New Years – a time for celebrating another lap around the sun, a time for fresh starts, and the best time of the year if you happen to own a gym. Universally seen as an opportunity to make resolutions and start over with self-improvement, it’s the perfect time to map out your career goals and get started on making them happen.
But too often, new habits don’t make it as far as February, and goals end up being left behind and forgotten among the bustle of everyday life. So how do you make a career resolution stick?
It's all about goal setting
Vague resolutions such as ‘be happier at work’ or ‘get a new job’ are a great overall guide to what your long-term goals should be, but when it comes to making significant career changes, they won’t cut it. Think specific, what do you need to do to be happier at work? What skills or qualifications do you need to have in order to get the best job? Resolutions should be trackable and measurable, and sub-goals and timelines are a great way to approach this. Perhaps you’re trying to make the leap to a new job, but you’ll have better chances with an improved skillset – it’s time to break your career goals down into tasks such as enrolling in a relevant course or finding a mentor, and having a completion date for every task. Each sub-goal can then be divided further into daily or weekly jobs – much like the old saying ‘take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’, focusing on frequent small tasks will get you to that dream career change before you know it. It’s also significantly less overwhelming.
Once you have your career goal broken down into sub-goals and determined your timeline, record how you’re tracking on a regular basis. A great way to do this is with a bullet journal, a physical written record that will help even the most dis-organised minds stay meticulously orderly and allow for a visual approach. Plan to take stock periodically, and make adjustments to your goals if you need to – there should always be a little room for flexibility. Careful organisation will not only make it much easier to plan, visualise, and track your career goals, but it will also remove some pressure and stress, giving you a clearer mind to focus on the good stuff.
Reach for something you love
With all this in mind, there’s a reason it’s often so hard to change and that goes a little further than planning. The motivation for change needs to have meaning behind it and be driven by eagerness. Beyond logistics, the obstacles to a career change are often uncertainty, ‘what-ifs’, self-doubt, and stepping outside the comfort zone – factors that can lead you around in a negative cycle of no progress. Approaching your career goals with a sense of passion, and understanding the meaning that drives the move, will likely play a huge part in overcoming both logistical and mental barriers, making your resolutions less cumbersome and more natural.
It’s nearly January, so go smash some goals.
Author: Rise Team