Evaluate Your Career Goals for the New Year

The New Year is a time when many people reflect upon their jobs and careers and think about making a change. Many feel energized with the start of a new year, which provides that extra motivation and determination.

January is said to be one of the busiest months for job searching and with good reason as employers are typically hiring to fill many open positions. With the average being 10-15 times that a person will change jobs in their career, there is no reason to stay in a position that is not a good fit and now is a good time to make that move.

However, before you make that move, you should take the time to evaluate your career goals to ensure that you are on the right career path. Evaluating your career goals is an active process that involves accessing resources and reaching out to others for information. It is not something that you should do on your own. The following activities will help you evaluate your career goals and reset them for the New Year.

Review your experience and skills: Take note of past job or volunteer activities that you most enjoyed or found rewarding as this information should guide your career goals. Make a list of the top preferred skills that you would like to use in a new position or if unsure, review this list of skills required for different jobs.

Research careers: Take time to research careers that interest you or match your skill set. The Internet is a great resource as well as LinkedIn, or try using the O*NET , an online resource center for career exploration by the U.S. Department of Labor that includes self-assessments and information on over 900 different occupations.

Reach out to your network: Use your network of colleagues, friends and family to gain information on their careers and ask for advice or tips related to your goals. Networking can positively impact your career path – be careful not to believe the misconceptions of networking.

Get first-hand information or experience: Set up an informational interview with someone in your network for more career information or schedule a time to job shadow in a position or company that interests you. There is no better way to understand a particular job or career than by getting that first-hand knowledge or real work experience.

Consider additional education or training: If you find that your career goals require more education or training, take that next step to find out more. MOOCs (free online classes) are a great option to gain knowledge and volunteering can help build your skills. Schedule a call with your AthLife advisor to see what continuing education options and financial resources are available.

Evaluating your New Year’s career goals is an active process involving research, networking, and gathering information from the real work world.

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