how to set career goals

The new year is the perfect time to take a step back, evaluate your performance over the past twelve months, and set fresh career goals to focus on.

Why should you set career goals?

Setting professional goals is important because it creates a clear career path and is a key step to success. Doing so at the start of a new year allows you to hit the reset button and have a fresh start. Setting and achieving goals gives a sense of self-fulfillment, job satisfaction, and confidence. Goals also give you a vision and mission, because having an objective to work towards makes work a little more exciting.

Types of career goals

Professional development

If you are looking to advance in your career in the upcoming year, it would be a good idea to set a professional development goal. This includes objectives such as working towards a promotion or building out your network.

Education

There is always something new you can learn. A good idea for a goal in the new year is learning how to operate a new software program or getting some type of professional certification.

Performance

Increasing productivity is a common goal. This is usually quantitative, such as increasing sales, boosting ROI, or growing your customer base.

Skill improvement

Everyone has their strengths and weakness. Identify and work on your weaknesses in the upcoming year. For example, cold calling may not be your strong suit, so you make a point to cold call more often to get more comfortable and improve your communication skills.

How to set professional goals for the New Year?

Once you identify what type of goal you would like to achieve, it’s time to come up with an action plan to make it a reality. Here are some tips on how to do just that!

  1. Be realistic. Set goals that will challenge you but are still attainable.
  2. Follow the SMART goal guidelines.
  3. Write down the steps you need to follow and check them off as you go.
  4. Select a mentor. Telling someone your goal will hold you accountable and they may even be able to offer you some helpful advice.
  5. Lastly, be sure to reward yourself! Each step you complete is a step closer to achieving your goal and that is celebration-worthy.

With this information in mind, you’ll be sure to have a successful year ahead!