“The unexamined life is not worth living.” The famous Greek philosopher Socrates once said.
And yes, our little self-pondering at the end of the year might not qualify as “examining life” that Socrates referred to (hint: it’s a life-long task). But hey, reflecting on the past situation and making new resolutions do have their own merits. They help us mull over what we have done. Good or bad. As well as driving us forward. Be it personal or career-wise.
Granted, the timing might sound unsuitable for any career resolution. Supply chain crisis. Tech winter. Inflation. Massive layoff. Job progression in 2023 may seem to hinge on everything else but ourselves.
Nevertheless, it would be wise to focus on the cards on our hands. Not the variables we can’t control.
2023 will be challenging. There’s no denying it. But the world won’t shut down in a day. There are still jobs waiting to be done. Or even new opportunities brought by the disruption from the latest technologies.
Take the story of William Boeing. With the Great Depression hampering the economy post World War I, Boeing made fortune by capitalizing on the rise of the aviation industry.
The key is to be prepared. In other words, focusing to revamp things that we can handle. Ourselves. While observing and waiting for opportunities to arise.
And the roots of all improvements are evaluating yourselves and setting clear, concise professional goals.
As Stephen R. Covey noted in his best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly-Effective People. Begin with the End in mind. By clearly defining your career aspiration, you could draw on the steps to reach your goals.
Decision-making must be data-driven. That’s the mantra our society repeats every day. And the same goes for setting career resolutions.
Our career aspirations should be based on our current condition. Where we are right now professionally.
Try to list everything from a macro perspective all the way to the personal level.
Industry-wise, we can ask, are we working in an industry expected to be impacted by the economic downturn? What would be a smart guess for the industry growth in the next 5 to 10 years?
Next, the company level. Is the current company we work in a bonafide player in the industry? Is it a market leader/trendsetter? How’s the overall performance recently? Is the company a good place to work and paying enough compared to the industry standard?
On the personal stage, ask questions like: how’s the current role? Are we running full-steam 6 days a week or the work-life balance is met? What are the skills required for the job that we have mastered? What’s left to improve?
These questions are not an exhaustive list. Take more time to explore deeper on each level before responding to the million-dollar question. What’s next?
In this step, try to look inside out. Are we satisfied with where we are now professionally? Or should we change anything? For example, if our current industry is eclipsing, what industry should we target next? Or if the professional demand is taking a toll on our personal relationship with family members, how much “life” would be needed to equal the work-life balance?
After mapping the current condition and defining what’s next, strategize on the next moves. Think of concrete ways to realize professional goals.
For example, if a career switch to a new industry seems inevitable, look for the required skills in that area. Focus on the skills that are still wanting. And find ways to improve on them.
Be sure to be specific on the steps we would take as well as laying out the milestones. One of the key reasons new year resolution often evaporates in the first 6 weeks is due to ambiguity. Having a concise plan and checkpoints would help us to achieve the professional goals.
By now, you might be itching to start jotting down your job goals for 2023. Refer to the list compiled by our team for the types of career resolution people usually set.
People have different things that they would like to achieve. Some aspire to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Other simply would like to have enough while maintaining a solid relationship with the family.
Work-life balance is a prevalent goal, especially among the younger generation. To achieve this goal, define clearly what “balance” means for you. Balance is not a black-or-white dualism. Instead, view it as a wide spectrum.
For a startup entrepreneur working for 100 hours a week, 75 hours-workweek is indeed a more balanced life.
Have an average workweek goal in your mind and start to think of steps to decrease working hours. For example by trusting your subordinaries more and delegating tasks to them. Talk to your supervisor as well and see if your workweek goal is in line with the expectation for your role.
On the opposite spectrum of getting more work-life balance, is to spend more time on work-related stuff.
Imagine a young university graduate who hasn’t started a family and live far from home. Spending more time on career and personal development might be a more suitable choice.
There are a few career goal examples if you choose to go down this path.
First, acquiring some specific skills. This would be one of the simpler career resolutions to be achieved. List down specific skills to be acquired. It could be a skill from your current industry or outside.
The most practical way is usually to learn by doing. Thus, find out related projects or tasks in your role that would help to hone those skills.
If no projects or tasks resonance with those skills are available, set out to learn from external resources. These could be from MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platforms like Coursera or Udemy. The other alternatives are professional certifications like CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
Second, getting promoted to a target position in the office. To a large extent, promotion is correlated with personal/team performance. However, promotion could be a bit tricky due to the availability of positions as well as the infamous office politics.
The best way is to speak to your superior and see if promotions are available. And if yes, what would be the benchmark to reach the next level.
Third, aiming for a higher income. To start with, define the monthly/annual numbers to be achieved within a year. Aim big, but be ready to hustle.
Then, evaluate the possibility of increasing the current income stream. It could be the monthly salary or the bonus paid from the current job. Measure the kind of performance and position required in the workplace to be compensated with the desired amount. As compensation is tied to performance (and to a certain extent, skills) and position, follow the steps from the two examples above.
However, chances are your target is larger than what could realistically be achieved via the current job. If that’s the case, get ready to find a second or even a third job. However, always ensure that your performance in the primary job is not compromised. As it would affect the compensation received from the first job.
Fourth, put up a brilliant CV/resume. For workers looking for a change, preparing a shiny CV/resume might be a good 2023 career resolution.
Getting there would require two factors. CV simply put is a written testament to our professional, educational, and personal background. Thus, preparing an attractive CV starts with excelling in your current endeavor. So good a performance that recruiters couldn’t get their eyes of your CV.
The next step would be to write those spectacular performances into words. Use CakeResume CV Builder to help you create a professional and alluring CV.
Of course, not all people would be clear about what would they want to do yet. That’s normal.
In that case, find yourselves a mentor. It could be anyone. A senior manager in the office. A friend of a friend. A distant relative. You name it. The thing is to find someone who can help you map your current condition and options. Ideally, he/she should be experienced enough to offer you guidance.
If you couldn’t find anyone suitable yet. Try to network. Get to know more people. And get the people you know to introduce you to others that might be beneficial.
By networking, you would also be exposed to a myriad of information that might help you navigate your career aspiration.
Have yourself a jolly Christmas and a happy new year!
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--- Originally written by Stephen Antonius ---