Do you set career goals before the beginning of each New Year?

“Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.” – Michael Josephson  

Entering a new year can be a transformative time full of possibilities. For many, it feels like a fresh start. An opportunity to start over, set goals, or make a change. None of these things are necessary to have a great year – but setting yourself up for success can positively impact your attitude and outlook for the next 12 months. 

One area people often set their aspirations is around their career goals. If you have an objective in mind – like getting a promotion, raise, or new job entirely – having a plan on how to accomplish your goal(s) is crucial. Plus, you can use this format for reaching your personal aspirations as well. Here are 7 career goals to make in 2023 so you can have a successful year: 

  • Prioritize feedback 
  • Improve communication 
  • Learn something new 
  • Understand your strengths and weaknesses 
  • Determine your interests 
  • Build your network 
  • Consider new opportunities 

Below, we’ll dive deeper into each goal and how it can help your career. 

Prioritize feedback 

There are two aspects of feedback that are key: giving it and getting it. In order for you to grow in your position, you need feedback from your manager; what you’re doing well and what you can work on. Otherwise it’s more challenging to gauge your success.  

Giving feedback is important as well. Your manager needs to know how to best support you, especially because it reflects on them. You should feel comfortable asking questions, asking for help, or sharing constructive feedback. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, it may be an indicator that this isn’t the right position for you. Being able to share feedback should always be on your immediate list of career goals.

How prioritizing feedback will help your career: Feeling confident receiving and sharing feedback allows you to grow and advocate for your needs in the workplace.  

Improve communication 

Even expert communicators have areas they can improve. Having great communication skills consistently tops the list of soft skills that hiring managers look for, meaning it should top your list of career goals. Consider what aspects of communication could use a little work. Maybe you’re an excellent written communicator but struggle with verbal communication or speaking in front of a crowd. Maybe grammar isn’t your strong suit. Find an area of improvement and google tips and tricks for developing your skills. 

How improving communication will help your career: The ability to speak and write in a clear and efficient manner will make for a good first impression when looking for a job and improve the way you interact with those around you.   

Learn something new 

Growing your skills is one of the best ways to get recognition from your manager or become a more hirable candidate. Plus, the more skills you have, the more valuable you are as an employee. There are a few ways to go about learning something new. You could ask your manager to train in another department or take on a new responsibility. You could work with a colleague to learn more about their position. Or you could find an online (or in-person) course. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to include it on your resume.  

Taking on more responsibility at work is an effective way to show your value as an employee. If you have multiple skills, you can hop into various positions depending on where you’re needed. And that makes you less susceptible to lay offs.  

How learning something new will help your career: Managers take notice when you have a desire to learn and grow. And don’t forget, knowledge is power.  

Understand your strengths and weaknesses 

No matter how long you’ve been in the workforce, it’s so important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Take some time to assess your skills. What area do you feel confident in? What area do you need help with? Once you have these answers, you can create a plan to better use your strengths and develop your weaknesses.  

How understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help your career: Not only is this a common interview question, but you’ll better understand what direction you want to go in as you get further into your career.  

Determine your interests 

Determining your interests is just as important as understanding your strengths and weaknesses. And key for setting career goals. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you like it or that you want to do it long term. Take stock of what you enjoy doing at your job – or what you’d like to do in the future. You don’t want to wait 20 years to find out you hate your career choice.  

How determining your interests will help your career: If you’ve been working in one industry or position for a while, you may not realize where your interests are or what else is out there. Think of what you enjoy doing and expand from there.  

Build your network 

A trusted network of like-minded professionals is an amazing resource and one of the best ways to learn about new opportunities. LinkedIn is a great place to find other people who work in your position. You can also consider reaching out to coworkers, friends, or family who are in the same industry, the industry you want to be in, or have similar career goals. 

How building your network will help your career: Besides hearing about open jobs, you can go to your network with questions and ask for help when you need it.  

Consider new opportunities 

Even if you’re satisfied in your current position, it’s beneficial to keep an open mind and consider new opportunities that are presented to you. Passive candidates (those who are employed but not actively looking for a new job) are attractive to hiring managers and may help you stand out amongst other candidates.  

How considering new opportunities will help your career: If you’re closed off to new opportunities, you may miss out on something that’s perfect for you and checks all your boxes. 

Whether you set career goals in 2023 or not, we hope you have a wonderful, successful year – whatever success looks like to you. If you need help finding great (temporary and permanent) employment opportunities, contact LGC.