How to prioritise your career goals in just 4 steps

There are 4 simple steps to take when you want to prioritise your career goals. With the new year approaching fast, get prepared for the new career in the new year. Read more what is involved.

Every time in October and November I hear people discussing about all those things they intend to do with their careers – but then leave it up to the New Year’s Resolutions to take care of things.

Rethink and Reboot

Usually the new year is always a good time to rethink and to reboot. The past year has given a lot of successes and learnings. The new year ahead comes with a clean slate, full of opportunities and possibilities. For some it is a blank piece of paper. Something appears to be missing. Let’s focus on the career milestones and maybe some adventures in the workplace, you’d like to reach, but rather seem uneachable. Reboot your thinking and take this as an opportunity to start fresh. Prioritise your career goals with these 4 steps, which Warren Buffet had encouraged his mentees.

1.      Figure out what you want

This is an exercise where you most likely will compile a list of things that you can think of within a reasonable amount of time. Start being creative, let your brain work hard. Write down as many things as you can think of that you want to be a part of your life that aren’t already. Now ask you this question: What career opportunities would you like to have in the next few years, or perhaps even in a lifetime? Brainstorm, jot it down. And don’t strike them out, even if it seems impossible.

2.     Narrow it down

After you’ve written yourself a nice list of the next few years’ career ambitions, count the entries – and you might end up having a list of 30 or 40 items. Experience says that a list of 20 odd things can get a bit overwhelming. We need to think about a list we can manage, we can deal with. Let’s begin by selecting the top 5 from the list. It may be difficult to narrow down your list of hopes and dreams. The process should be driven by picking out the 5 that are most important to you.

3.     Make a plan

Having a list is great, and the items mayb look like ‘dream items’. And they will stay a dream, or stay unreachable, if you don’t have actionable items against the list of goals to get you moving. Without an action plan, you won’t ever tackle your goals. For your top 5, write down all the steps you’ll need to achieve these 5 goals. Don’t worry about sorting and sequencing in the first place. Include people and resources you may need to achieve your goals. Also, think about who you could ask for some advice or help in some areas, and how you could engage them. Think about any skills you need to acquire, certifications, permits, and so forth, that you need to earn before you can complete your goals. Don’t procrastinate, research your new goals now, and make an Action Plan.

4.     Commit

You’ve got your top 5 priorities and the action plan. Start actioning these items, and commit to it completely. Don’t think about the other things on your list that didn’t make the cut – they no longer matter because they’re merely a distraction now. Focusing strongly on 5 things will end with more success than focusing bleary-eyed on 20, so stay committed to your 5 and forget all else.
These are the 4 steps. Sounds simple enough? What you have created now is a plan to reach your career goals for the new year, and perhaps beyond. The strategy will work because it gives you lines to color inside of; things to focus on and things to ignore. It’s a structure that makes things black and white, as clear as possible and easy to follow. So give it a shot as you rethink your 2016 career ambitions. There’s no better time than now.