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Setting and Achieving Your Career Goals in 2018

Now that it’s a new year, have you thought about your career goals for 2018? Maybe you would like to improve your performance at work, learn a new skill, apply for a promotion or even find another job. Regardless of your ambitions, there are several steps you can take to make your aspirations a reality instead of another broken New Year’s resolution.

Setting Your Goals

To maximize your chance for success, start by identifying achievable results. Great Goals should be…

  • Realistic – “Becoming the CEO of Apple by next week” is not a sensible goal. Although this is an extreme example, it is easy to become overzealous at the start of a new year. Identify something that is reasonable for you within the constraints of your life.


  • Specific – If you set goals like “Make more money” or “Do a better job,” it is difficult to know if you really achieved them. Try to be as specific as possible. For instance, “I would like to increase my income by 10 percent this year.”


  • Measurable – Recognize you will have to break objectives down into smaller attainable chunks. If you want to increase your income, what is your approach? Will you pursue additional course work? Will you take on more responsibilities to increase your value? Or, will you begin a search for a higher-paying position? Identify measurable micro goals at each step in the process.

Achieving Your Goals

Now, it is time to put your proposal into action. Here are some strategies to help you stay focused.

  • Document Your Plan – Write down your overall goals, your micro goals and the time frame for which you would like to achieve them. Let’s use the example “Increase my income by 10 percent this year.” You may have smaller goals such as “Take a six-week online course” in January/February, “Ask for an added responsibility” in March, and “Research the best way to ask for a raise” in April. Record this information and display it somewhere visible. Consider using a whiteboard on your refrigerator, a background image on your computer or phone or a goal-setting app. This will help you keep your ambitions top-of-mind.


  • Check In / Give Yourself a Grade – Depending upon your time frame, evaluate your progress every four to eight weeks. Give yourself a letter grade or use color coding. Green is Good, Yellow is OK, Red is Not So Good. Record your updates so you can track your progress.


  • Re-evaluate as Needed – Despite the best intentions, sometimes things do not work out the way we planned. If you miss a deadline, don’t beat yourself up or worse yet, give up. Try to stay on target, but be flexible too. Change micro-goals and time frames as appropriate and keep your focus on the overall objective.

Are you looking for a new career opportunity in 2018? The Employment Specialists at a staffing agency can be a great resource. Aventure Staffing places candidates throughout the Midwest. Contact us today to learn more today!

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