The new year is just a couple of days away, and I’ve already heard my fair share of 2012 resolutions. From the usual (lose weight, stop smoking, be nicer to your horrible mother-in-law) to the, um, not so common – balance my chakras, learn to play the lute, join a drum circle, and other colorful pursuits.
Among the more common resolutions is “finding a better job”. Let me tell you the problem with that.
First of all, I dislike the word “resolution”, mainly because very few people who make a resolution formulate any kind of plan on how to keep it. And, like promises, resolutions are made to be broken. So saying, “I’m going to find a new job this year” is probably as pointless as the treadmill/clothes rack you bought to keep last year’s weight loss resolution.
So, while resolutions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, the beginning of the year is an excellent time for goal setting. As in, define your goal and set a plan to reach it. Not just “resolve” to do it.
Even if you’re not looking to find a new position, it’s smart to set some career goals for your current job. If you give no thought to bettering your performance, improving your numbers, reaching for a promotion, or finding better ways to motivate your team, you may have no choice but to make next year’s resolution “look for a new position”.
Here are six steps to successful goal setting:
- Get a pen and paper – Too many people roll ideas around in their heads, thinking they’ll remember later. You won’t.
- Brainstorm – Don’t censor yourself. Write down everything you are hoping for in the new year, even if it seems crazy
- Review – Decide which goals are realistic and attainable. You might even find that some of those “crazy” ideas from the previous step aren’t as far out as you thought.
- Prioritize – Decide which goals are long term (increase enrollments by x% by the end of the year); which are mid-term (add 20 new contacts to my network by May); and which are short-term (set a meeting with your boss to discuss what you need to do to earn a promotion this year).
- Plan – This is the most important part. Unless you are unbelievably lucky, you’re not just going to haphazardly run into one of your goals without first creating a road map. Give some serious thought to what it’s going to take to achieve your goals, what kind of obstacles you might encounter, and what specific actions you need to take to make it work.
- Reward – While a sense of achievement should be your biggest reward, it’s still okay to bribe yourself. Decide how you are going to reward yourself when you meet your goals. For smaller goals, it could be something like a spa day. If you do get that promotion and a huge raise by the end of the year, you might treat yourself to that sweet little sports car you’ve been eyeing.
Infinity Recruiting & Staffing is a search firm that exclusively serves the Proprietary Education Industry. If you do have your sights set on a new position for 2012 and you’re a Bilingual Director of Admissions or a Regional Director of Admissions with experience managing multiple campuses, please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org for immediate, confidential consideration. Or, visit our Online Career Site, www.irecgroup.com/open-jobs, to search and apply for any of our positions.