Setting Career Resolutions? Don’t Do This

2014 goal

In January, I always get a flood of new coaching clients who are eager to get to work setting and achieving their career resolutions for the New Year.

Recently, I’ve noticed an odd trend and one worthwhile discussing here.

Several clients have come to me with the following “goal” for 2014:

“I just want to keep my job.”

Facing potential downsizing, these clients are focused on one thing and one thing only—holding onto that paycheck.

I get it. Layoffs are hard. No one wants to be the one on the chopping block.

But this is perhaps the worst way to set a goal.

A powerful career resolution must be many things and this one fails on a number of levels. Let’s look at some specifics…

The outcome must be within your control.

Whether or not your job gets eliminated is largely outside of your control. What’s within your control is your performance while employed. Shift your resolution to focus on your actions. What will you DO to ensure you keep your job? What will you DO to prepare should the outcome not be in your favor?

It should propel you forward.

Let’s get real: Mere survival is not what you’re after. And yet, a resolution like the one above suggests otherwise. Setting a goal to simply remain stagnant isn’t a goal; it’s a death sentence. Regardless of circumstance, most of us want to end each year better off than when we started. Don’t settle for the status quo and then tell yourself it’s an achievement. In today’s workplace, if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.

It should be uplifting and positive.

Setting a goal to just “keep your job” is like diving into a pool with the goal of “not drowning.” Your resolution should be positive and motivating. Focus on what you really want, not just on avoiding what you don’t want. Remember that your thoughts are like magnets. What reality you attracting?

Take a look at your career resolutions and see if they meet these three objectives. If not, make revisions as needed.

Once you’ve got a positive, uplifting resolution that moves you forward and the outcome of which is within your control, shape it into a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound). This will help ensure you end 2014 better off than when you started.

About the Author

Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach, corporate trainer and public speaker who believes work can be a nourishing part of the life experience. Her website, Eat Your Career, is devoted to this mission. Chrissy is currently a contributing career expert for U.S. News & World Report and the author of the book, The Proactive Professional: How to Stop Playing Catch Up and Start Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life!), available on Amazon.