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Five Career Goals to Set for the New Business Year


Most of us make New Year’s resolutions that are personal like improving financial wellness, getting organized at home, or exercising more (ok, that one might seem like an annual resolution, but this is the year). Well, the new year is here and now is the perfect time to take stock of your career and set some professional resolutions as well! Setting well-defined and achievable objectives can help you reach new levels of success and growth in your career. These suggested resolutions are broad, so it’s important to pay attention to the details and tailor them to your situation when you’re making your own list. A good approach is to make sure you’re creating SMART goals – that is, goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Oriented
Each of these resolutions will look a little different depending on your current position, your goals for this year, the industry you work in, and many other factors specific to you. No matter what your career situation is, these resolutions can help you down a path of professional success in 2024. Let’s take a look at five professional goals you can set for the new year:


Learn a new skill

Whatever your level of employment, there’s always room for improvement and personal growth. Resolve to learn or improve a professional skill this year to help advance your career. Is there a new skill or program becoming popular in your industry that you’re not familiar with? Have you been hearing about a new tool for months that you still haven’t used? Do you finally need to figure out what’s going on with ChatGPT and all this AI stuff? Take some time to analyze your current skill set to find room for improvements and then find an online course or instructional video to help you learn something new. There are tons of online courses and videos that you can sign up for at relatively low prices, such as Udemy or Skillshare, and even plenty of free resources available.

Move up in your career

Don’t be afraid to be ambitious this year. Review your current position, identify what you want for your next step in your career, and determine the best way to achieve real career growth. This can translate into a promotion at your job, striking out on your own to start a business, or leaving your current workplace for a new position elsewhere. Write down your goal and then break it down into the steps you need to take to make it happen. Set a timeline for each of your steps so you can review it throughout the year and make sure you’re on track for it to happen. If you have a mentor or a good relationship with your boss, talk to them about you plans to see if you’re on the right track, your timeline makes sense, and if there’s anything else you might be missing that would give you an extra leg up!

Increase your productivity

Boosting your productivity will turn you into a valued employee who gets more done in less time. Take stock of your current work practices, looking for areas to increase efficiency, streamline a process, use automation for your benefit, or any other ways you can think to amplify your productivity. For example, if you often get sidetracked while answering your email, you can resolve to answer messages only twice a day, or even once an hour. Blocking out time for a specific task can help you keep your focus throughout the day because you know in the back of your mind that you already have time designated for it. Also, consider taking steps to avoid distractions, like turning off social media notifications on your phone while at work, or even using an app blocker like ColdTurkey.

Network more

If you struggle with meeting new people or just want to gain more professional connections, the easiest way to do so is by attending networking events. Developing connections is important to make advancements in your career because you never know when a referral from someone or a piece of advice, they can share will be useful. If you find it difficult to network, start by connecting with coworkers you don’t speak to often. This is an easy way to build your confidence to attend events and meet others. To make your goal measurable, set a specific number of people to build relationships with throughout the year.

Say yes to opportunities

Don’t be afraid to accept new career challenges! Resolve to say yes to more of the new opportunities you are offered this year, especially if in years past you would have turned it down out of fear. You may just find that taking more chances opens up the door to career growth that is far beyond your dreams, or it might even open your eyes to a new career path that you had never considered before.

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, most people tend to keep their goals for the coming year focused on their personal life – finances, health, relationships, etc. – but setting professional resolutions can go a long way, too. You won’t magically advance in your career if you don’t set goals and pursue them, the same way nobody will lose weight this year without changing some of their diet and exercise habits. By critically examining your current career situation, figuring out where you want to see yourself go this year, and carefully planning out the steps needed to get there, you could find yourself ending 2024 with a much brighter professional future in front of you!!

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