Whether you’re a new graduate chasing your dream job, a former stay-at-home parent going back into the workforce, or a seasoned professional trying to figure out your next move, achieving your career goals can be challenging. These tips can help you outline your specific goals, connect with a supportive mentor, and even update your resume.
1. Use the Right Tools
No matter your line of work, using certain tools and resources can help you get ahead. For example, you might want to create an online profile to connect with recruiters, sign up with a basic web hosting service to create a website and show off your creative portfolio, or utilize an online resume builder to polish up your resume for free.
If you’re unfulfilled in your current job and you’re ready to start applying for new roles, you’ll definitely want to ensure that your resume is up to date. With an online resume builder and a resume template, you can choose a professional template and easily highlight all of your career achievements.
2. Set SMART Goals
Setting vague goals won’t get you far. Instead, analyze your big-picture goals and break them down with the “SMART” system.
Human Kinetics states that a SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. For example, instead of saying that you want to land a director-level role someday, you could turn this ambiguous objective into a SMART goal. You might reframe this goal by saying that you want to become the Director of Marketing at a medium-sized company in your current industry within three years. Then, you can analyze the exact steps you would need to take in order to turn this dream into a reality.
3. Pursue Continuous Learning
What if you don’t possess the skills or knowledge necessary to achieve your major career goals? You’ll need to pursue ongoing learning opportunities.
If you have big dreams, you can’t push professional development to the back burner. You may want to sign up for workshops, take online courses, or devote some weekends to earning valuable certifications.
4. Time Management
You can’t achieve your big career goals if you’re wasting lots of time - and this applies whether you’re on or off the clock. If you want to take on more impactful projects and get a few new certifications under your belt, you’ll need to manage your time wisely!
People who easily advance in their careers have typically mastered the art of time management. If you want to improve your time management skills, start your essential tasks well in advance of deadlines, keep your workspace organized, use time-tracking software and website-blocking tools, and give yourself short breaks throughout the workday to decompress.
5. Seek Mentorship
Finally, it’s important to find a mentor in your field who has already achieved the goals you’ve set for yourself. They can help you identify your current weaknesses and improve upon your soft and hard skills. You’ll be able to reach out to them for questions when you’re confused about your next steps. Furthermore, your mentor can help you determine if you should tweak some of your plans to ensure that you’re on a path that will actually allow you to achieve your goals. Working with a mentor can accelerate your progress toward your goals!
Reaching your career goals takes time, patience, and ongoing effort. But with the right approach, you’ll be able to make progress and stay motivated. By applying these tips, you can define SMART goals, manage your time effectively, and make sure your resume looks impressive!