You have to set goals, if you don’t know what you’re aiming for what are you going to base your career and personal decisions off of?

At the beginning of this year our DC Data + Women group did a workshop on setting goals. Emily Kund facilitated a fantastic workshop outlining goals and how to accomplish them! Once you have drafted your goals you need to create an actionable plan with a timeline and milestones to get you there. Note that your goals may change or evolve so it’s good to revise when necessary.

Shortly after graduating from college and getting my first job I was introduced to Tableau. I thought the tool was really great and a lot of fun when I got to play with my own data. After attending the 2013 Tableau Conference I learned about the community and how big it was. I decided that I wanted to become a leader and voice of the community. At the time I wasn’t really sure how I was going to accomplish this goal but I knew I needed to:
1. Post more visualizations to Tableau Public
2. Get on Twitter (because we all know how much the Tableau community loves Twitter!)
3. Start a technical blog that would help new and experienced users
Fast forward 4 years, I’m currently a Tableau Ambassador, organizer of the DC Tableau User Group, and one of the organizers of the DC Data + Women chapter.


The only person who can get you to your goals is YOU! Be proactive in following through with your plan. Talk to your boss about your goals and what you can do at work to accomplish them. Maybe you should be working on different projects or interacting with a different part of the business. For others, this might include trainings such as conferences, workshops, or bootcamps. If the thought of talking to your boss about your goals seems like “a lost cause” or you feel like your job isn’t going to help you achieve your goals, maybe it’s time to reconsider your job or career.

In order to accomplish my goals I needed to network and get my name out there. In order to do this I started to attend local meetup groups, used social media, started blogging and presenting.


In order to achieve your goals you might have to step out of your comfort zone. This isn’t always fun but we should embrace it!

When it comes to setting your goals, set the bar high. If your goal is going to be “a piece of cake” you won’t feel as accomplished when you achieve it. Think big!

For me networking (in person) was out of my comfort zone. I felt anxious knowing that I would have to introduce myself to complete stranger and then find something to talk about. I also knew that if I wanted to get my name out there I would have to do more presentations. This was something I really dreaded and still do sometimes! But, the more presentations I do the more confident I feel.

In the data visualization and Tableau communities it really helps to get feedback. Don’t be worried about looking inexperienced. The community is great and the best work comes from collaboration. Put your ideas out there!

Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments no matter how big or small they are! Every accomplishment big or small will help you achieve your big goals!


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