As 2019 winds down you might find yourself starting to think about goals you want to achieve in the new year. While many of these may be personal goals, it’s important to think about professional goals too. Where do you want to be in your career path? The new year is a good time to think about this question, set goals and create a plan for the next 12 months.

People who set goals are 10 times more successful than those without them. Here are four steps that can help you dive into setting goals for your career in the new year.


1. Reflect on the last year

Think about the past year of your career. What were the highs? Did you enjoy going to work? How did you achieve success? The answers to questions like this can tell you a lot about how happy you are with your career. Take some time to reflect and decide if you want to continue growing where you are or if it might be time for a change.


2. List your skills

Take a look at your resume and experience, then make a list of your skills. What do you like to do? What are you great at? Maybe you want to become more advanced at something or learn a new skill. Your likes, strengths, and wants can help guide your goal setting. Be sure you know the best job skills to list on your resume if a career change is in the future. Compare what is on your list to those, or get new ideas about things you want to learn.


3. Do research

It’s never a bad idea to learn more about your field or other jobs you find interesting. Types of research include job shadowing, networking or talking to friends and family about what they do. Explore careers where you think your skills would be a good fit. The more you learn about your industry, the easier it will be to climb the ladder. And if you want to make a career change, it is good to know about others that interest you.


4.Update your resume

Keeping your resume up to date is important because it helps you keep track of where you have been and where you are now. Seeing your experience on paper can help guide where you want to go. It’s also important because you never know what opportunity might come along. Be sure to update your online presence, too. At any time, someone can see your LinkedIn profile and decide to reach out. You want to be sure all your experience and skills are there!

No matter what kind of goals you set for your career in the new year, these steps will help you reach them. Remember to set them using the SMART goals method: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.