You don’t need a ladder to reach your goals—you just need persistence and a plan.
On the NextGen online training, “Setting Your 2022 Career Goals,” Ryan Connell, Director of Commercial Pricing at the Defense Department’s Defense Contract Management Agency and TEDx speaker, shared advice on how to set goals, stick to them, update them and take your career where you want it to be.
Check some of his advice below, or watch the training on demand for the full experience.
- Set your goals.
Success looks different for everybody. Decide what it looks like for you, and pursue that. Being honest with yourself about what you want to achieve is key.
- Find an area you excel at and become the go-to person.
By creating a brand or identity for yourself, you establish value both within your organization and to others who might be seeking someone with a skill set like yours.
- “It’s time for a new job when you stop learning at the job you have.”
It can be hard to move on, but sometimes it is the right thing to do. If you find yourself stagnating in your current position, it may be time to find another opportunity where you can gain new skills and knowledge.
- Build a network.
Forming meaningful professional relationships with coworkers and peers is the key to advancing in your career. People in your network can alert you to jobs, recommend you for open positions, and offer advice and perspective on your goals.
- Don’t be afraid to modify your goals.
“Every new challenge or position I’ve found myself in has led to a modification of what my career goals were,” said Connell. Adjusting your goals doesn’t mean giving up on old ones; it means revising your aims to better reflect your current situation. Moving to a supervisory role, for example, can shift your goals from a focus on yourself to multiplying your impact through effective leadership.
- Get help from leadership.
If you have skills or resume gaps, communicating that to your supervisor or organizational leadership gives them the chance to present you with opportunities to work on those skills or take on new challenges that will expand your resume.
- Be self-aware.
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Know what works for you, what motivates you and what differentiates you. Your path to success and achieving your goals will be unique, just like you.