7 Steps to Planning a Career Change for the New Year

7 Steps to Planning a Career Change for the New Year
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New Year, New Career

Why are our new goals so hard to keep? Because for many, new resolutions are only that– without a real plan or strategy our big dreams won’t make it past January. While blowing off New Year’s resolutions is now a joke, these “failures” could have a real effect on your life and career. As time passes, these missed opportunities eat away at an individual’s confidence and self-esteem.

Unrealized resolutions are dangerous for professionals that hope to make significant achievements when it comes to their careers. However, such a fate does not have to be the case this year– 2018 could be the year that you launch the best career of your life. Following these key steps will help you focus on your resolutions and stick to your goals.

1. Setting Goals Correctly

Having a resolution goes way beyond simply coming up with a wish. Sounds obvious, but many people fail because they don’t know how to set their goals properly. To have the wherewithal and follow through to set goals you can actually achieve, one needs a fair amount of self-awareness, careful consideration, specificity and actions. To begin this process, start by sitting in a quiet place and think about what you want to see change in your life in the coming.

Consider where you need to go and where you are in your career. Are you currently happy? What is working for you and what is not? What more do you want/need? How do you hope to improve your career? What type of growth do you need to see? What is inspiring you to achieve that? Write down your answers to those questions along with your feelings. Then, break down this information. The first list will be long (way too long) but will shorten as you edit it down. Put your list away for a couple of days. After you return to it, review, update and reassess your resolutions

2. Keep Your Career Goals Realistic

Goals come in various shapes and size– a lot of which may be unrealistic when considering the amount of time, it will take to complete them. While you prioritize your objectives, reassess your time limit and decide to work on a few that are the most manageable for you. You will get a better sense of this after you create your plan of action although you might not understand what that may be immediate.

Similarly, you will want to evaluate the viability of your New Year aims: Are you currently working a lower level job, hoping to land a gig in corporate? Maybe you are hoping to launch your new career as a successful entrepreneur. Start by asking a professional, mentor or colleague if you are unsure whether your goals are realistic. Bear in mind, the more of your goals you reach, the stronger you will be and the better you feel. Start small and build from there; you’ll be able to stay consistent with most of your goals that way.

3. Creating a Plan of Action

Planning for action is what separates most of the New Year’s dreamers from the doers. To be able to get where you plan to go in your industry, you must find out exactly how you will make it happen. That means, being able to take actionable steps every single day to make your goal a reality; you can’t count on luck to make it happen.

4. Choosing Where to Start

For every goal you have, make a list of everything that is crucial to success: what you need to do, the information you need to collect, data you have to learn, etc. These details can become the center of your plan of action. Organize this information and categorize it. List the actions that are necessary to encourage you to complete every resolution.

Next, prioritize. Establish your deadlines and targets for every one of your goals. Using time benchmarks like biweekly, weekly, bimonthly, monthly or quarterly will help you keep track of your progress and hold yourself accountable for what happens. When you don’t meet your deadlines, be prepared to cut yourself some slack. However, if you aren’t getting anything done, you will need to reevaluate your plan.

5. Recalibrating and Reevaluating

If you end up falling behind, losing steam or simply getting off track, it’s time to update or tweak your plans immediately– or risk throwing out your goals for the New Year entirely. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with changing your plan, so don’t let pride or insecurity get in the way.

6. Celebrating Victories

Every victory is worth celebrating. It does not mean that you should pop champagne for every small step, but taking some time to congratulate your progress is essential. Don’t underestimate the significance of a pat on the back. It keeps us focused on our goals and boosts our confidence, empowering us to keep taking on our challenges.

7. Never Underestimate a Positive Attitude

An optimistic disposition is the only way to accomplish your goals. Without the right mindset and will to succeed, you don’t stand a chance against all the obstacles you face. If you find yourself losing hope in your plan, it’s time to take a step back and self-assess. Get in touch with why you’re doing what you’re doing and work on getting back to that positive state of mind.

As the New Year approaches, don’t doom yourself to another 365 days of failed resolutions. Taking the time to focus on what you truly want, make an actionable plan, and putting in the work to see our goals realized is the best option you have to see your new career dreams realized.

About the Author

Sean Blaney is an event planner with a passion for self-development and a healthy, positive lifestyle. He is also the co-founder of CalendarTable, a site that provides, amongst other information, highly personalizable calendar printout formats for a better time management.