This time of year you are probably focused on setting New Year’s resolutions that better your health and personal life. You take tests, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and walk into the new year with a well-prepared list of goals and a determination to have your resolve last longer than the first 2 months of the year. At a time when personal resolutions are at the height of their popularity, here is a case for setting career goals as well.
Like many women, your career is an area in which you invest large parts of your time and resources. If you want to someday be working your dream job you have to spend this time wisely, setting a stable foundation for your career so that you can work your way up to your dream job in the future. That is why setting goals now, in light of your career aspirations, is so important.
If you aren’t careful, you can spend a lot of valuable time meandering early in your career, which can be costly later. To avoid this, keep your career goals in mind and set smaller step-wise goals that will help you reach them within a time frame you set for yourself. Maybe you want to rise to a higher position in your company but need to show your supervisor that you can be a self-starter and are willing to go the extra mile for the company you love. Or you have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to be self-employed in 3 years but need to develop a plan to get there. Whatever your ultimate career objective, setting graduated goals for yourself will be the best way to help you achieve it.
The overall themes connecting each of these goals are time and gradation. Each goal you set should have a time limit, in this case, a year, and it should help you move toward your overall career objective; no one goes from office assistant to office supervisor in one step. So when writing down your goals ask yourself, “What do I need to do this year to reach my dream job in the future?” Think practically about this. Is there a financial goal you should set, classes you can take to diversify or hone your skill set, or workplace projects you can complete to prove your skills?
Whether you’ve been in your career field for a few years or are just beginning, create smaller goals you can reach in 2018 that will get you closer to achieving your career objective. One day you can be in your corner office giving this same advice to a company newbie who wants to reach major career goals of her own.