How to Set Realistic & Achievable Career Goals for 2021

Along with its many other consequences, 2020 altered a lot of career trajectories. What’s more, the lingering economic uncertainty makes it difficult to plan for the future. Still, you can’t hold steady, waiting for better times. You need to find a way to continue to make progress, despite the challenging situation. 

That’s right: 2021 is coming. And with the New Year, you need to set your career goals for the next 12 monthsIt’s time to come up with realistic and achievable objectives that can keep your professional development on track. 

Here are some tips to guide your process: 

Assess Your Situation  

To figure out where you want to go, you first need to pinpoint where you are now. As such, don’t launch directly into your goal-setting process. Instead, take some preliminary steps and assess your current situation. 

Figure Out Your Strengths and Weaknesses  

What are your best skills? What key areas require more work? The answers to these questions will help frame your goals. You want to leverage your top-selling points to drive your career forward. At the same time, you need to minimize your less marketable attributes. Honestly dissecting these strengths and weaknesses will give you the insight you need to set reasonable objectives for 2021. 

Look Beyond 2021 

Now that you have a detailed perspective on where you are now, you can take the next stepsLook ahead and review the big picture. Figure out where you want to be. Project several years into the future and determine your ideal landing spot.  

Once you have that long-term goal in mind, you can start working backward. Breakdown your multiyear plan into smaller, digestible chunks. Figure out which one of these you can reasonably accomplish during the next 12 months and make those your priorities. 

Ask Around  

Don’t make setting your goals a hermetically sealed process. Instead, involve people you trust. Treat it like looking for a new job. In other words, involve your network. Check-in with your list of personal and professional connections and elicit useful feedback 

Learn what you can about the industry. Bounce potential goals off your top contacts. This will help you shape your plans and prepare you for a productive year. 

Stretch Yourself…But Don’t Overdo It 

You want to be ambitious. You want to get the most out of the next 12 months. To achieve these goals, you should look to challenge yourself as you set your goals. However, don’t overdo it. Get too aggressive about your objectives and you only set yourself up for disappointment.  

Get Specific  

Once you’ve set your targets for the year, it’s time to make a plan. You need to layout the step-by-step process you will use to achieve your goals. This will help you organize your day-to-day progression. Also, it will act as a check on the objectives themselves. By getting specific about the procedure, you can test whether the goals seem reasonable and achievable. 

Building a sustainable career requires planning and dedication. It also helps to get the right support. By partnering with a strong recruiting firm, like SmartTalent, you put yourself in a position to succeed. 

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more. 


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