Here’s How to Set Achievable Career Goals for 2021

While you may set New Year’s resolutions, chances are high you probably don’t set career goals. This is especially true this year, when, let’s face it, things have been a little fluid. But 2021 is a new year, and setting goals for yourself is a good way to help you achieve great things at work and in your career. Here are some guidelines for goal setting in 2021.  

Goal Setting for 2021  

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This is a good metric for setting your career and life goals. Here are what setting goals versus setting smart goals would look like.    


Part of the mistake we make too often when setting goals is that we simply fail to make them specific. Losing weight may be a goal, but it’s not as specific as, “I will lose 10 pounds in the first quarter by exercising three days a week.” If you’re setting a career goal that you want to take a class next year, your specific goal could be, “In January, I’ll take an online course to learn X.” Or if you plan to look for a new job in the New Year you could set a goal to research 10 top companies in January and send them your resume.  


The work world is filled with metrics, so why shouldn’t your career goals? Measurable life goals for next year could include paying a specific dollar amount on a debt by working a second job. Measurable career goals for 2021 could include launching a new website for a freelance business by a certain date. As you’re setting the goal, ask yourself how long it will take to set the goal and how you’ll know when you’ve reached it.  


Saying you’re going to win the lottery next year is probably not attainable. But finding a new job is. If your career goal for 2021 is to find a better paying job or a better cultural fit, that is attainable because you can conduct specific, measurable actions to move you closer to that goal.   


Setting a relevant goal means that the goal matters to you. If it’s a health goal, it’s relevant because it’s a worthwhile undertaking not only for you but for your family. If it’s a career goal, ask yourself if it seems worthwhile enough to pursue. Does the goal align with your other career goals? For example, you may set a goal to become a senior marketing executive within your organization. But is the timing right for this move? Do you have the right qualifications to take this on? What about your family goals? If you’re planning on adding a child into the household, is this the right time to also add a job move?  


Time-bound goals give you a way to hold yourself accountable to the goal you’ve set. Setting a time limit on a goal like finding a new job could be broken out by time increments. For example, your first 30-day goal in the new year could be to update your resume. Then 30-days after that, you could find a recruiter to help you find a job. Your third time-bound goal toward finding a job could be sending out 10-resumes by the first quarter, 2021.  

We Can Help You Achieve Your Career Goals

Setting career goals in 2021 should start with a call to ADD STAFF. Our mission is to bring together great employers with skilled workers like you. Let’s talk about how we can match your skills to a great job to meet your SMART goals for next year. Call us today!