a good relationship with your manager Be mindful of your schedule, but be willing to change it Always have your resume ready

According to career coach Jazz Marfo, this happens all the time. While it's unfortunately not always possible to avoid goofposting, there are ways to learn to manage it and the inevitable frustration it brings. WomanEL will share tips.

What is goalposting at work

“Moving the goalpost” is a metaphor borrowed from sports, especially games such as football. The term was originally used to describe changing the location of a goal during a game, making the task more difficult or accessible for one team. Over time, this metaphor has been adopted into various fields, especially business. At its core, the term describes changing criteria or standards after they have already been established, which often makes a task or goal more difficult.

“This is always disappointing and is often taken as a personal insult. But in most cases, goal setting is associated with bureaucratic red tape, poor management or confusing processes within the company,” explains Jazz Marfo.

 “It’s natural to feel a little tired of constant change. But clear communication is the best way to deal with any feelings of frustration or inadequacy when they arise.”

Develop a good relationship with your manager

Don’t be afraid to discuss the situation with your superiors to clarify it and think about how to proceed further, Source: freepik.com

According to Marfo, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from gouging is to keep in touch with your boss, even if he is the one who ultimately makes the changes. “You want a boss who can protect you, who you can also trust and who will answer your questions honestly,” she says.

Healthy communication with your superiors will help you not only understand exactly what is expected of you in your role if changes are coming, but also better understand how and why those decisions were made.

“If you feel like you're being ghosted (or about to be), move on to the next review or ask questions that will help you clarify the situation,” Marfo advises. “For example, if your promotion was delayed or a big project was canceled at the last minute, I advise my clients to ask questions like: How long will it take for this to get signed off? Whose approval is needed for this? Do I need to do anything else to achieve my goal? The answers may not be pleasant, but in the end you will feel like you have a better understanding of the situation.

Be aware of your schedule, but be willing to change it

Progress at the rate you want is not always possible. After all, everyone thinks they deserve a raise, but in reality, very few people get one. Marfo suggests being realistic and being clear about not only what you want to achieve, but also when you want it to happen. The time frame for achieving the goal must be realistic.

“It's often out of our control, but we don't want to work too hard in a job that doesn't pay enough,” she says. “Remember that your time and contributions have value, and your employer should not only recognize but respect that.” And if not? Perhaps it's time to move to where you will be valued.

Always have your resume ready

And in light of the above, Marfo recommends always having your resume ready, no matter where you are in your career you are. “Even if you're not really thinking about leaving, looking at what else is out there is helpful to remind yourself that there are always other jobs available to you,” she adds.

Perhaps. Do you feel like it's time to change jobs? Many people have a fear that they have invested too much in their current one. Here's how to get rid of it.

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