Setting and Keeping Your Career Goals for 2009

Julie Shenkman
Posted by

With the New Year upon us, people across the country are making resolutions and setting goals for 2009. In a recent poll of more than 2,200 business professionals across the Nexxt Network of thousands of niche career communities, we asked, "In this economy, what is your most important career goal for 2009?"
The recent U.S economy is experiencing a high unemployment rate and job security is on the decline, causing an exceptionally competitive job market. More than 69 percent of those polled said that their most important career goal is to find a better job, while more than 20 percent are preparing for and expanding their future options by either furthering their education or expanding their networking contacts. Surprisingly, only 10 percent of business professionals want to just hang on to their current position. Job seekers are staying optimistic as they attempt to climb the corporate ladder, but how do they plan to commit to their goals in these uncertain times? It's hard enough sticking to your resolutions at the onset of the New Year, but how are you expected to keep them with the current state of the economy? This year staying committed to your career goals will be a resolution in itself, but with realistic goals to strive for and a little optimism you'll be well on your way to a successful future in no time! The most important thing to keep in mind when setting goals, whether it is to better yourself personally or professionally, is that it is essential to set goals that you will be able to reach. A common problem that most of us encounter when making resolutions for the New Year is creating goals that are larger than life that we know we will never achieve. Here are five easy to follow tips to keep in mind when setting your career goals for 2009.
  1. Reflect Back - Look back on the previous year and list your successes and things you could have done better. From that list, identify the one or two things that you want to focus on to improve your career in the New Year.
  2. Be Realistic – Create a detailed plan by stating realistic "quick hits" or small tasks that you can achieve that will in the end allow you to achieve your overall goals. The key word is "realistic." By creating a detailed plan with several milestones and easy to achieve tasks along the way; your goals will be more attainable.
  3. Ask for Support – Look to the people who know you best to encourage and support you in reaching your goals. These friends, family members, and coworkers will be able to keep you on track and be there to congratulate you when you succeed.
  4. Reward Yourself– Keep track of your progress and reward yourself for following your plan and achieving your smaller tasks in order to accomplish your big picture goals. It’s important to celebrate your success. It can provide additional motivation to keep you going!
  5. Remain Flexible – Understand that your goals or plans can change. Be willing to make compromises when necessary to change your plans or goals based upon your personal or professional experiences or environments. If you need to change your course or establish new goals, it’s important that you stay motivated and keep up that "I can do it" attitude.
Regardless of whether or not you plan to find a better job, further your education, expand your networking contacts, or simply keep your current position these goal setting tips will help you achieve better career success in 2009. For more career-related tips and resources on job searching, continuing your education and many more ways to maximize your job search visit our Career Resources.

Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • OcampEngr
    Siriki COULIBALY:There is a mid-career time when it is dangerous to mis-step, and this post is dangerously insuficent if in that point in our career.  But there are ways to move on if we change more than our career does.  Suggest networking with ones proffessional community and reading some of the best books, like Luis A. Martínez, Spencer Johnson, and Orville Pierson.Been doing it since I was 51.
  • Siriki COULIBALY
    Siriki COULIBALY
    I think you need to give a range of age in which your theory is perfectly right. From 18 to approx 45 years according to me. After that, it becomes unresponsible and dangerous.CS

Jobs to Watch