What Do You Want to Accomplish? How to Set Career Goals for the New Year.

Where would you like your career to go in 2020? You may have ambitious plans. But, what can you do to make those aspirations a reality? Here’s how to set and accomplish career goals for the new year.

Reflect on the Past Twelve Months

As American astronomer, Carl Sagan once said, “You have to know the past to understand the present.” Before you start planning for 2020, look back at 2019. Make a list of your career achievements over the last twelve months. Did you earn a raise or promotion? Complete coursework or training? Learn new skills? Take on more responsibilities? Receive positive feedback? Circle your proudest accomplishments. Now, you can see where you stand as well as what’s possible.

Ask, Where Would You Like to Go?

Next, brainstorm a list of things you wish you could accomplish. Come up with ideas that inspire and motivate you. And, feel free to think big. You may not be able to achieve objectives like “Launch my own business” or “Become a CEO” within a year. However, pinpointing long-term goals can help you plot your path.

Identify and Record Your Objectives

Unless you made a small list, you wouldn’t be able to finish everything. So, circle your top one to three priorities. And, keep in mind, you’ll need to break larger stretch goals such as, “Earn my bachelor’s degree,” into smaller and possibly multi-year parts.

Make Your Goals S.M.A.R.T.

Vague objectives are difficult to complete. For example, let’s say one of your goals is to “earn more money.” How will you know if you were successful? What if your tax status changes and your paycheck increases by $1 per week? Does this count? Probably not. Instead, create S.M.A.R.T. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. In other words, change “Earn more money” into “Increase my annual income by 10% in the next year by finding a higher-paying position.”

Break Your Objectives into More Manageable Parts 

You know where you want to go. Now, you need to figure out how to get there. Identify the micro goals required to complete your S.M.A.R.T. objectives. For instance, if your overall goal is to “Find a job offering more professional development opportunities by July 1st,” steps may include: “Sign up for job alerts by January 15th,” “Revise my resume by February 1st,” “Research available openings as they become available” and “Send out five applications no later than March 1st.”

Track Your Progress

Stay focused by tracking what’s done and what you still need to do. Write down your over-reaching ambition along with micro-goals and due dates. Then, post this information somewhere; you will see it every day. This may be on your bedroom mirror, on your refrigerator, or as alerts on your calendar. As you go, check off items you finish and reschedule those you miss.

Is Finding a New Job One of Your Goals for 2020?

The recruiters at FirstStaff would be happy to help you discover your next opportunity. We place office professionals and light industrial workers in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and beyond. Check out our current openings today!


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