New Year, New You? Set Career Goals That You Can Achieve

We all know that 2020 came with unprecedented challenges that pushed us in new ways. You may be ready to start 2021 with a new perspective, or you might be hesitant about what the new year will bring. Either way, a new year brings thinking about new goals and intentions. While planning for your career goals might look different in 2021, here are five ways you can be proactive about setting positive intentions for the new year.

Start Small

Planning for your career can be overwhelming- especially when you are thinking about what you want your life to look like in five, ten, or twenty years! Instead of focusing so much on your long-term plans this January, consider setting a couple of short-term goals that will allow you to act immediately. Focusing on one or two “action items” this month will give you momentum towards your longer-term career goals.

Build Your Network

Your greatest resource in planning for your career is your network. The concept of networking can be intimidating- especially for students and new professionals. Networking is just building relationships with people who have common interests.

Think about the places and spaces you might be in over the next semester. Is there a student organization that you could join that allows you to meet people with similar goals? Is there an event that would connect you to other professionals or alumni within your desired career field?

In the virtual world we are living in today, there are many opportunities for you to get connected to people with similar career interests that you might never have had the chance to meet in person! These contacts can provide powerful information and insight about your career field and possibly connect you to opportunities, including internships, full-time employment, or graduate school.

Get Creative About Gaining Experience

Gaining experience can change everything! Students who have had experience in addition to their academic classes learn new things about themselves, their work, and their career goals.

While 2020 might have derailed your internship or other experience plans, there are many ways to gain experience outside of the classroom that you could consider for 2021. Many employers are hosting virtual internships or Micro Internships to creatively provide experiences for students.

In addition to internships, you might want to consider other forms of experience, including research, shadowing, part-time work, service, or involvement. These experiences are also impactful for building your professional skill set!

Update Your Professional Documents

One of the most proactive strategies you can work towards in early 2021 is to update your professional documents, including your resume or CV. Focusing on creating quality professional documents ahead of time can help you prepare for when that dream internship application might open! Especially if it has been a couple of semesters since your last update, it is crucial to edit your documents to include the hard work you have accomplished and assess what type of experiences you still want to have during your time as a student.

Connect with the Career Connections Center

The most important thing to remember about planning for your career is that you have resources and tools at UF to help you! The highly ranked Career Connections Center provides comprehensive career services to all UF students and alumni. Whether you are just starting to think about your career plans or are ready to get connected to employers that want to hire YOU, the Career Connections Center can support you and your goals. Check out our list of upcoming events or find out how to meet with one of our career coaches to set you up for success in 2021. We are looking forward to meeting you!

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