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Career Goals for 2010
By Seth Meyers   View more articles by this author
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January 18

Even if you were not one of the million hopefuls who recently cast their new year’s resolutions to the universe in the hope that these prayers, of sorts, would be answered, it’s not too late to ask yourself what you would like to come of 2010.
A new year is a new chance to rewrite your existing life script, and there are probably a few areas in your life that could use a tune-up. As a licensed clinical psychologist, I am constantly working with my clients to develop new goals and to make progress toward them. When it comes to your happiness, you can never be too proactive. Today, take a few moments and think about one area of your life, in particular - your career. Whether you are a stay at home mom or a full-time i-banker, your work life could benefit from some focused attention!
To begin, make a list of the things you like and don’t like about your job. Next, ask yourself how respected you feel in your current position. Finally, think about the rewards you get from your position – both extrinsic (e.g., financial compensation) and intrinsic (e.g., level of fulfillment and sense of purpose). Once you’ve completed these simple exercises, ask yourself whether the intrinsic or extrinsic rewards need improvement.
If you need greater financial compensation from your job, stomping into your boss’ office and demanding it usually doesn’t work. Though the need is understandable, you must be careful how you approach the issue. Rather than ask for money for the job you are already doing, ask your boss whether there are any additional responsibilities you could assume in order to make a little more money. After all, you catch a lot more flies with honey…
If the rewards you need are more intrinsic in nature – perhaps because you’ve been stuck in the same job for years or were forced to take a lower-level position out of financial necessity – there is still hope for you. Take a long hard look at your job responsibilities and at the overall effectiveness of your work team and environment, and think about ways to create change. Coming up with a few new ideas to try out at work in the new year will give you a sense of a fresh start, and others will appreciate any changes you are responsible for creating. By approaching the problem from a creative, problem-solving framework, you give yourself a challenge. Ultimately, taking such initiative is rewarded with both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards.
A new year is a terrific opportunity to remind yourself that change is possible – and proactivity in terms of your career is no exception! Whatever you do, do something – no one ever got ahead or felt truly fulfilled by simply maintaining the status quo.

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