New Year’s Resolutions often don’t have a very high success rate and part of the reason for this comes down to the approach; Rather than thinking up some off the cuff new years resolutions as the clock nears midnight, instead use the change of year as a reminder to schedule some time with yourself. It could be either in the last days of December or the first week of January, find a quiet space and a time where you won’t be disturbed and sit down with a pen and paper and really think about what you want out of life and how the next 365 days can help you to get there. There are several key areas that you should be covering with your goals including health and personal wellbeing, relationships and financial. An important part of your financial goals is your work and career goals in fact they are some of the most important goals you set as your job can make a huge impact on your quality of life all round.
“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
For many of us, a large portion of our days is spent at work; in fact, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime so it pays to do your best to ensure you enjoy what you do. To get the most out of your career it is important to set goals for your work as well as in the other areas of your life.
The first step in setting your career goals is to take stock of where you are at today, what skills do you have, what types of work have you enjoyed and not enjoyed, how are your finances, where would you ideally like to be and what skills could help you get there?
It’s important to be realistic about where you are in terms of personal, financial and professional growth. Once you have evaluated where you are at currently, the next step is to think about where you want to be in 5 to 10 years time. Think about what your life will look like, what work you will be doing and who is in your life, what do you do in the weekdays and on the weekends?
Once you have a clear picture of where you are aiming for you will be ready to start setting some goals. The job of your yearly goal setting will be to create a roadmap of stepping stones to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future.
Top Tips For Setting Career Development Goals:
By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure your progress and continuously motivate yourself to progress toward the vision you have for your ideal work life.
The following are some tips for setting effective goals:
- Express your goals positively, rather than framing them in terms of what you don’t want. For example instead of saying “I don’t want to work on minimum wage anymore” phrase it as “My goal is to be earning $30 an hour”
- Set realistic goals that you can achieve and that are in your own control. This means for the above goal if you are currently on minimum wage we wouldn’t put the goal as earning $80 an hour as that is an unrealistic jump, increasing to $30 an hour is ambitious but reasonable.
- Be precise in setting dates, times, and amounts so that you know when you have achieved your goals. Taking our $30 an hour example we can expand it to say “My goal is to be earning $30 an hour by September 2019”.
- Break down your goals into steps of small, achievable tasks so that you get frequent opportunities to accomplish them and feel motivated to keep moving forward. How would you get from minimum wage to $30 an hour? Do you need to undergo some training, a career change, take an online course or step up at working by taking on more responsibility?
- Set priorities so that you know which of your goals to focus your attention toward and helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals. Start with the first step from above and then move through in a clear and logical sequence.
- Write your goals down so that you can visually be reminded of them regularly, make a note to look at them weekly if not daily. It can be useful to add images as well to make your goals stand out and stick in your mind.
- It is ok to change your mind, be flexible and adaptable, feel free to cross out parts or re-write it completely if after a while it no longer fits. As you grow and change so too will your goals.
- Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins! As you achieve each step in the path towards your goal take a moment to reflect and feel proud of your achievements, give yourself a pat on the back, well done!
If one of your career goals requires you to retrain or upskill, check out our vacancies page to see what apprenticeships and training we have currently available.