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​Setting Career Goals in the New Year

12 January 2023

By Evan Brookes

​Setting Career Goals in the New Year

As the new year begins, many people take the opportunity to set new career goals for themselves. It can be a powerful way to focus your energy and efforts on what you want to achieve in your work life. Whether you're just starting out in your career or are a seasoned professional, setting career goals can help you stay motivated and on track to achieve the success you're after.

At Carrington West we are serial goal setters! We have company wide training sessions to help us all really focus our attentions on what we want to achieve professionally and personally, so that we, in turn, can provide the best service for our clients and candidates. Any one of our consultants can speak with you about setting your career goals and defining your own long term career aspirations, so please do reach out.

Where do I start?

This is a good question, as getting started is probably the hardest thing to do. There are many exercises you can do that can help. If you are a visual person you could produce a vision board with pictures of what you are trying to achieve. For example, the rewards that would come with a promotion or new skill, what your new business card would look like, or your new office or your new company car are examples. If you are more of a wordsmith, consider writing the future you a letter telling yourself what you have achieved. Write it bearing in mind you will open it at the end of the year and read back to yourself.

Or you can simply start with a good old-fashioned list. Consider the skills and knowledge that you want to acquire in the coming year. This might include things like learning a new piece of software, gaining experience in a niche industry, or developing a new leadership skill.

Once you have a general idea of what you want to achieve in the long-term, you can start to break your goals down into more manageable, short-term goals. These might include things like attending a certain number of networking events, completing a certain number of online courses, or applying for a certain number of jobs. By breaking your goals down into smaller, actionable steps, you can make progress towards your long-term goals while staying focused and motivated.

Realistic doesn’t mean you can’t shoot for the moon!

When setting your goals, it's important to be realistic and to set goals that are achievable. While it's great to have big, ambitious goals, it's also important to be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve in the coming year. This might mean setting smaller goals at first, and then gradually working your way up to bigger goals as you gain more experience and confidence.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stretch yourself. You absolutely should. Setting a goal you know you are probably going to achieve anyway isn’t really the point.

Another important aspect of setting career goals is to be specific. Instead of setting a vague goal like "get a better job," set a specific goal like "apply to 5 jobs within my field within the next 2 months." This can help you stay on track and provide a clear roadmap to your progress.

It's also a good idea to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. Keep a journal or log of your activities that are related to your career goal. Review your goals and progress periodically. Reflecting on your progress can help you identify any obstacles or challenges that you're facing, and make adjustments to your goals or approach as needed.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help or seek advice from others. Whether it's a mentor, a colleague, or a recruitment consultant, having someone to support and guide you can be incredibly valuable as you work towards your career goals. They can provide valuable insights and feedback, as well as hold you accountable to your goals. Remember that reaching your career goals takes time and effort, so be patient with yourself and keep pushing forward, it will be worth it in the end.

 If you would like more information please contact Evan Brookes , Principal Consultant, Highways, Transport & Infrastructure.

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