CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 16, 2014
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How to Establish your Career Targets for the New Year

Everyone sets goals for the New Year. Personal goals ("I want to lose 5 pounds"), family goals ("I want to spend more time with the kids"), and even professional goals ("I want to take X course"). Those goals are an important part of growth, both at work and at home.

If you are thinking about what your professional and career goals for the New Year should be, here are few things to keep in mind:

Be Realistic

Is it realistic for you to become CEO, transition to a new career, or double your salary in the next year? Think about what you can actually achieve, and set those things as your career target for the new year. That doesn’t mean you should be negative about what you want to accomplish, but it does mean that you need to be more honest with yourself.

Push Yourself

Being realistic means thinking about what can actually be achieved, but you should set the bar high for the coming year. Make it a point to accomplish things that are important, and which require a bit of effort from you. If you push yourself, you can achieve greater things in the coming year than you could have imagined.

Consider Your Definition of Success

What does "success" mean to you? Does it mean making more money, getting a promotion, or winning an award? Think about what you really feel defines your vision of success and evaluate how to reach it this year. If you want to look back and feel that it was a year well spent, you need to define success in order to know how to work toward it.

Break it Down

You won’t achieve anything huge overnight, so you need to start breaking it down into bite-sized chunks you can tackle one month, one week, and one day at a time. The smaller your objectives, the easier they will be to accomplish. Small accomplishments every day lead to HUGE achievements at the end of the year.

Prioritize

Which of your career targets are really the most important? Think about everything you want to achieve this year, and number each one according to priority. The top-ranked items should consume the majority of your time, and consider dropping the lower-ranked items according to the time and money you have available to invest.

Write it Down

Don’t just think about what your career targets for the near year will be, but make a clear list. Print that list out and hang it up on your fridge or office door or turn it into a calendar of achievements.

Career Target Examples

Here are a few career goals to consider:

  • Earn a promotion
  • Ask for a raise
  • Start your own business
  • Win a performance award (such as "Employee of the Month")
  • Develop more friendships at work
  • Learn a new skill
  • Master an old skill
  • Increase productivity and reduce time waste
  • Be more organized
  • Manage your clients better
  • Take a vacation
  • Attend networking events

The list goes on and on, and you can find many more examples here…

By following the tips above, you can set career targets that you can realistically achieve in the New Year, helping you to improve your professional life drastically!

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