New year, new me!
Let’s be honest, how many of us are guilty of saying this every time December 31st rolls around. But what do you say at the end of the financial year? Probably nothing, right? If you set some career goals in January and you haven’t exactly made an effort to achieve them, here’s another chance to kick yourself into gear.
As we enter another new financial year (yes, we need to get our taxes done) but it can also be the perfect time to take a moment and step back, reflect on what you’ve achieved and what you want to do next.
What are your goals for 2024?
When we’re setting goals for just getting work done, most of us have become pretty good at developing strategic plans for the next 6, 12 or 24 months. When was the last time you did this for you, for your career?
How do you want to feel about your career in the next 6 - 24 months? Is there something you’d like to be doing more of? Maybe something you’d like to be doing less of? Maybe you want to completely shake things up. How can you get there? It’s time to sit down, be honest with yourself about what you want and set some goals.
We don’t mean goals that just make sense - we mean goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. These goals should directly align with your overall career aspirations.
It’s good for them to be challenging, but make sure they’re also realistic and attainable. Setting the bar to high will only leave you feeling deflated and unmotivated.
Just because that speaker at that conference or that influencer on TikTok who looks like they’re killing it said this is what you should do, that doesn’t mean you should actually do it. Just because that worked for them doesn’t mean that works for you. This is why the reflection phase is so important.
Make sure you have a deep understanding of what YOU truly want to achieve. If you’re trying to achieve the goals of others, you’ll never get there.
You’ve got all these great ideas and goals swirling around in your head, it’s time to map out how you’re actually going to do this.
You might have laid out your SMART goals and suddenly felt like all of this is too overwhelming and you’re wondering how on earth you're going to do this. This feeling is completely normal! Most people aren’t going to achieve their dreams overnight - it takes lots of little steps. So let’s start working out those steps.
Take these dreams and break them down into more bite-sized pieces and goals that you can tick off.
This is also the time to think about who might be able to support you along the way. Despite what you might think, you don’t need to do this all on your own. Networking is such an important and critical tool in building your career. Who can help you smash your goals? Make a note of friends, family, mentors or people in your community who you might be able to turn to for a helping hand. If you feel like you don’t have many people around you, are there any upcoming events you could attend that might get you in contact with the right people?
Lastly, is there anything you need to achieve your dream? Are there any big changes you need to make first? Do you need to focus on upskilling yourself? If so, what skills should you focus on? Could having a mentor or coach by your side help make things easier?
No matter where you’re at in your career, having goals or something to strive towards is always important. You don’t have to be moving mountains and wanting to completely switch up your career or aiming to become the big boss. Even the little things like growing your network, expanding your skill set or creating a better work-life balance are just as important. If anything, putting some goals in place for 2024 can help make sure you’re looking after yourself and your wellbeing, while you smash it out in your career.