Career Goal-Setting Tips for 2023
As part of our career coaching with HiConsulting Services, we work with our clients to help them develop – and achieve! – their goals. Have you set any career goals for 2023? It’s not too late to map out your year and look ahead to your future, so you can focus on effective steps to take on your career journey.
Here’s how to set career goals and stay focused along the way.
How to Set Career Goals
Think both short-term (the next year) and long-term (5 years or more into the future) when you determine your goals. It’s helpful to get out a pen and paper or open a new word document on your computer so you can map out your journey.
People who vividly describe their goals are up to 1.4 times more likely to reach them. It can help to get as detailed as you can with what you envision over the next year and how you can achieve it.
Start with your 1-year goal. Where do you want to see yourself in 2024? This might include:
- Your job title
- New responsibilities you have at work
- Relationships you want to build, like getting a mentor
Under that, jot down any steps along the way that can help you get there. For example, let’s say you want to move from your current junior role into a senior role. You might list tasks like:
- Take the lead on an important project
- Manage or train someone at work
- Communicate your goal to your manager and create a career development plan together
You might not know the exact steps to take to achieve your career goal, and that’s OK. Reach out to your network to connect with a mentor or someone you can talk to for an information interview.
Look for someone who’s in the position you aspire to be in and who’s willing to help you with career advice and insights. This person can help you develop your career goal map and potentially introduce you to people and resources who can help along the way.
Create a Month-by-Month Schedule
Once you have a roadmap of what you want to accomplish over the next year (which will lead into a long-term goal), schedule in steps to take each month. Think about one to three things you do each month that will push you toward your goal.
- Set up a coffee meeting with someone who has the job you want, so you can learn from their experience and ask their advice.
- Take a class that results in credentials you can add to your resume and LinkedIn profile.
- Schedule a meeting with your manager to create a career development plan.
Writing down tasks for each month gives you something tangible to do. You can then evaluate how your actions have helped you.
What you write down now and what you actually do may change depending on your progress, but make sure you’re taking steps every month to continue to advance in your career journey.
Enlist an Accountability Partner
It can help to have someone in your corner who keeps you accountable for your goal progress. Some people choose to hire a professional career coach. Some work with peers or friends to keep each other accountable.
Let the person you’re asking to be your accountability partner know what exactly you need from them. Maybe it’s an hour-long meeting at the end of each month to share what you’ve done and how you think it’s affected your progress. Some people ask for weekly text message check-ins. Think about what will work for you to encourage you to keep going.
Celebrate Your Success
When you make progress in your career, give yourself a pat on the back. A 2018 study in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” found frequent rewards increase intrinsic motivation.
Once you’ve mapped out your goals and tasks, treat yourself when you do the things you’ve intended. You might go out for a celebratory meal with a friend, or schedule a relaxing massage. Make a commitment that when you tick off the tasks you plan, you’ll also reward yourself, so you always have something to look forward to.
Of course, as you reach your goals and grow your career, you may also encounter benefits like a higher salary or more meaningful tasks at work. On your goal-setting map, write down how you’ll reward yourself or a work-related reward you can envision once you attain specific goals.
Get Help Setting Career Goals
For many people, the difference between the career potential they can achieve and what they’re actually doing in their careers is vast, simply due to a lack of goal-setting. If you feel stagnant or you’re unsure about where you can go in your career, talking with someone can help.
Connect with a mentor or career coach to discuss your goals and the steps you can take to become more engaged in your career. If you’re interested in career coach or life coaching services, contact HiConsulting Services for a free consultation.