5 Step Process On Setting Your Career Goals For 2018

Setting career goals is not an easy process because, by definition, you’re attempting to influence something that hasn’t happened yet. You could be talking about the far future, and you don’t know how the work landscape will look in two weeks, never mind two years. 

Here are five tips to help you on the way from where you are to where you want to be:

1. Don’t get ahead of yourself

While it would be nice to set yourself a single goal of heading a global corporation in 20 years, life doesn’t work like that. Tasks come in fits and starts; there are next-hour type tasks and next-month type tasks that crop up every day, and they all get in the way of your 20-year goal. The best option is to treat your goals like your tasks and set short, medium and long term goals that all add up to something bigger in the end.

Your long term goal might be to become chartered in building services, but this can be furthered by attending a certain number of CPD hours a month as a short term goal, with a medium term goal being speaking at a conference or symposium. With these goals accomplished, your MCIBSE won’t be far behind.

2. Improve yourself

Many career goals focus on improving external influences on your career – whether that’s your pay, your job title or your location. Even self-improvement steps like chartership are just external recognition of your existing skills. Real self-improvement takes an element of introspection and self-critique to determine skills you might genuinely lack. Write down all the difficulties you have regularly at work and try to work back from these to see what might be the root of the problem.

Once you have decided what the root of the biggest problems are, be it communication, time management or technical skill, find ways to remedy them. Book a course, attend CPD, speak to your line manager or take advice from a colleague. You can even add another string to your bow through extra training, becoming an energy assessor or certifying against ISO requirements.

3. Become a career designer

This skill comes naturally to some people, but other people find themselves led down a career path they didn’t necessarily choose. While you may be happy with your current role, you may not want your boss’ job, or you may simply want a change that your current path won’t provide, such as home working, site-based work or office-based work. Forget about all the other factors for a moment, from salary to pension, and think about what you want from your next job.

While it may be scary to think about switching specialism or industry, there are ways to do it – whether it’s up-skilling, taking on different projects or getting work that will give you the experience you need to get your foot in the door. In building services, a great example of this is using your transferable skills to enter a new industry to take on an emerging area, like green infrastructure.

4. Review Review Review

While it can give you a short-term buzz to finally set goals and set off down the right path, life often gets in the way, and you can find yourself drifting from your goals very easily. Setting goals is important, but regularly reviewing them is also necessary, to see if you’re off track and what manner of correction is required if you are.

An old saying goes, a plan rarely survives contact with the enemy, and that’s true of your career goals, too: don’t expect a plan you made six months ago to be completely workable in the present. But that’s not a problem. The review process isn’t supposed to make you punish yourself, it’s meant to correct your goals and adjust them to fit the new reality – it will make them more accurate to what you need and increase your chances of hitting them.


The old favourite goal-setting method is still the best: set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-dependent. Using this method, you’ll have a specific set of criteria to measure your progress and you can guarantee that you won’t be able to drift too far off course. 

You’ll be doing something you know can succeed, but you’ll also know roughly when it can happen and what success looks like. Once you have that sorted, you’ll be well on your way to making some progress. While it may not be realistic to want to be a company director in six months, making your company BIM Level 2 compliant within five years may be, and it’ll add a massive boost to your CV, too!

If you need any advice on your next career move or just want to have a look at your options, visit our website, or call 01743 247774.

About A and D Recruitment 

A&D Recruitment is a vibrant, independent employment agency specialising in Renewable Energy & Building Services sectors. 

Founded by recruitment experts Alessia and Darren Williams, A&D Recruitment has successfully placed candidates in a diverse range of roles over the last 12 years.  

To get in contact call 01743 247774 or email on info@aanddrecruitment.co.uk 

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