As we begin 2024, it’s advisable to take the time to reflect on our careers and set goals for the year ahead. Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking for a fresh start or a recent graduate new to the job market.
“Assessing your career and setting goals is a powerful way to take control of your professional destiny,” says Daniela Korn, Head of Employment and co-owner at Tan Ward. “By following this step-by-step guide, individuals can actively shape their careers and confidently plan the path to success.”
Step 1: Reflect on Your Accomplishments
The first step in assessing your career is acknowledging and celebrating your achievements. Take time to reflect on the professional milestones you reached in the past year. Did you receive a promotion, complete a challenging project, or master a new skill? Recognising your accomplishments builds confidence and provides a solid foundation to plan for the future.
Step 2: Identify Areas for Development
Nobody’s career journey is without its challenges. Identifying areas where improvement is needed is crucial for personal and professional growth. Assess your skill set and pinpoint any gaps that may be holding you back. Perhaps you need to enhance your leadership abilities or acquire technical expertise. Self-awareness is vital in setting goals that will help propel your career forward. If you need help, Praveen recommends seeking feedback from colleagues, mentors, and superiors. “Constructive criticism can provide valuable guidance on areas for improvement or ways to maximise your potential,” she adds.
Step 3: Define Your Long-Term Vision
Visualise where you want to be in the next three to five years. Establishing a long-term vision provides clarity and focus when setting short-term goals. “Consider the role you aspire to have, the industry you yearn to be part of, and the opportunities you wish to explore,” adds Daniela. A clear vision acts as a guidepost as you navigate your career journey.
Step 4: Set SMART Goals
Setting goals is one thing; setting SMART goals takes it to another level. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. They enable you to create a roadmap towards your desired outcome. Daniela advises breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps to ensure steady progress and a sense of accomplishment along the way.
Step 5: Develop an Action Plan
Now that your goals are set, it’s time to create an action plan to actualise them. Break each goal into actionable tasks and set deadlines, considering the resources, skills, or connections required to achieve each objective. Developing a detailed plan brings your goals to life and enhances your chances of success.
Step 6: Seek Support and Accountability
Don’t underestimate the power of support and accountability. Share your goals with a trusted mentor or friend, or join a professional network to help keep you on track. Regular check-ins with someone who understands your journey can provide guidance, encouragement, and perspective. Networking is essential for career advancement, too. Join industry associations, participate in online communities, and engage in networking events to foster meaningful connections and opportunities for collaboration.
“The blueprint for success is a continuous journey,” says Praveen Bhatia, CEO and co-owner at Tan Ward. “We should embrace growing and developing ourselves, celebrate our achievements with pride, and aim for a healthy equilibrium between work and personal life to maintain long-term success and wellbeing.”