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PRODUCER’S NOTE:  In John’s 27-year career in global executive search he has seen dozens upon dozens of college students, full of hope and confidence, fail to achieve their goals because they lacked a plan with specific written objectives. The evidence is clear: you are more likely to achieve your plan when you commit it to paper.

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If you ask a college junior what they want out of life, most will offer an answer with some combination of the following: finish school, meet someone, get married, have a family, land a good job, and buy a home.   

Some who have a specific goal in mind, medicine, for example, have had to make some life decisions earlier than most based on curriculum requirements.  But most college-age men and women have not given any serious, specific thought to what they want out of life. Most do not have specific written goals or a plan of action, even though all the available research suggests that those individuals with a goal and a plan — a joint strategy for married couples — are more likely to achieve their professional and financial objectives.

The world is changing. The global economy is more demanding.  You might think twice about a laissez-faire, life happens approach.