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Setting Goals for the New Year

New YearOne of my favorite year-end activities is to steal a quiet hour or so to analyze my business results, especially where my clients came from, and set some goals for the new year. I’m not a big planner or goal-setter (very much seat-of-the pants, despite what people say about that!), but ever since I’ve been doing this simple exercise I find that I have met or exceeded every one of the measurable goals I’ve set.

It seems that something as simple as writing them down makes goals more concrete and likely to happen.

As you prepare for the new beginning that comes around each January 1, take some time to define your specific, measurable goals for the 12 months ahead. If you’re in a job search, consider goals like these:

  • Make 10 new network connections each week (actually having a dialogue with someone… just sending an email doesn’t count)
  • Schedule 2 interviews (job or informational) each week
  • Identify, research, and pursue connection with 1 new target company per week
  • Land 1 great job!

Before you know it, your job search will be zooming along and you’ll be awash in contacts and leads. Without the clear direction that goals provide, it’s easy to muddle along thinking that you’re making progress but not really doing so. For the holidays, give yourself the gift of ambitious goals!


  1. Great advice. I always try to tell young job seekers that expanding their network is the No. 1 step to finding a great job. I also think it’s important that you’ve pegged that this is an ongoing process. So many job seekers I know send out 50 resumes in one week and then wait around for something to happen, and then start again a month later if nothing happens. The job market moves so quickly these days, that’s a dangerous plan. Keeping a manageable, regular schedule in your job search process and focusing on relationships is the key!

  2. Louise says:

    Tiffany, you are so right… it needs to be an ongoing process. Creating a schedule will keep you moving forward and help you recognize that you HAVE made progress even when things look a little bleak.

  3. Jake Greene says:

    Interesting thread. I agree that expanding one’s netword is essential, but I’d argue that the real resolution should be to follow-up with existing contacts. Search through your 2007 emails and then re-connect or start a new conversation to rekindle an existing relationship.

    In the Facebook/MySpace era, so much emphasis is put on attracting hundreds of “friends” that real relationships are often put on the back burner. When it comes to career advancement, I’d say that having 10 contacts who will go to bat for you trumps 1,000 “friends” who occassionally comment on your online profile.

  4. Louise says:

    Jake, that’s a very valid point. I was just talking about that with my husband this weekend – how much easier/better is to to stay (even loosely) connected with people over the years than have to start from scratch when you need something!

    Also, if you’re as busy as I am and most people are, the tendency is to ignore new connections (“I don’t have time for that”) but always to make time for returning friends.

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