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Setting 2021 Career Goals

The year 2020 certainly has shaken up most of everyone’s life. And for many, it’s changed the path of their careers, either due to a layoff or industry shutdowns. There is no better time to set some career goals than looking toward 2021. In order to set some realistic and achievable goals for 2021, here are a few guidelines to help.

Ask yourself some questions. According to, there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself to help formulate a plan for 2021. They are: What have you accomplished this year? (This helps create a positive frame of mind.) What makes you come alive? (This helps you find your passion.) What do you not want? (Sometimes just as helpful to know as what you DO want.) What can you accomplish by yourself? (What can you do without being reliant on other people?) How are you spending your time each day? (This helps show you where to maybe spend less time.) What would your perfect day look like? (This helps you figure out what’s most important to you.) What helps you find resilience every day? (Finding things that give you energy helps drive your goals.)

Use the SMART method. SMART is an acronym that is a tool used for goal setting. According to, “When you set an objective for yourself, you should include each step necessary for success and to help.” This is where SMART comes in handy as it lays out each necessary step (the acronym stands for): Specific: Narrow in on exactly what you want to accomplish. Measurable: Determine how you will know when you are successful and make it something you can quantify. Attainable: Set goals that are actually achievable in a determined amount of time. Relevant: Make sure your goals are in alignment with the rest of your values and long-term goals. Time-based: Set a deadline for yourself that is realistic yet ambitious to motivate yourself.

Look to the future. When setting your goals for 2021, it’s also important to ponder where you want to be beyond the next 12 months. Thinking about the ultimate vision for yourself and your life helps you determine what you need to accomplish in 2021. You can start to break down the steps you need to take into smaller and more achievable portions. If you’re unsure where you want to be in the future, allow yourself to brainstorm without judgment. You never know what you might have envisioned for yourself unless you allow yourself to dream.

We all have hopes that 2021 is brighter than 2020 has been for most people. Working on your career goals takes dedication and persistent planning. Don’t hesitate to get some help with reworking your resume or joining a few networking groups. It’s easier to join organizations as you may not need to leave the comfort of your home at the moment to attend events. Take the next step and keep moving forward to a better 2021!

You are invited to our Second Act Career Connection Facebook group to stay well-informed and get a seat to our exclusive events with experts from various backgrounds.


How to Set SMART Goals for Your Career in 2021

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