Desk with an iMac, calender, plant and two white chairs

Let's face it, 2020 was NOT the year we were expecting. However, that doesn't mean that we can't look forward to 2021 and think about what we'd like to achieve with our careers and working lives. It may be that this year has brought you some clarity - perhaps you realise that you don't like your current line of work all that much, or perhaps you've realised that you really relish spending time with your children. Whatever your new found wisdom has offered you, now is the time to set new goals to work towards, and to make sure that they are not broken before January is up, let’s begin with a couple of tips:

  • Make sure they are measurable, with dates in which you are going to start doing them and times at which you are going to dedicate to them. This way, you can actually track and in the long run achieve them.
  • Make sure they are possible, not too widely out of your comfort zone, and that they are not too grand. Remember, consistent small steps are much easier to achieve than giant leaps.

Here are a few suggestions you might like to try and conquer:

Find a mentor

Is there someone in your organisation or in your life outside work whom you look up and you is in a position you’d like to be in in a few years? One way to help yourself reach that position is to ask whether he or she will mentor you, helping you set some career goals at work and spending time helping you understand how you can further your career.

Learn something new

There are so many benefits to learning something new. You could learn a new skill related to your work, for example if you are a graphic designer you might look at learning motion graphics or something more out your comfort zone like a programming language. Set aside a time for your studying, whether it’s full weekend days or a couple of hours during a weeknight and make sure you’re consistent. You may be able to ask your company to subsidise your learning and invest in your if it is something that’s also going to benefit them. For more information about online courses, see our guide

Become networking proficient

What would you like to learn more about in your company or industry? One way to find out more is to attend regular networking events. To find networking events near you, you could search using Eventbrite or other event sites or look up events your professional body holds. Networking is a great way to meet other professionals in your industry and stay on top of what’s happening in your field. Remember to take their details so you can continue to connect with them for example through  your LinkedIn network. To make sure that you stick to this goal, set some targets, for example to attend a networking event once a month. 

Read a career-related book

It could be an biography, motivational book, how-to guide - whatever you get your hands on will give you another perspective and keep your spirits up for weeks. If you can use what you’ve learnt in your workplace to make the day run more smoothly even better!


Are there 1000s of unopened emails sitting in your email inbox? Now’s the time to get rid of them and file away the others that you’ll need for a rainy day. You’ll feel instantly better for doing it. 


LinkedIn is the all the rage at the minute for your professional self. It’s a great way to sell yourself to other people and to keep an eye on what is happening in your industry. How is your holding up? Make sure you have an up-to-date photo, a relevant background picture, and that your career information is correct.


Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. What cause would you be interested in getting involved in? If possible, ask your line manager whether you can make it part of your career development programme so you can use work time and recruit others from your office.

Save for a rainy day

This year brought into sharp focus how much a rainy day fund was needed. What's more, it's generally suggested that 3-6 months of regular expenses should be enough to tied us over, but if 2020 was anything to go by, it's more like 12 months that we'll need squirred away. There's no time like the present to get that money in the bank!

Image Credit: Roman Bozhka, Unsplash License.