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How to achieve your career goals

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How to achieve your career goals

​2023 is now upon us and if you’re still not where you want to be in your career, it could be time to make a practical plan to make sure that this is your year.

It doesn’t matter what type of job you have or which career path you want to follow. Whether it’s in healthcare, engineering or construction, these steps will give you what you need to achieve career success and meet your goals this year.

1. Look back at last year

What went well for you at work in last year, and what didn’t go as well as you hoped? If you know what was a success for you this year, you can do more of it next year, and obviously, less of the things that really didn’t get you where you want to go.

Think about what you can learn even from the things that went wrong that you might be able to improve on next year.

2. Decide what you want

Really think about your career and where you are going with it. Do you still want the same things you did previously, or are you thinking of a complete career change for this year?

Be honest with yourself. It might be pretty scary to admit that the career you once loved is no longer making you happy, but it’s better to acknowledge it and do something about it than spend the next 20 or 30 years in a job that makes you miserable.

You’ve only got one life. Why spend it in a job that makes you dread going to work every single day?

3. Set your goals

While it’s good to keep in mind what you want, you’re much more likely to meet your goals if you actually write them down.

Not only that, but if you have measurable goals, you can look back every month or every quarter and see how you are doing against the goals you set at the beginning of the year. You can also adjust your goals if anything changes if you look at them regularly.

Work out your main aim for your career and look at where you can break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. For example, if you’re hoping to get a promotion, you could look at salary scales to see what sort of pay you can reasonably expect in that role. You could talk to someone who already does that job and ask for advice. You could talk to your manager about your current performance to see how close you are to the performance you’d need in your new job.

Think about the steps you can take to reach your new career goal and write them down. You’ll then have a proper plan and a way to achieve it.

4. Write down your ‘WHY’

Why do you want this job or this career change? What difference will that make to your life?

Picture your life with your new job and imagine how that will feel and what else you will have in your life from making that change? Is it more money, more free time, flexible working hours with the chance to be able to attend the kids’ concerts and daytime events? Or are you finally getting your dream job?

What tangible things will you get from having your new career? How much more money? What sort of lifestyle?

Keeping those things in mind is very motivating and can keep you going and working towards your end goal, even if it gets hard.

5. Research the job you want

The more you know, the more prepared you are in terms of making sure you have the experience and the skills you need, and the better you can prepare for your job hunt, and the recruitment process, including the interview.

And that means you’ll be far more confident in going forward than you would be if you simply ‘wing it’.

6. Put your best foot forward

Update your CV, your LinkedIn page, and, if it’s relevant to your job search, your portfolio. Ensure everything is cohesive and consistently tailored to your new career goals.

If you already have letter templates you’ve written from applying to previous jobs, it’s also a good idea to take a fresh look at them. Are they still relevant? Do you need to tweak them to fit your new goals?

7. Look at any new skills or qualifications you’ll need

While you might have the experience to take the next step in your career, the job you want may need a particular qualification – or a particular skill – you don’t have.

If you do your research early enough, you can ensure you have everything planned into your calendar for when to apply for courses and what the start dates are so you know that, even if you can’t make your big move this year, you’ll at least be sure you have every last piece in place ready for the year after.

If you get your planning and career goal setting done now and stick to what you’ve planned out, this year really could be the year you finally get where you want to go with your career