According to a recent article in Forbes, 16% of people will have made New Year resolutions to meet career or job goals. Sadly, statistics also show that after 6 months only 46% of those who set resolutions were keeping them.
Even if a formal resolution hasn't been set, many of us still start the New Year with ambitions of how we would like to move our careers forward, but without clear action we are highly likely to end 2022 in the same place that we started.
One of the most important things to do when trying to achieve a resolution or career ambition is to set a clear goal. A great way to do this is to use SMART Goals helps to ensure that realistic, achievable goals are set:
What needs to be achieved. Be specific about what needs to be achieved so that attainment can be clearly demonstrated, for example "Improve my communication skills by talking to someone new within my organisation every week.".
How will you measure if it has been achieved? “Improve my communication skills by talking to someone new within my organisation every week” can be measured, “Improve my communication skills“ can't be measured.
Whilst a goal needs to stretch and challenge, it must be something that is within the setter's control and which they have the ability to be able to achieve.
It is reasonable to expect that goals are only set in areas where the setter has some influence and not ones that can be derailed completely by factors beyond their control.
A goal should always include a time frame so that progress can be tracked and to ensure it is completed within a realistic timeframe.
People often have a few different goals, long term, mid-term, and short term. These may be linked in some way, as a short-term goal may need to be achieved in order to make a mid- or long-term goal more achievable. In the example above a long-term goal could be to achieve promotion to a specific job role within 5 years. The short-term goal is something that supports this overall long-term goal as good communication skills will be important in achieving the long-term goal.
Get a Mentor
These types of short, mid- and long-term goals can all form part of an overall career plan. Putting together a career plan can be a big task, but one that can be made easier by working with a mentor.
A mentor can help to identify long-term goals and then shorter-term goals that will help progression towards achieving the long-term ones. The mentor can help to identify the strengths and opportunities that can be capitalised on to help achieve the goals and to help identify and overcome weaknesses and challenges that could derail ambitions.
Having a mentor will mean that goal achievement can be kept on track by ensuring focus is maintained through regular meetings and achievements and important milestones are celebrated along the way – an important motivator.
A mentor will give an impartial view and may have alternative routes that could be taken to achieving goals that may not have been considered. As well as providing support they will give honest feedback and act as a sounding board for ideas
Getting the support of a mentor could be just the springboard your employees or members need in 2022.
Why not find out more about how to set up a mentoring program to support and develop employees or members.