Picture yourself one year from now. It’s January, and you have had your most confusing and unsettling year. What do you see? New job? Promotion? A new business venture?

Overly ambiguous goals are never achieved, so deciding what you want most from your career over the next 12 months is important.
To start this process, find yourself a quiet place and write down some initial ideas. It may help to get outside of your everyday surroundings for this. Perhaps the local park or wherever you can focus on yourself and think creatively.

Once you have done this, it is time to add a framework to what you would like to do, which can be done using the following steps:

1. Write a clear statement of what you desire most. Your notes should give you a good overview of what you hope to achieve this year. Now, you need to narrow your statement down into one actionable sentence. For example, “This year, I will get a job as a dietician in a private hospital”.

2. Outline the plan you will use to reach your goal. Don’t be intimidated by the word ‘plan’. A plan is nothing more than a list of activities arranged by priority and sequence. You might choose to draw up a spreadsheet either by hand or on the computer (whatever is easier). Place your action items vertically in the first column. Then, list the months of the year horizontally across the top. As you achieve a goal, mark the column where they meet with an “x”. This is a simple and visually effective way of measuring and watching your progress.

3. Set a time when you intend to reach your goal. If you want to extend your Excel spreadsheet, create separate pages for each month at the bottom and file all of your objectives according to when you want to achieve them. To use the example above, if it’s your goal to become a dietician, you’ll want to observe a few people in that role and incorporate the best of their behaviours while adding a few of your own. Then, consider the other things you must do to reach your goal. For example, courses you might need to take to ensure your skills are current, research all the industries and businesses that employ dieticians, approach them for any vacancies and find out what skills and qualifications are required.

4. Review and update your plan frequently. This isn’t something you create and file away. Your career plan should be a living, breathing document. I review my plan regularly and adjust based on new goals or information as changes occur. This keeps me focused on my goals through difficult times. Having a plan or career strategy gives me direction, meaning and purpose.
So, what is your career strategy for this year?

Rosie Coppin, the Energizer Coach, helps people who want to change their lives – however that may be. Ready to take control of your life but not sure how to start? Contact Positive Goals & Solutions today.