How can I use the next 12 months to progress my career goals?

careergoals productivity team Jan 18, 2024

Recently I was speaking with a CEO and he said that the theme for his year is ‘adventure.’ What is the theme for your year? As we step into a new year, we know that rapid change is a given. In 2024, the dynamic nature of industries, technological advancements, and global events introduces new challenges and opportunities. Setting clear and strategic career goals has never been more crucial. This blog aims to provide you with some thinking on how you might approach career goal setting in January to help you achieve your career goals in 2024.

Looking back

Before embarking on setting new career goals, take some time to reflect on the past year. Look at what you achieved. Consider your accomplishments, challenges, and the skills you’ve learned and the experiences you've had. Identify areas of growth and success, as well as lessons learned from setbacks. This reflection will provide a foundation for crafting realistic and relevant goals for the coming year.

Values in action

Consider your values, are they a foundation of your life or are they off to the side? If you set values-aligned goals, you will be setting yourself up for success because you will have intrinsic motivation.

Become a lifelong learner

In a rapidly changing job market, staying relevant and competitive requires a commitment to continuous learning. Identify the skills and knowledge that is in demand within your industry and consider how you can acquire or enhance them. Learning can happen formally or informally; we learn all the time, in each context. Consider formal learning which might include online courses, attending workshops, or pursuing advanced degrees, or informal learning through meetups, networking or conversations with friends and colleagues. Prioritise learning as an integral part of your career goals for 2024.

SMART goal setting

Ensure that your career goals are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, instead of a vague goal like "improve networking skills," set a SMART goal like "attend a minimum of two industry networking events per month to expand professional connections by 30% within the next six months." SMART goals provide clarity and a roadmap for your professional development.

Balance between short and long term goals

Whist it's essential to focus on immediate objectives, don't lose sight of your long-term aspirations. Establish a balance between short-term goals that can be achieved within the year and long-term goals that align with your ultimate career vision. This dual approach ensures that you make progress in the present while maintaining a strategic trajectory for the future.

Being adaptable and resilient

The professional landscape is unpredictable, and unexpected challenges may arise. Build adaptability and resilience into your career goals. Consider how you can cultivate these qualities through experiences that take you out of your comfort zone, such as taking on new responsibilities or pursuing cross functional projects.

Networking and relationship building

In the interconnected world of work, relationships matter. Allocate time and effort to expanding your professional network. Attend industry conferences, join relevant online forums, and connect with colleagues and mentors. Cultivating a strong professional network not only opens up opportunities and creates a sense of connection but also provides valuable insights and support.

Work – life integration

Achieving a successful and fulfilling career involves more than climbing the corporate ladder or working extra hours on your side gig. Consider your overall well-being and as you set career goals consider the other elements of wellbeing including social, physical, community, and financial wellbeing. Include personal development objectives, health and wellness goals, and strategies for maintaining sustainable levels of energy across the year.

Setting career goals in 2024 requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. As you embark on a new year, remember that setting and achieving meaningful goals is a continuous process of growth and development, adapting your goals as the year unfolds is crucial. Remember that the ‘you’ that shows up at work is also the ‘you’ that shows up at home. Make sure that your career goals align to your life go