Set your goals now to get the career you want - Women's Agenda

Set your goals now to get the career you want

Amid the new year chatter of resolutions to lose weight, cut back on caffeine or to give the credit card a rest, many of you will have that promotion or career change on the top of your list for 2013.

But how do you make it happen?

Unlike most new year’s resolutions which barely make it past February, getting the promotion or career you want in 2013 is about preparation. And that means setting your career goals – now.

An important step in establishing valuable career goals is to work out exactly what you want from your career and personal life in 2013. But before you move forward, reflecting on the year just gone is essential.

“Start reviewing the previous year so you know where you’re starting from, particularly your successes and achievements, and make a list of them,” advises Tina Monk, the principal of Sydney Career Coaching.

Once you’ve assessed what went well and not so well in 2012, it’s time to develop a clear vision of what your future career looks like and which direction you want it to take in 2013.

Psychologist and career expert Suzie Plush suggests beginning with the end in mind.

“Start with that big-picture mentality. I recommend sitting down and really getting into a headspace where you start to dream about your future, dream about the kind of career and the kind of lifestyle that you want, and just start writing down some of those thoughts,” she says.

Following this “visionary” phase, it’s time to scale back some of those dreams into realistic objectives by setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals.

“Then it’s about looking at some short-term goals to make sure that what you’re doing in the present is actually moving towards what your long-terms goals are,” says Plush.

Setting specific, short-term goals (with a deadline) will help you towards your ultimate goal and also make the big picture seem less overwhelming.

“You want your goals to be specific and you want to take a strategic approach. What do you need to get there?” says Gillian Kelly, career coach and brand consultant from Career Edge. “Breaking it down into little mini steps will give you that momentum.”

HOMEWORK: What you need to do today

  • Reflect: Look back on your achievements and failures of 2012. Think about the aspects of your job that you loved and those that you didn’t. What did you learn?
  • Dream: Take time out to think about what career you want, what kind of lifestyle you want and what will make you happy. Write it down or create a vision board in a place where you will see it every day.
  • Get SMART: Write down your specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely goals.
  • Set deadlines: Set some deadlines and stick them in your diary so that you make time to monitor your progress throughout the year.

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