Achieving Your Career Goals This Year

January 11, 2019 · 4 minute read

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Achieving Your Career Goals This Year

You’ve decided this year is the year to find the right career. Now…where do you start?

Making a career change is about more than just finding the right job. It’s about finding an honest answer to the question, “what career is right for me?”

There are so many ways to figure this out. What is your passion? What are you good at? What have you been trained to do? What experiences can you reflect on to inform your decision?

But there’s usually an elephant in the room: how much does it pay? And, is it enough to meet my goals?

If you only focus on one thing this year to improve both your career and your finances, earning more is a big one. In order to get your money right, you have to get your career right. Here are four ideas to help you make more this year:

Get That Raise

When was the last time you got a pay increase? If it’s been longer than a year, it may be time to get that raise. SoFi has a free online tool that develops a personalized action plan to help you negotiate for more.

This interactive experience helps gather information like job title and years of experience and based on your location and other factors shows your value in the market. The tool also creates a professionally designed presentation to be used during negotiation, so you’ll have all you need to get that raise.

Climb the Ladder

Step up to the next level at work with a promotion and salary increase. If you haven’t recently had a performance review with your manager, the new year is a great time to set one up. Let him or her know that you would like to discuss your career path, and come prepared with data on what you’ve accomplished and a clear ask on where you’d like to go next.

Recognize that while you may not get what you’re asking for tomorrow, you’re taking an important first step in the process. Get clear on what you’d need to do to earn a promotion, and discuss a timeline for next steps.

Move On—and Up

Not getting any traction on a pay bump? It might be time to consider your next move. Chasing your ambition means taking action. The first step is to get clear on your career goals so you know what roles to go after.

What challenges seem exciting to you? What are you well-prepared to do, and what would you rather avoid? What other experiences can you draw on as examples of your skill set—for example, previous jobs, volunteer work, side hustles?

Start a Side Hustle

Finally, consider monetizing a hobby by turning it into a side hustle. You can earn some extra cash while developing new skill sets that might translate into future opportunities. You might be thinking: but I don’t have any hobbies that I could sell! What comes easily and naturally to you?

Maybe you’re an Excel wiz and could create custom spreadsheets. You take amazing photos, and not just because you used portrait mode on your smartphone. You have an eye for graphic design and a knack for website layout. Or you already make cute crafts for your kids’ school and could easily make more.

You’re awesome at putting outfits together and could teach people to style themselves more confidently. There’s at least one thing you’re already great at, and the good news is there’s an internet startup for just about every skill these days. What are you already doing that you could expand on and sell?

Of course, taking on any of these strategies is easier said than done. If you’re excited about tackling a new career project but not quite sure where to begin, consider working with a career coach. Career coaches typically work one-on-one with clients to achieve whatever goal they are working toward.

That could be as simple as a resume and LinkedIn refresh, or as complicated as transitioning to a new industry. Did you know? SoFi members get complimentary access to career coaches and a supportive community in our member Facebook group .

Not a SoFi member? Join today!

The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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