Setting work goals for 2019?
You know this … outlining your career and professional goals are critical!
What better time to do this than the first part of a new year?
A well-known study once showed that Harvard students ten years after graduation who had specific professional goals made 3 TIMES the annual salary of average Harvard graduates.
However, this number was increased exponentially by those graduates who had taken an extra step.
What extra career goal step am I talking about?
Research has shown that when you write down your personal and professional goals, you’re more likely to achieve them.
Seems so minuscule, right?
Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, conducted a study on goal setting. Her research found that people are 42% more likely to achieve their professional goals JUST BY WRITING THEM DOWN.
Not everything about setting your career goals needs to be serious. In fact, I wrote an article some time back about how you can use these travel tips to help you reach your career goals. For example, only when you know where you are going can you decide how to get there.
Goals get you into action, keep you on track, and allow you to measure your progress.
Understand Your Career “Why”
Before you can set work goals or achieve what you want in your career, doing a complete career audit will help you understand what really drives you.
What is it that motivates you to get up in the morning?
What keeps you going, even when you want to give up?
Your “why” is personal. It’s yours alone, and no two “whys” are exactly alike. More importantly, there’s no right or wrong “why.”
Once you know what drives you, every decision becomes easier, so before you start setting career and work goals for 2019, spend some time thinking about why you do what you do.
A few resources to further help you understand your “why:”
- “How Does Knowing Your “WHY” Help You In Your Career” blog by Louise Garver
- “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action” book by Simon Sinek
- “The Why Café” book by John P. Strelecky.
Goals to Set When Coaching Executives
- First, decide what you wish to accomplish.
- Second, divide your goals into priority — obviously, most important at the top with less important goals at the bottom. This is also a great time to assess the goals that hit the bottom of your list. Should those be deleted or replaced with more important career goals?
- Third, build your career plan. Establishing a career plan is the best approach to ensuring you pursue and achieve your goals.
When you gain clarity about your career direction, it’s time to set some goals to help you get there.
When setting your goals, keep the S.M.A.R.T. model in mind. Goals should be:
While “SMART” goals are safe and expected, there’s something to be said for dreaming big, too. Try setting at least one goal (or several if you are really motivated) and don’t be afraid to dream big!
Action Plan + Example Work Goals for 2019
To make your annual career planning process easier, set your planning up in advance.
- Create an accomplishments journal/tracker. This can be as simple as a Google calendar or an Evernote notebook with a new note for each day or week. Spend a couple of minutes at the end of every day and jot down anything you might want to remember later. (This is also helpful when you need to update your resume – all this information is readily available.)
- Create a brag file. Here is where you’ll record all the good stuff. Glowing emails from clients and coworkers, exceptional performance reviews, and even particularly flattering photos should be saved and pulled out whenever you need a pick-me-up. (This is helpful information to keep your LinkedIn profile updated, as well as updated content for your resume.)
What Are Some Work Goals?
Here are a few additional examples of ideal work goals for you might be:
- Don’t forget professional development goals; e.g. pursuing an advanced degree.
- Take a sabbatical to reduce stress and select a new career path.
- Join Toastmasters to improve your public speaking skills.
- Hire a career coach to identify transferable skills and identify another career path.
- Restructure all your internal systems and processes to improve efficiency.
- Identify, build, and leverage a personal career brand.
- Identify 5 significant reasons why you deserve a raise — and ask for it!
A few resources to help you with your action planning:
- “Win Interviews: The Must-Have Game Plan” ebook Chapter 1 Focus and Set Goals
Don’t forget employee goals too.
For managers and executives who manage a staff, having a clear understanding of where your team is now can go a long way to helping your direct employees set valuable and highly effective employee goals this year.
As an executive, you know that being proactive is a must in this fast-moving world. Many senior managers and executives are just too wrapped up in the day-to-day job activities to take a “pulse reading” of where they are in their own career. So, don’t make this mistake. Because you know that creating a career action plan and strategy to implement the multiple pieces of that plan is essential to meeting and exceeding your goals this year.
So, are you ready, willing, and able to make the commitment to your career in 2019?