Reevaluate your career goals for 2018: 6 questions to ask yourself
The start of a new year is an opportune time for goal setting. To get the most out of the process, reflect on your goals and ask yourself a few questions about them. After you give these questions some thought, you’ll find that your goals are more specific and actionable.
1. Where do you want to be in 15 years?
Think ahead to where you’d like to be in your career several years from now—for example, in 15 or 20 years. This should be a sky-high goal that you might not achieve in the next decade but that you want to reach eventually. For example, maybe you want to own your own restaurant, manage a property in the Caribbean, or acheive a certain salary level.
2. What do you need to achieve this year?
Now think about the progress you’ll need to make this year to be on track toward your long-term goal. This depends on where you are currently. If your goal is to become an executive for a multinational brand and you’re currently an assistant manager at a privately owned hotel, you’re probably not going to be able to jump to the executive level within a year, but you can make progress toward it. Your goals for 2018 could be to earn a management certification, attend two conferences, apply for a new job as a general manager, and research graduate degree programs you might want to enroll in within the next two years.
3. What’s your motivation to succeed?
Are you hoping to get a promotion because you’d enjoy the challenge of a new role, or are you seeking more money and recognition? It’s okay if material considerations like money factor into your goals. But keep in mind that persevering toward a goal for several months or longer is going to be easier if you have some intrinsic motivation, like fulfilling your potential, staying true to your values, or pursuing a passion. And if any of your goals are purely things that other people expect from you, and not actually things that you want, it’s a good idea to consider taking those goals off your list.
4. Is your timeline realistic?
Once you’ve set some goals for the year, consider if the timeline makes sense. Are these realistically things you can accomplish within 12 months? If the answer is no, try dividing some of your goals up into smaller steps. You may need to settle for accomplishing the first steps this year and the rest the following year.
5. Do you have the resources you need to meet your goals?
Your goals might require assistance from other people, money, or other resources to achieve. For each goal, think about what resources you would need in order to reach it successfully. Then, consider whether you have access to the needed resources. If the answer is no, think of things you can do to get support. For example, if you need information or advice, you could ask a senior colleague to mentor you. If you want to go back to school but lack funds, you could look for a job with an employer that offers tuition reimbursement.
6. Which goal is your top priority?
Your goals may come in conflict with each other, especially if they’re varied or ambitious. Is there a particular goal that is most important to you? Make a note of which goal is your top priority, and think about ways to ensure you don’t get sidetracked. For example, if your top goal is to plan events that are scheduled for spring and summer, you might want to put other goals on hold until later in the year.