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5 Career Goals for the New Year

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That whole 'New Year, New Me' mantra can work for all aspects of your life, including your career. If your current job is starting to feel a little dull, why not give it a spit and polish to make it shine like new?

Evaluate your priorities

You don't have to resign from your job to take the next step in your career. Take time to think over what you want and what you need to do to achieve it. Do you want more money? A promotion? Write it down and take it to your boss to discuss your options. This will help them to push you in the right direction and broaden your professional horizons.

Reflect on your goals

Setting goals that are structured and can be broken down into steps is important. Think through your ideas in a mindful fashion and list the pros and cons of each. Create your own career development plan by converting these aspirations into SMART goals (Google it) to ensure they’re realistic and achievable. This will maintain your focus and stop your resolutions falling flat on their face by the end of January.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Take an honest look at your current skills, experience and personal characteristics. Then, think about what development is needed in each of these areas to meet your career goals. If this proves a difficult task for you then ask those who know you best (your family, friends and work peers - tell them to be serious!) to give you some feedback. Failing this, try Prospects’ career planner or job match beta to ascertain your career-based values.

Check for company development programs

Many companies recognise the importance of their employees’ ongoing development, and use various mediums such as business conferences, training options and networking events. Speak to your Human Resources manager or look on the company intranet for more information. Maybe speak to a colleague who has attended an event in the past to get an idea of what to expect. Improving on skills and experience should always be on your priority list; if your company doesn’t have a development program, take control and look at courses, colleges and free online MOOCs (another one for Google!) to find a class to suit you.

Find a guide

If you’re interested in moving laterally into a different department within your company, make this clear to management. You may be given the chance to job-shadow and share in the knowledge and experience of a seasoned member of that department, to get a feel for what they do there. As well as building relationships across the company, you may open up further career opportunities for yourself.

Once you’ve set your career goals, maintain your enthusiasm and focus by monitoring your progress. Most importantly, always allow room to evaluate your goals. If something isn’t working, don’t slog away at it. Assess its value to your career path and change what needs to be changed. Here’s to the new you!