Roundtable Member, Janis Hazlewood, Human Resources Executive, shares strategies for setting (and sticking to) career goals in 2023. You can also download the PDF to read later.
Q: As a leader I help my team set goals and targets and meet them. In the overwhelm of daily work life, I realize that I’m struggling to set my own personal goals for my career. As we approach the end of 2022, I want to set myself up for success. Do you have any advice or tips for setting (and sticking to) some personal goals?
Janis’ Point of View
This is a much-discussed topic because, although it appears in theory relatively easy to set and follow through on SMART career or personal goals, in practice it is much more challenging. When I have delved into this topic with leaders and colleagues, I have found that the common breakdown is rooted in how we often compromise our personal or career goals for those of the business or others. Giving all our energy, creativity and time results in leaving nothing in reserve for our own growth and career management. So, if this is the case, how do you change this as an outcome?
Well, this begins with believing that you are in control of your career – only you can identify and make the meaningful steps towards achieving what you desire. I used to believe that an organization had control over my career, whether it be my manager, or the talent management processes that determined my career outcomes. While these are certainly important factors, I realized that I needed to assume control to achieve my career aspirations. A good organization enables your career and still needs you to play an active role. You are in the driver’s seat and can make the choices needed, such as being deliberate about investing in your learning, identifying mentors and taking on experiences that will support you in realizing your full career potential.
So, let’s drive! I recommend that you get started with getting crystal clear on your career direction – focus on the key experiences and impact you want to have versus a specific role.
Here are some questions to ask yourself: What are the experiences and impact you want to have within your career? Why? How does this align with your values and strengths? Are your answers inspiring and motivating enough to galvanize you into action? If not, it’s time to dig deeper. The key here is to articulate an overarching goal that deeply resonates with you, one that will help you stay focused on building out a detailed plan that you can then put into action and track your progress.
I encourage you not to wait. Act now to start gaining traction and momentum towards your career goals. Here are six simple steps you can take to support successfully achieving your personal career goals:
- Decide. Take control of your career and make it a priority in your life. This is a decision and once you have truly decided to make yourself a priority it will become easier to make choices on how you spend time to achieve your goals.
- Put Pen to Paper. Articulate your overarching career goal and create a detailed action plan that will allow you to monitor your progress. Your goals and plan should lead you to the experiences and life you desire.
- Share Your Goals. Telling someone about the goals you have created makes them “real” and increases the likelihood that you will stick to them. It also has the added benefit of having others knowing how they can support you. So, share your goals with your manager, colleagues, family, partner or friends.
- Take Action. Just take the first step and I guarantee, as soon as you start moving in the direction you have chosen, the goals you have set will become more of a reinforcement of the career and life you want. Remember to check in as you make progress and that it is okay to evolve and make changes as you move forward. Learn from any setbacks and see them as growth opportunities – adapt your plan as necessary.
- Ask for Help. None of us are able to achieve success without some kind of help along the way. Mentors and support systems help people reach their full potential – they are a safe space to explore ideas, discuss challenges and to give a gentle nudge when you need to lean in and maybe get a bit uncomfortable – that’s the space where the learning and growth really happens!
- Advocate for Yourself. The guidance I would offer is to be intentional about what you need, whether that’s a new experience or role, support from a coach or key development programs. Talk and partner with your manager and mentors about your career goals and be very clear about your asks and what you need to be successful. Actively seeking support is an important and necessary way to achieve your career aspirations.
- Celebrate Progress. When you achieve one of your action items or a goal, take time to enjoy it! Importantly, thank those that have helped you along the way. Think about what you have enjoyed and learned, and how this will help you moving forward.
Now it’s time to get started!
Janis Hazlewood, Human Resources Executive, is motivated by building a better tomorrow and future ready organizations through creating value anchored in people and culture. She brings over 24 years of diverse experience at Mars, Wrigley and McCain, including strategic business planning, talent management, organizational effectiveness, coaching senior leaders, diversity, equity and inclusion, business integration and talent leadership roles spanning business segments and geographies.
Janis is a passionate leader who creates insight-led HR solutions and believes building a foundation of safety, trust and authenticity is crucial to an organization’s success. She openly shares the experiences and lessons she has learned across all facets of business, multiple executive teams and life. An important and personal focus for her is sharing how people can evolve and grow throughout their careers, no matter their roles or levels and achieve their personal goals and dreams.