How to Set Career Goals and Stick With Them

Whether you’re just finishing school, graduating from university, or looking to make a job change, it can be challenging to figure out how to get the career you want. It’s easy to set goals, but oftentimes it proves difficult to stick to a plan to move ahead.

Luckily, we’ve come up with some solid steps to help you set career goals that you can stick with to move towards the career you’ve always wanted.

Determine Your Ideal Lifestyle

This is something that many people don’t think about in advance, but should. Before embarking on any career, you should think about the lifestyle that fits you best. For instance, if you like to have free time on nights and weekends, a career as a chef or in the hospitality industry won’t suit you. If you like the idea of having some time off in the summer, a career as a teacher might be the way to go.

Whatever you might like, write down a list of what you want your life as a whole to look like and what kind of hours you want to work before jumping into a new career field.

Figure Out How to Get There

Next, you’ll need to figure out the steps involved in getting your dream career and lifestyle. Do you need more education, or an advanced degree or certificate? Do you need to move to a different region or country?

It may help to contact some people in your desired career field to ask what’s required and how they got their start. You can even ask if you can shadow someone for a day to see what the day-to-day work of the job is like, and to make valuable contacts for the future.

Break Down the Baby Steps

Break up the path to achieving your career goals into baby steps. Don’t be discouraged if you have to move slowly. Keep your day job going so you can work on your dream career on the side as much as possible. Write or type out a full list of everything you need to do step-by-step so you can see your path ahead clearly.

Give Deadlines to Yourself

If you give yourself deadlines and make a commitment to stick to them, you’ll thank yourself later. Give yourself a little reward each time you meet a deadline – a day off, a meal out, or a pampering treatment are all ways to encourage yourself to meet your goals.

If you don’t meet a deadline, don’t beat yourself up or give up, but instead learn from the experience and commit to doing better on the next step. Keep your eye on the prize ahead: a better life for yourself.

Find an Accountability Partner

If you work better as a team or with someone, then finding an accountability partner is a great idea. Ask around to friends or online to see if anyone’s on the same journey you are. That way, you can encourage each other to meet deadlines and share in each other’s successes.

If you truly commit and believe in yourself, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. If you’re currently on the lookout for a challenging and rewarding career, be sure to check out WU Careers! 

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