It’s 2021 – and while we haven’t left all the problems of 2020 behind (thanks COVID!), it’s a chance to refresh, reset and refocus.
Start by setting your 2021 career goals or intentions (whichever word feels more inspiring to you). By getting clear on your goals, it’ll help you focus and work out what you need to do to make it happen.
Not sure how to set career goals? Here are some easy steps to set achievable – and empowering – career goals.
Step 1: Write (or draw, or paint) your career dreams
An important part of goal setting is daydreaming – let your imagination run wild and envision your dream career.
It may not be a specific job – your dream career may be working for a certain organisation or having a certain lifestyle. Whatever it is, document it. Some people like lists and notebooks, some like vision boards (digital or physical). Choose something that’s inspiring to you.
If you’re getting stuck or feeling a bit lost, ask yourself:
- What do you enjoy doing?
- If money was no object, what would you do?
- What do other people often say you’re good at?
- List skills that come easily to you (such as being organised, helping others, or remembering small details)
Step 2: Think about your needs
We’re all individuals with different lifestyles, life situations and needs. As you’re mapping out your dream career, also consider what’s important to you and what you need to succeed at your job.
For example, you might want to:
- Work locally so you’re near family and friends
- Avoid long commutes
- Have flexible working arrangements that allow you to work remotely and start at different times
- Find a business that has good environmental, disability and/or parental leave policies
Jot down what your needs are and what’s important to you when it comes to your work and career. (If you’re getting stuck, it can also be helpful to think about what you don’t want – your ‘not’ list. That’s just as important.)
Step 3: Break it down into manageable goals
Now that you’ve daydreamed, vision-boarded, and thought about what you need (and don’t need), it’s time to break it down into specific goals. Some of your goals might be long term, while others might be short or medium term.
When setting goals, it’s good to:
- Be realistic (it’s a bit hard to become an astronaut within 12 months!)
- Give your goals a timeline
- Be specific but not limiting
To start with, we’d recommend picking one long term career goal and two short term goals that will help you achieve your long term goal.
If you achieve all your goals before the end of the year, you can always set more! For example:
You love your local parks and spend a lot of time there. As an active community participant, you want to be part of ensuring there are community spaces for everyone to enjoy. Plus you would love to work locally and be a bigger part of your community.
Long term goal:
- Get a job for the local council in the parks and buildings department
Short term goals:
- Complete a park management training course
- Connect with someone from the local council to be a mentor
Turn your career dream into realistic goals that you can achieve, one by one. Be sure to write them down somewhere you will see them often to inspire you and keep you on track.
Step 4: Plan your actions, one at a time
So, what do your goals need now? Action points!
After you’ve set your goals, think about the actions and steps you need to take. Write a list of all the actions for each of your goals – remember that the actions may be small, such as researching courses or mentorship programs, but it’s all progress. (Rome wasn’t built in a day!)
One of your actions might be contacting us – our Jobedge Job Coaches offer advice and support, no matter where you’re at in the career goal setting or job hunting process. Our goal is – and always will be – to help you achieve your goals, find your dream job and build a career you love.