Job Advice

Career Planning and Goal-Setting

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December 15, 2015

From diets to personal habits to relationships, the coming new year has people reflecting on 2015 and looking ahead to a better 2016. Thinking about your job–or your career direction in general–is often part of the New Year’s reflection mix. According to this CNN story, full-time workers in America spend an average of six days a week on the job. That’s a huge chunk of our adult life spent at work. So it’s worth a bit of your time to reflect on and plan, don’t you think?

Our job at That’s Good HR is to play matchmaker. We want to connect the right employees and employers together to create long-lasting, satisfying working relationships. Nothing makes us happier than seeing an employee thrive in a job they love. We’d love to see the same for you. So where do you start? Here’s a step-by-step list of some key items to think through.

Career Planning Checklist

1.    Set aside some time. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to say you want to really dig into your career goals and not execute. So take a moment to block out an hour on your calendar to get started.

2.   Define your ideal job. Do a little dreaming for a minute. Detail your ideal duties/responsibilities, working environment, location/commute, time commitment, and team culture.

3.   Make a strengths and weaknesses list. Now it’s time to get realistic. Do some self-reflection and create a list that outlines areas where you’re really strong (both hard and soft skills) and areas where you’re not. Personality/character assessments like StrengthsFinder can be helpful here, too.

4.   Think about your passions, values, and priorities. This one looks different for everyone. Maybe for you it’s having time with your family, financial freedom, or the flexibility to work when and where you want. Identify those key, non-negotiable parts of your life and who you are.

5.   Start researching. This might seem daunting, so start small. There are great career research tools online like this one through the U.S. Department of Labor. Or if you already know what fields you are interested in, start looking at online job descriptions to get a sense of requirements and desired skill sets.

6.   Talk to People. Online tools, books, and other resources are great, but talking to people who can give you first-hand advice is invaluable. Reach out to people who work in your desired industry or position. Call a career coach for overall guidance or reach out to a staffing firm like That’s Good HR. Trying out a new role or industry through a temporary placement can be a great way to test the waters.

7.   Define action steps. Once you’ve had time to reflect and research, it’s time to plan steps to move ahead. For you that might be beefing up a certain skill set, networking, or even applying for some new positions. Whatever your next steps are, commit to them and make the time. Life’s too short not to.

Questions? We’re here to help. Call us at 317.469.4141 or email anytime.