2020 had been a year of unpredictability. It brought many industries and sectors to a sudden halt. Moreover, it impacted job seekers all across the globe. Many found themselves in an impasse in their career and set goals. Whether it was the dream of switching jobs or landing a promotion by learning new skills, 2020 did topple down on all plans crafted at the start of the year.
If the past year was tiring, 2021 comes with the option to reboot and welcome a new beginning. Besides, now that we have a glimpse of how uncertain time can be, setting career goals is imperative to cope with good and bad phases.
With the dawn of the new year, it is time to set new career goals. However, it can be challenging to decide on what and how to plan career goals, owing to the confusing times we are in. Here this blog brings on nine questions that you should ask yourself before you craft your 2021 career goals.
Question # 1 – Are you satisfied with where you are in your career?
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an average individual between 18 to 52 change 12 jobs in a lifetime. The job market presents a wide range of options, yet one cannot deny the level of uncertainty. The past year witnessed many people losing their jobs due to the economic slowdown that created the job crisis. Many professionals switched to other jobs and restarted their careers. This situation brings light to an important question, “Are you satisfied with your career?”
Knowing where your passion and liking lies is an important aspect when creating career goals. In the words of Dred Devito, a fitness expert, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” It perfectly applies to setting career goals too. Thus, sit and jot down where you would like to see yourself five years from now. Find yourself dissatisfied with being in the same position five years from now? It’s time to reflect on your inner calling.
Question # 2 – What draws you?
An average working-age group falls between 20 to 70 years. As per studies, a working individual spends approximately 13 years of their lifetime or 90,000 hours at work. During this course, if you are dissatisfied with your job, it is time to ask yourself some serious questions.
Introspect what brings you alive. Indulge in what makes you feel energetic or does not tire you. 2021 is the time to reboot your professional path and restrategize your career goals.
- Make a note of the goals you wish to achieve.
- Design short time goals to reach each step
- Monitor your progress at the end of every week and month.
- Ask if it keeps you motivated to move ahead or leave you tired.
- For better outcomes, restrategize the steps and set them on once again.
Question # 3 – Can you self-accomplish the goals?
Creating a career goal requires considerable self-introspection. Often people stay-put for the right time to begin working on their goals. Jackie Mitchell Career Consulting founder, Jackie Mitchell, states, “The responsibility of your career is yours alone.”
Do not sit back and wait for the right opportunity to knock at your door. Instead, 2021 is the time for creating career goals by self-introspecting what can be self-accomplished. That can be anything from attending more virtual events, researching new companies, upskilling yourself in your desired path, and networking.
Question # 4 – What is your daily routine?
Greg Mckeown advocates the need to conduct a personal review of how you spend your time each day. The author of the famous book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” further highlights how monitoring your daily routine can help you see where and how you invest your time.
Career goals become swiftly achievable if you have a sound idea of which activities take up most of your time in a day. Create a chart, and note down all activities you spend every day. Map the with the things that matter to you. Setting career goals based on what you like and makes you grow will ignite the flame of progress.
Question # 5 – What are your accomplishments in the past year?
Before you set on creating career goals for 2021, reflect on your accomplishments in the past year. That should include every minute thing – whether big or small, during your work hours and beyond.
Did you start your podcast? Have you updated your resume? Began your fitness regime? No matter how trivial the accomplishment may be, it is worth taking pride in it.
Analysis of the past year’s accomplishments presents a quick review of how many of the career goals you have achieved. You will identify how much more is to be completed. This helps in planning measures that will drive you toward your progress.
Besides, making a note of accomplishments shall help form a positive outlook on planning your career goals for the next year. Construct strategies. Periodically monitor and analyze the progress in the path and restrategize your plan of action.
Question # 6 Did you learn new skills?
The job market is dynamic and changing sporadically. The pandemic saw a significant digital shift, turning it into a future platform for career too. Learning is a never-ending feat. Keep yourself updated with the latest skills and prepare for changes in job skills. It will play a vital role in your plan of creating a career goal.
Looking into your skills and applying measures to continually polish and refine opens up varied career paths. There is a myriad of platforms that offer free online training through webinars and conferences. Be abreast with the latest skills required in the market. Analyze your strengths and weakness in your field of expertise and compare them with the current requirement. Continue to keep yourself acquainted with the latest happenings and know what you need to harness your current job to reach your set goals.
For example, a job seeker who identified herself as a marketer found herself stuck in the job. On paying a closer look at her skills, she recognized her hidden digital marketing skills, analytics, and creating ads online. By strengthening these skills through learning and certifications, they could open up brighter career opportunities for her.
Question # 7 – Are you leveraging resources?
Internet penetration has grown to an immense extent from 2007 to 2020. The myriad of ways it is useful for us has still gone up during the coronavirus pandemic.
Online has become the next big thing and the near future for the job market. Hence, the internet is an indispensable resource in accomplishing your career goals. Join groups, and participate in discussions. Write a blog, share your expertise, and build your professional presence.
Companies consider LinkedIn during the hiring process. Leverage LinkedIn, update your account, refurbish your skill sets. It is an excellent platform for connecting with professionals across industries. Reach out to professionals in your network, build new contacts, and reconnect to someone you haven’t been in touch with for a while. Use technology to maintain communications and connections.
Attending a video conference, a social distance coffee chat, or interacting via video calls helps to stay connected with people from your field and the market you want to enter.
Question # 8 – What kept you going through last year?
2020 gushed in like a wave washing off our career goals for the year. 2021 is about adapting to the change and looking forward to accomplishing the incomplete challenges. It is time for displaying resilience.
Reflect upon what kept you going through the challenging uncertain times. How did you manage your time? What were the activities you indulged in to take care of yourself? How much did you adjust your schedule to reach your work from home targets?
Answering the above questions will help to redefine your strategies for the new year. For example, if you were not comfortable with video calls, change them into phone calls to utilize the time to move around and rejuvenate yourself.
Question #9 – Are you ready to change and remodel yourself?
Visualize how a perfect day at work should look like for you. Accordingly, work on the path to achieving your goal.
Whether it is personal or professional career goals, both require introspection, analysis, and action. For example, if your idea of a perfect day is getting enough time to spend with yourself and in leisure, you have to think ahead about the aspect that empowers you in this. If you identify that you don’t like to rush with deadlines as soon as the day starts or want to have a more organized day attending back-to-back meetings, remodel your work strategy and draft a suitable work calendar that accomplishes these.
Conclusion – Redefine what success feels for you
Your career path may grow today or shrink tomorrow. Knowing where the growth lies in your field helps you maneuver through uncertain times like 2020 and turn it into strength for yourself and your professional growth. Apart from the above-listed questions, knowing the current trends allows individuals to adjust and enhance opportunities.
2021 can turn into a year of a new beginning and bring milestones in your career if you ask yourself these questions mentioned above and act upon them.