Written by Jim McNerney Coaching Team
It’s that time of year again: The time where the vast majority of us spend a few minutes deciding on a worthy goal for the year to come. Then, many of us spend the rest of the month mulling over how to get started and potentially lose our steam by February. If the previous sentence describes your last few sets of New Year’s resolutions, you’re not alone.
In fact, some 80% of resolutions fail, leaving many people reluctant to bother to make them at all. For the career-minded individual, forgoing New Year’s resolutions can be almost a reflexive response to such research.
Don’t give up just yet! The problem with many resolutions, career or otherwise, is that they’re often made without a thought about how to progress toward the desired end point. Take some time to craft a goal that is specific to your career and achievable on a realistic level. Then, set a time constraint within which you want to reach it. It helps if you can measure your progress toward your goal along the way.
Start Here: Some Realistic Goals for Every Professional
Your personal career goals are often reliant upon your chosen field, but here are four achievable, measurable goals every professional can utilize.
1. Grow Your Career Skills
Skill growth seems like an obvious goal for any professional. However, it remains a classic, tried-and-true goal for a reason. Whether you own your own business or are working to grow your career under someone else, making steps forward is a measurable achievement no matter your sector of business.
Start the year by defining which area you’d like to grow, whether it’s learning a new skill, building a strength, or improving upon a weakness. You’ve already isolated your end point.
Then, list steps to mark progress toward achievement.
2. Expand Your Network
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an established career-minded individual, your career network can provide you with resources for new sales contacts, business advice, and even new job opportunities.
Assess your list of contacts and set a realistic goal for expansion. Then, take the time to build on that list.
This year, consider professional organizations, networking events, and other opportunities to get out and meet more people in your sector.
3. Build Your Brand
Whether you’ve previously thought of it this way or not, your career choices, your outlook on business, your work ethic, and even your personality are all encompassed by the way you present yourself at work – your personal brand.
This year, make it a priority to build all of these elements in a cohesive way that showcases who you are and why others should employ you.
4. Make Your Health a Priority
Too often, in the course of strategizing for career success, your physical and mental health are overlooked – a situation that can often lead to poor health and poor performance at work. Take time now to develop a goal toward keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy, whether that includes taking a vacation, building in time for the gym, or not answering work emails after a certain time of day.
Overall, career goals and resolutions are only as good as they are achievable. Set yourself up for success by choosing measures you know you can attain. Don’t forget to monitor your progress along the way. After some practice, you’ll be able to develop goals specific to your career path and – most importantly – enjoy celebrating when you meet them.