Let’s Set Your Career Intentions for the Coming Year

December 26, 2022

Pictured: Woman in yellow sweater at desk with pen and paperEvery year around December and January, I spend a lot of time thinking about my career intentions for next year. Honestly, the deep question in my head is, “What do I want to do differently next year?” But it all starts here…

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What kind of work do I want to do?
  • What changes to my business (and to my life!) do I want to make?

Perhaps you think similar things?

To help create some structure for setting your intentions, here’s a little insight into my process.

First, I reflect on the past before I move to the future. I like to marvel at my accomplishments and look at what I was not able to achieve. In both cases, I want to understand why these things happen.

Were they on my wish list? Or were they something I really wanted to achieve? How intentional were these results, both good and bad?

For example, one of my career intentions for last year was to speak more in front of a live audience. I’m excited to say that I did this! Some were live and some were through Zoom, and they all count.

I also like to think about external events. What things outside of me impacted my outcomes?

This past year, the impact of Covid continued to linger. Some people still don’t feel comfortable with face-to-face events or returning to the workplace. Companies are still determining if they want their employees to be in the office full time or with a hybrid schedule. Layoffs are causing stress in people lives, especially if they’re worried that they might be lay offed right before the holidays.

Topics like the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting consumed the minds of many employees, leaving people feeling insecure about their future. These factors certainly affected people’s lives and I am sure our career intentions as well.

All of this reminds me that I’m not really in full control over what I do and don’t accomplish. There are so many things happening around us that influence those outcomes. That’s why it really helps to be clear about what I want to accomplish. Especially considering all the external influences, knowing my intention helps me make good decisions throughout the year.

In line with that, I like to select words that help me focus and remind me of my intentions. This past year, I had 3 words: Adaptable, flexible, and resilient.

My next step is to use what I learned in the previous year to help me set goals and intentions for the year to come. I’m still working on those. 😁

Are you doing some planning now?

Use these steps to help you plan your career intentions for 2023:

Step 1: Look at last year’s career intentions and what you accomplished.

Make 3 lists:

  • What were your intentions one year ago?
  • What did you accomplish?
  • What didn’t you accomplish?

Step 2: Which goals from the previous year do you want to bring forward to the New Year?

Step 3: What new goals do you want to add to your list?

Step 4: You can’t do everything, so trim your entire list of goals down to 3-5 goals and then prioritize them. What is the one thing you will work on first?

Step 5: Identify up to 3 words that will help you stay focused on your intentions.

Walking through these steps will give you a good start towards creating your own career intentions for the new year!

To help you dig in and do this hard work, I invite you to keep this in mind:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” (Yogi Berra)

In other words, if you are not clear about what you want to achieve, then it will be difficult to achieve them. You’ll find yourself working on something you don’t believe in and wondering how you got there.

Take the time to set your own career intentions, and you’ll find yourself on track with a fresh perspective and a plan for your future career!

Wait... did you find this helpful and you want more? Download the worksheet below and dig even deeper!

Where do you want to go in your career?

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