The new year is young — and the decade younger — but if you dive right into it, you may be already missing the perfect moment to rethink your daily drudgery and set a New Year’s resolution more meaningful than a weight-loss program.
The first month of the year finds workloads light, which is why career counselors say it’s best to set ambitious and intrinsically rewarding goals now.
“People should have ongoing goals they assess a minimum of once a year —but those goals shouldn’t be just what you are going to achieve for the company, but where you want to be,” New York-based career coach Jane Cranston offers.
When the smartphones resume buzzing at their normal frequency, it can become easy to lose track of why you go through it all in the first place. “You have to regularly ask yourself, ‘How will future generations think about your contribution to the world?’” “Fearless Career Change” author Marky Stein notes. “It’s a big, final, existential question — but it’s important for people to ponder.”
Time to get moving
However expansive or small your 2011 ambitions, there’s no better time to act on them than in this still-slow lull at the front of the year, Stein says. “You can get your résumé in on a week where they’ll only be receiving 10 résumés instead of 150. In January, most companies have planned their new budget and have brand-new budgets for brand-new positions.”
It’s OK to start small
If this all seems too daunting, set meaningful micro-goals.
“Be fair to yourself,” Cranston stresses. “Goals should be smart — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Break them into manageable pieces and tell another person about your goal.”