2020 has finally arrived, which means that working professionals across the country are thinking about the personal resolutions and career goals that they’ll endeavor to work towards in the new year. Setting career goals for yourself early on in the new year is critically important: it will provide you with a clearer vision of success towards which you can aspire to, which can, in turn, provide you with real and focused motivation to be at your best on a day-to-day basis. At the same time, it can be tricky to establish goals for the upcoming year that are simultaneously ambitious and practical.
Four tips for setting strong career goals in 2020:
1. Reflect on your values.
The beginning of the new year is an ideal time to think deeply about what you truly value, both in your personal life and in your career. Is your current professional trajectory aimed in a direction that will allow you to continue to build upon those values? If not, it may be worthwhile to set goals for the new year which focus on integrating your values into your work.
2. Work towards a balance between your career and your life that you’ll be satisfied with.
It’s important, obviously, to be ambitious in your career goals. If you’re not aiming at a position or a pay grade that is loftier than your current role, then what’s the real point of setting annual goals for yourself at all? At the same time, it’s important to set career goals for yourself that, once realized, will not too dramatically interfere with your personal life. The definition of an ideal work/life balance will vary from person to person, so it’s therefore important for each individual to reflect on what career goals might yield maximum satisfaction for them in the long run.
3. Make goals that are S.M.A.R.T
- Specific. Your goals should be clearly-defined, articulated, and written down.
- Measurable. You should have a metric or criteria by which you can track your success.
- Achievable. Will it be possible for you to achieve this goal within the next year?
- Are your goals conducive to your longer-term professional aspirations?
- Time-sensitive. Your goals should always come with a realistic deadline.
4. Build a plan.
Just like any New Year’s resolution, a career goal for 2020 won’t be attainable unless you break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, let’s say that you’re really aiming at receiving a promotion by the end of this year. That’s a great end result to strive towards, but it can only be realized at the end of a much longer series of daily, weekly, and monthly wins. It’s crucial, therefore, to continuously ask yourself: what can I accomplish this month, this week, today, or even in this moment that will result in me moving closer to the realization of my long-term goal?
At RightStone, our goal is to help IT candidates achieve their loftiest goals. To find out more about how you can level-up in your career, check out our jobs page.