Out with the Old, In with the New

January…the fresh start month. We welcome this time of year as a chance to wipe the slate clean and start anew. And because most of us (more than 70%) aren’t thrilled with our work, changes in our career situation often top the list of hopes in a new year.

But you know how it goes: you make a list of goals, check it twice (or ten times), try to make progress, lose heart, and then you’re back to your normal, exasperating grind. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if this year things were different, and you really did make some significant advances toward your career goals?

Well it turns out that most of us make one deal-killer mistake when we set and work toward achieving career goals, and that is that we focus on the bigger aim, rather than several smaller milestones.

Let’s say for example that you want to shift your career path in a new direction, out of technical customer support to something in renewable energy. So your goal might look like, “Get a job in the renewable energy field.” Then you might start looking at job ads online with companies tied to the green industry and throw your resume at a few. But statistically it’s unlikely that you’ll even land an interview (job ads, especially in a desirable field, receive hundreds of applicants, so it’s like hoping your lottery ticket will win), and after a few weeks you’ll get discouraged, tell yourself, “This will never work”, give up on the goal, and stay stuck in your present state of frustration.

Yet studies show if you break that bigger goal into several smaller ones—such as first researching which roles in renewable energy would be a good fit, reworking your resume to highlight relevant background, creating a list of target companies and starting to make warm contacts at each—and focus on those one at a time, you’ll make better progress overall, stay motivated, and stand a much better chance of achieving your aim.

So here’s to 2016, and the goal of taking many small steps toward some bigger, better outcomes!

If you are considering making a career change in 2016 and are interested in career support, email us at info@careersolutionsgroup.net. We offer free initial consultations and have helped hundreds of job seekers make successful career transitions.

By: Katy Piotrowski, Career Solutions Group