What is your 2011 New Year's Career Resolution?

How many times have you found that if you have one thing to do one day, you get nothing much done, but if you have 10 things to do in a day, you get half and maybe most of the tasks done? Goal setting is an essential part of progress, being productive, and successful. It helps keep us from milling about aimlessly and helps us direct our energy towards a singular goal. So why don’t most of us do this for our careers as well? Maybe because the timeline feels so long until that next career move or career evolution. Oftentimes once someone is in a job, they focus their energies towards doing their job and hopefully doing it well.

But you can’t forget the bigger picture, which is your career. People come to us at all stages in their careers. Some are young graduates ready to strike out in an industry for the first time, some are mid- to senior-level talent at a mid-point in their career path, transitioning to their next job, and some are very seasoned professionals at the pinnacle of their career path who wonder about their next career step.

No matter when we meet people in their career, we often meet them at a juncture where they don’t know what career direction they should be going in next. Most don’t have a clue and haven’t thought about it. Some individuals who come to us though, have been planning out their future and keeping an eye on the horizon, knowing what they want to reach for next. Those who do are often the individuals who reach their goals and evolve their careers at a much faster pace. Chances are they are enjoying their jobs more and consider their careers to be fun.

You can let fate take you where it will, but you may not like where you end up. Or you can choose a direction to follow. I find it’s much more exciting to choose a direction and follow your passion. Life is so much more fun when you gain some sort of intrinsic gratification from your work, because then the work isn’t work. It’s something you love to do, and chances are that you’re being creative about it.

So wherever you are in your career path and life, remember to stop and look at the bigger picture. Set a calendar reminder from once to four times a year or even more, where you look at the horizon and think about where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years. What skills or knowledge do you think you’ll need to get there? What would you like to start working on next? No matter how big or small the goals are, writing down your goals helps you plot out your dream career future.

We would love to hear from you about what your career resolution might be. Let’s start that dialogue and hear your thoughts about your career path.

What is your career Resolution for 2011?