Looking back on your career and everything you’ve accomplished thus far is all well and good. However, looking to the future is just as important, if not more so, especially if you wish to advance yourself professionally.

Setting smart career goals is a great way to be smart about your future. Goals give you a framework with which to achieve certain professional milestones, effectively creating a road map towards personal development and self-fulfilment. If you have any aspirations or ambitions related to your job—like a promotion, perhaps, or acquiring a new skill—setting goals will help improve your chances of reaching them. Laying down objectives can also help you focus your energies so that you can continue to work towards those dreams.

So, whether it’s angling for a bigger paycheque or completing a business course, the beginning of a new year is the most excellent time to start planning how you’d like it to go. Kick it off right and end it with a bang by reading on for our selection of career goals worth pursuing and common pitfalls you should avoid:

The 3 Career Goals You Need to Pursue Right Now

Continuing Education

Given that most of us feel like we’ve spent half our lives in a classroom before entering the workforce, it’s easy to see why many people feel that completing a formal degree is enough education for a lifetime. With many industries constantly and rapidly evolving, though, continuing education is now essential for workers to stay abreast of the most current developments and innovations in their field. Additionally, continuing education is mandatory in certain professions including nursing, law, accountancy, and many others.

Pursuing continuing education, even if it isn’t required in your field, can only benefit you, too. Completing nationally accredited training courses looks great on a resume and can make you stand out to potential employers. It can also improve your chances of getting that promotion and pay raise you’ve always wanted. Finally, continuing education makes it easier for you to shift gears in your career and walk a new professional path, should you desire to.

Becoming a Better Communicator

It should come as no surprise that having good communication skills can only be a plus, especially in the workplace. Knowing how to express yourself well and practice active listening can minimise unnecessary issues caused by miscommunication and improve relations between team members. You’ll also be able to convey your points more clearly during presentations to clients, managers, and other executives.

Developing both your written and verbal communication skills can get you very far in your career. Virtual training courses can help you brush up on them, and you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your desk.

Establishing Your Personal Brand

In the digital age, having a strong personal brand is vital. Branding isn’t just for big businesses anymore, as recruiters tend to look into a candidate’s social media accounts during the interview process. At the same time, organisations are now placing more value on employees that can represent their business at events and conferences.

The ability to clearly communicate who you are and what you’re about can help you stand out, whether you’re in the market for a new job or are angling for a promotion. You can pick up a few tips on how to cultivate your personal brand through online training courses that you can complete in your leisure time.

The 3 Career Goals Doomed to Fail

The “Shiny Object” Goal

Fads exist everywhere, even in business. There are always so-called innovations that claim to make progress easier. Indeed, there are always new certifications for workers to toil over, claiming that possessing them will reinforce a resume or distinguish them from others.

In truth, though, these “shiny objects” may be in vogue, but are usually not really of value. When you set goals, it should be about what you want to achieve, not what seems cool to have in the moment.

The “Peer Pressure” Goal

At times, it can feel like everyone in your life has something to say about your career and what you should be doing with it. And while it’s always a good thing to stay open to critique, it’s even more important to stay true to yourself. There is never any point to setting career goals based on someone else’s advice if you personally don’t believe in them.

The Unrealistic Goal

One of the things that set people up for failure is aiming for career goals that are simply unrealistic. There’s nothing inherently wrong with dreaming big, as long as you make sure that the objectives you’ve laid out are achievable. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for failure before you even start.

With the right career goals in place, you can easily take charge of your career development and professional growth this 2021. Now is the time to take risks and seize the opportunities that come your way. So be bold and take your first steps into the new year confidently.

Check out Priority Management Australia’s Business courses and achieve your goals today.