Conflicting Work Goals

Deadlines can cause conflicts.

When focused on a success, conflicting work goals can get in your way. You can work around these conflicts when you become aware of them and identfy how they interfer with your goals.

Setting a Goal

Successful entrepreneurs set goals to help them achieve their place up the ladder. Goals include the title, income, and outcome they want to attain in life. Setting goals helps them stay focused while creating a plan to get there.

By setting a goal, giving it a timeline, and creating a plan, you commit to making it happen. This commitment is the first step to success.


There are different strategies you can use to set a goal. However, you want goals to be specific and achievable. If you are unsure how to set a goal, here are some examples of career SMART goals:

  • My team will sell $10,000 in retail this week.
  • I will promote to a vice president by the end of the year.
  • I will get a raise by December.

Your goals may also include a personal element:

  • I will be home every night by 6:30.
  • I will find time to exercise daily.
  • I will lose 20 pounds in the next five months.

Road Map

Having a goal is pointless without any idea how you are going to achieve it. Create a goal "road map" to help you reach the end. The road map creates an understanding of where you want to be and how you plan to get there. Without a road map goal, you are just working with no idea how long you will be on that road. While creating your map, make sure you include:

  • Smaller goals with deadlines
  • An action plan on what activity needs to be done to succeed
  • A timeline including what needs to be completed first, and when you plan to achieve it

Now that you have set a goal and created your map, it is time to look for conflicts. Realize that conflicts will arise. Though you may be prepared for some of the more obvious ones, you cannot predict and change your plans for all of them.

Conflicting Work Goals

Conflicting work goals can occur for a variety of reasons. The first step is to identify what is causing the conflict. This may fall into several different categories:

  • Personal: You have a personal issue that makes it difficult to achieve your goal.
  • Timeline: Your schedule is hectic and you are not able to achieve your necessary goal in a timely manner, or there is a personal event that will throw off your date.
  • Logistical: Your goals are unachievable because of logistical reasons beyond your control. Examples include merchandise on back order, an employee quitting, or other deadlines that have been pushed back.
  • Personal belief or courage: You do not feel you have the strength or ability to reach your goal, or something does not feel right to you.

You need to decide if you are able to work through these. Ask yourself: Should I change my goal or course of action?

Conflicting Personal and Work Goals

It is not uncommon for your personal life and work goals to conflict.

For example, you need to be home by 6 pm every night so your spouse can go to work, but your job requires staying late for meetings. Your goal is to promote and one of the requirements is to attend these meetings. You need to decide if you can:

  • Find a solution to attain your goal, or
  • Change your goal to a more attainable one given your situation

Conflicting Events and Timelines

A timeline or future event can conflict with work goals. This can fall into a few different situations:

  • Circumstances beyond your control throw off your timeline, such as a grand opening or another employee missing their deadline. In this case, just changing your goal dates often will fix the issue. If the date cannot be changed, you'll have to look more closely at your plan of action.
  • You are expecting a baby, or your mother is moving in with you. These events conflict with your goals in that they take you out of the office for a certain amount of time.

Be prepared to change your goals or action plan to fit into necessary time constraints and situations.

Unrealistic Goals

Conflicting work goals are hard to fix if something beyond your control occurs, or it just is not logistically possible. When setting goals, look at how reasonable your goal is. Also brainstorm situations, events, or possibilities which may arise and make your goal impossible to achieve.

Personal Beliefs

If your conflicting work goals contradict your personal beliefs, you need to rethink your situation and if this is your goal, or someone else's. If for some reason you need to compromise your work ethics to achieve your goal, consider the consequences.

In some situations, you may not believe you can achieve your goal. If this is the only thing holding you back, take a look inside and work with a mentor to achieve your desired results.

In every work situation, conflicting work goals exist. When creating your goals, keep in mind any existing or future conflicts you may experience. Be prepared to change your plan if necessary to hit your goals.

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Conflicting Work Goals