10 Career Goals to Reach This Year

If you quit your job today, would your boss panic? If it seems unlikely that they would, what can you do to make yourself more important? Here are ten career goals that you should think of working towards this year. If you go about them the right way, you should find your place in the company become indispensable before long.  

1 Figure out how to take the company forward

Any number of things may hold you back as you try to get paid more or get promoted. Often, though, the problem is that you are not seen acting the part of leader – one who takes initiative to move the company forward. If you have been following orders well but have not contributed with ideas that help shape the company, you need to change the way you see your role.

2 Whatever you do, stay stress-free

If your approach to work leaves you constantly stressed, it is not worth it, even if it gets you the career advancements that you seek. One frequent source of stress is having a boss who routinely sets your deadlines to his schedule and not to yours.

It could help with the first aim above of learning to take initiative if you could transform yourself into your boss’s right-hand man. This way, you would get to set everyone’s schedules, including your own, and also get credit for taking initiative.

3 Get another job

If you plan to help your boss by taking initiative all around, it could be a good idea to do it at a new job, rather than at your current one. If you have held back so far at your current job, it can be hard to get anyone to notice the changes you make. While you are at it, you should look for a job that makes you happier than your current one. The more you love your job, the farther you will get.

4 Focus on networking better

Networking today is easier than it used to be when face-to-face meetings were the only option. If you are not a natural with people person, LinkedIn allows you to put down deep roots in your professional community without having your discomfort with social situations get in your way. With a better network, you will find better ways to get things done at your job.

5 Get a new degree

Your resume should show constant advancement. If your career is not advancing as quickly as you would like, signing up for a new degree can be a great alternative. Not only will you get new skills that land you a better job, you will find that learning while at a job is different from the way you experienced it when you were young, before you had a job. A job gives you the context that you need to learn more effectively.

6 Learn to be a dependable communicator

Working on your communication skills can be hard work. Doing something as simple as resolving to return all email and phone calls promptly, though, can make people feel better about your current abilities than they do. With just a little dedication, you will quickly improve your reputation at work and gain a more professional aura.

7 Start a praise notebook

It can give your career a great boost to be surrounded by people at work who genuinely like you. It all starts with learning how to appreciate others. You should start a praise notebook and seriously think each day about what positive qualities about a co-worker you can put in. The more you think about the good qualities of others, the more they will like you.

8 Stop taking criticism personally

To be certain, criticism is often not delivered constructively. Unless you are constantly targeted in an unfair way, though, it can pay to always be careful to be seen accepting, and appreciating criticism. The more others feel free to voice their opinion about you, the more you will know where exactly you stand. It is important to have that knowledge.

9 Expand your horizons

There are probably several areas of skill around your core expertise that you are not comfortable with. Getting out of your comfort zone and familiarizing yourself with them, perhaps working extra hours to learn other parts of the company, is likely to put you in a better position to get ahead.

10 Cut off from work

To work smart, you need to work with a fresh mind. You can only have that if you work on your own terms. Constantly working late hours and worrying about keeping up cannot feel like you are in control.

At least once a year, you need to take a real vacation when you completely disengage from work. When you come back, you’ll feel in control and creative again.