career goals

It’s a New Year! And with new years come new resolutions. While it’s more common to make goals in other areas of your life, like fitness or spending more time with friends and family, have you ever wondered about the best way to set your career goals? 

Everyone wants to progress in their career, but it looks different for different people. For some, it could mean a promotion. For others, upskilling or reskilling. Or maybe it’s a career change.

Whatever your career goals look like, you need to know the best way to go about setting them. From exploring your possibilities, to working SMART, and having an expert in your corner, the way you launch your career goals will help you achieve them.  

Explore the Possibilities 

goal settingFirst, do some exploring before you can set anything down on paper. To begin, ask yourself these fundamental questions:

  • What inspires me? 
  • What kind of salary am I looking for? 
  • What sort of training do I need to do in order to advance? 
  • What skills will I need to succeed in the new position I’m imagining? 
  • Will it have the right work/life balance to match my lifestyle goals? 

These questions will help determine what direction you want to go, which is the key to clear goal setting. Ask yourself: “What do I really want my life to look like this year?” If you don’t know, time to hit the rail trail for a good, long walk or spend a mindful morning in your favorite quiet space. Because with an answer, it is going to be more difficult to set meaningful career goals. 

Once you do have your direction sorted out, it’s time to work SMART. 


smart goalsDeveloped by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham in 1981, the SMART model is an acronym used for managing goals and objectives. It’s about career goal that are:

S – Specific: Really dig into what it is you want. Having a specific goal can help you better understand what needs to be accomplished. 

M – Measurable: While specificity is going to get you in the door, being able to measure your progress by setting deadlines and benchmarks will get you up the stairs. Measurability is how you track your success. 

A – Achievable: Keep your goal-setting in check. Make sure you have everything you need in order to make your goal a reality within the timeframe you’ve set. This step allows you to check in and make sure your goal is realistic. 

R – Relevant: Think Big Picture. Is your goal relevant to your wider mission or that of your organization? If the answer is “no,” it’s time to reassess. 

T – Timely: How soon will this goal be achieved? Do you have a deadline? Is there a general timeframe? Utilize backwards planning (i.e. work from your finish line backwards) to set up all the logistics required for your goal to be achieved. 

Have Experts in Your Corner