Top Career Goals for Growth in 2024

by | Dec 25, 2023 | Adulting, Anxiety, Counseling, Highly Sensitive People (HSP), Perfectionism, Self-Esteem, Stress

Top Career Goals for Growth in 2024

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As we gear up to enter 2024, it is the perfect time to lay down some tangible goals for the new year that will not only push us ahead career-wise but also keep our mental health maintained. Keep reading for some practical goals you may want to think about when creating a 2024 career plan!

Why is it Important to Set Career Goals?

Although it is easy to go into a new year blindly, with no expectations or goals, setting practical goals helps provide clear direction to the life you desire. Without goals, you may find yourself wandering, unsure of where your efforts are leading, and even spending unnecessary time on things that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Career goals serve as a compass to guide you through all the opportunities and challenges out there. 

Additionally, setting career goals instills a sense of motivation and drive, acting as a reminder that you are working towards something bigger than just completing your everyday tasks. Whether it is getting a  promotion, learning new skills, or making meaningful impacts in a specific area, setting goals adds depth and meaning to your professional journey. 

Career Goals to Consider

1. Figure out your career purpose. While reading this, you may be thinking, “This is number one?!” Although figuring out your purpose may seem scary, it should always be the first step when setting goals and thinking about the future. After all, what is the point of working towards something if it is not adding to your purpose or passions in life? Take some time to sit down and think about where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go, career-wise. Is your current position in line with your passions? Are there things you can do to further align with your goals? Figuring out your purpose can take time and some exploring, but once you find your passion, it’ll help guide all your future decisions and goals, and ensure that what you are doing makes you happy and fulfilled. For example, maybe you are working as a secretary, but deep down you’ve always wanted to be a lawyer. You can find ways to explore this passion and see if it is something you really want to pursue by talking to people in the field, researching law degrees, and asking yourself if you are happy/fulfilled in your current position. Based on what you figure out about yourself, you can take the next steps to match your career purpose and passion!

2. Upgrade your skills. In an era of constant change, staying on top of your game means upgrading your skill set. Attend workshops, enroll in online courses, or simply do some research on skills you are interested in acquiring that can add to your career. For example, if you are a copywriter, you may want to take an updated course on Google Analytics, since updates are always being made. It is not just about getting a shiny certificate, it is about making yourself an asset in your career space. 

3. Create a better work-life balance. Work can be draining, to say the least. In 2023, you may have found yourself slugging home after a long day at your 9-5, only to sit on your couch exhausted until the next work day rolls around. These struggles can be even harder if you have other large responsibilities, like being a mom or caretaker while having a job. In 2024, let’s work on changing this and allowing you to feel like you have a life outside of your job. Setting healthy boundaries is key to doing this. For example, turn off your laptop when you are off the clock. Stop scrolling through LinkedIn once you are home for the day. And, if you need to take some time off for personal/mental health reasons, reserve some days for yourself to rest. You’ll find that making time for yourself to recharge will only help you, and in turn, your productivity at work. 

4. Build up your network. Networking is not about collecting business cards at a conference, it’s about making meaningful connections and learning from those in the field. This year, make it a goal to build a network that inspires you. Attend events that genuinely interest you, connect with people who can help guide you, and seek out mentors who are professionals in the field. Your network can be a source of genuine support and can teach you so much in your career. For example, if you are in the writing world, there are writing conventions where you can meet other aspiring/professional authors and make connections!

5. Move up on the ladder. There is nothing wrong with wanting to move up on your company’s ladder and take on more responsibility. In fact, it’s a great thing! Make it a goal to go above and beyond in your work and set an example for other employees. After some time doing your work to your highest abilities, you can plan out a conversation with your higher-ups about the possibility of a promotion. For example, you may want to set up a meeting with your boss where you showcase how you have exceeded your goals in your current position and make the case for why you would thrive in a higher position. Whether you get it or not, know that your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and at the very least, helps you grow internally. 

6. Adapt to changes. Instead of dreading change, let’s work on embracing it in 2024. Make it a goal to become adaptable at work and in your career. Whether it’s new technologies that your team is implementing or working with new coworkers, you must be able to adapt and thrive with new changes. For example, you may find that getting acclimated to a new company protocol or way of doing things is different. You had been so set in your way of doing it that the change has felt unnatural. Although this is a normal feeling, work your hardest at finding the positives to the change, and try to master it. Whatever comes your way, you can handle it!

7. Celebrate small wins. There were probably way too many times in 2023 when you let a small win go unnoticed. Maybe it was a great conversation with your boss, solidifying a new campaign, or even just getting all your paperwork in early. All wins, no matter how small, are wins, and should be celebrated! You don’t have to throw yourself a party or start telling all your peers, of course, but give yourself some positive self-talk and feel proud of yourself for your accomplishments. These small wins build confidence and momentum in your career. 

8. Gain a better understanding of technology. Learning and adapting to new technologies can be a struggle for anyone, no matter how young or old. If you find that you struggled to learn the ins and outs of a type of technology or technological tool in 2023, make it a goal to master this in 2024. There are plenty of courses and resources out there to help you learn, so take advantage of them! For example, you can take a Google Analytics or coding class. 

9. Start a side hustle. Passion projects are a great goal to expand on for the new year. Whether it is starting a blog, launching a craft business, or diving into a creative endeavor, these projects should be a genuine reflection of your passions. Who knows where it may lead you? 

10. Keep your mental health in check. Your success in your career can only get you so far without your mental health being in check. Make time to ask yourself how you are feeling, seek professional help, or lean on loved ones for support if you need it. Mental health is not something to take lightly—it is so important to stay healthy while taking on new career responsibilities and fulfilling your goals. 

Let these goals act as a practical guide to your career in 2024. Remember, if you end up not reaching your goals, it is nothing to feel ashamed of. The journey is often the most important part. Here’s to growth!

To discuss how therapy could help you during this season of your life, please contact me or schedule your free 15 minute consultation.

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