At the beginning of a new year, many people enjoy setting new goals and making resolutions. For most, it’s about personal achievements or relationships. Weight loss, exercise goals, giving up bad habits, changes of diet, and more are common New Year’s resolutions. We work hard to access our relationships, personal struggles, and challenges and vow to make self-improvements.
What about professionals? With careers in every field, it’s possible to set realistic goals. This year, instead of putting our careers behind our personal goals, we can add them to our lists. If you work in medicine, retail, finance, or the digital world and are looking for some ideas for setting goals, read on.
1. Medical Professionals
Do you work in the healthcare field? The recent global pandemic has shown us, more than ever before, just how important your line of work is. This year, you could make a big difference in your professional goals if you set a goal to put aside time for self-care. Regardless of your specialty, you are an essential worker. People depend on you, and part of your job is caring for yourself, too.
Maybe you’re an orthopedic doctor in Wayne, NJ. Why not take some time away from work and let the orthopedic surgeon handle things while you take a walk around New Jersey’s best parks or outdoor spaces? Exercise, mindfulness, and a little time away from the office might be exactly what you need for new goal-setting insights.
2. Retail Sellers
Do you work retail? Odds are, if your job is at a liquor store, you’ve seen it all. During the 2020 shutdowns, it’s quite possible you’re working on an entirely new customer service template. From mask mandates to social distancing, owning or working at a store has come with many recent changes. For you, professional goals might center on alignment with your customers. Consider customer needs. Talk to your regulars, and see how you could better serve them. Whether it’s by making deliveries, opening lines of credit, or just being the listening ear as they come through your line, happier customers could prove not only profitable but better for your peace of mind too.
Another goal for a retail worker that might serve well this year is to build into performance reviews incentives for employees who best adhere to safety rules. It’s not easy following the guidelines behind a counter for eight hours a day. If you’re the boss, you’ll want to recognize employees who go out of their way to keep, not only your customers but you and your business safe.
3. Bankers and Finance
Maybe you’re a manager at a credit union in Hudsonville, MI. Maybe your company objectives include helping employees to achieve individual goals, and doing so is going to mean a bigger look at organizational goals. If this is the case, one way to change your thinking and turn things around is to look at the bigger picture. For example, finances have been rough for many people. Whether checking bank accounts regularly to see the status of their stimulus payment or worrying about a lost job and mounting late fees and other charges, finances can be a major source of stress. This is an opportunity for you to make your company goals around employee retention. Like it or not, it’s possible your employees are hurting financially too.
By taking a step back for an overview of what your employees are going through, you’ll also have a roadmap for how to better help your customers. Think about putting out surveys and talking one on one to trusted employees. Through understanding their fears, concerns, and even lack of motivation, you may be able to tweak workflows and alter professional goals just enough to come out on top.
You might find employee engagement on the rise if you encourage a culture of communication. While you don’t need to become a therapist to the people who work for you, showing them that you understand their struggles and are willing to work with them to find solutions might go a long way. The same applies to your customers. Instead of barking at them about late fees and that rules are rules, showing some compassionate care could make for not only a happy customer but a repeat one too.
4. Software Creators and Engineers
Perhaps you’ve been working remotely designing OKR software or working with a team on Covid-19 contact tracing. Either way, it’s likely that your days look different than they did before the pandemic. This year, your professional goals might include something as simple as a home office renovation.
Working from home is a whole lot different than working at an office created for optimal job performance. Anyone working remotely knows all too well what it’s like to have to work through constant interruptions. For you, professional goals could mean designating a whole new space at your house for working.
Maybe working remotely has caused you to feel lonely. Setting time aside to connect with family and friends could be the perfect solution to increasing your overall productivity. As counterintuitive as it may seem to unplug from the workplace, you may find that you’re better at meeting team goals effectively if you have the mental clarity to focus better on the goals at hand.
Research has shown that employee performance goes up when employees are happier. No matter what field you work in and whether you’re the boss or an employee, making your professional goals center not only around bottom line ratios, productivity stats, and data reports, one way to do better is by taking breaks. Regular breaks should include proper nutrition, plenty of sleep, and time away from the screen.
Ultimately, there’s a goal-setting to be done at every level for all professions, but this year is unique. During the pandemic, something most people weren’t prepared for, most of us are still struggling to balance demands at both work and home. By paying attention to signs of burn out, fatigue, worry, and more, we’ll all be doing ourselves a favor if we make goal one slow down. No matter what your profession, the best you can do as we work together to get through the remainder of the pandemic is to remind yourself that it’ll be over soon, and life will eventually return to normal. For now, showing up to work with a good attitude and doing the best job you can do is enough.