How to set career goals for 2023

It’s a new year and many marketers will be wondering how to set career goals for this year. You’ve probably heard the old saying ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there’. It’s not a very inspiring sentiment, but it does make one point clear: if we don’t set goals for ourselves, we’ll never get anywhere. 

This is especially true when it comes to your career. If you want to advance in your field or switch fields entirely, then setting career goals is vital. In this blog, we’ll cover how to identify and set achievable career goals for 2023.

Assess where you are and where you’d like to be

In order to set goals for the future, you need to take a look at where you are currently. Understanding your current situation, skills and opportunities will enable you to have a clearer understanding of what you have enjoyed about your career so far and what you’d like to change.

A great way to identify your skills is to carve out some time to sit and write them all down. The Identifying Your Marketing Skills Workbook is a useful resource to help aid this process and can be found in the Girls in Marketing membership.

Once you have a clearer picture of where you are, you can start to think ahead to the future and the path that you would like your career to take. Whether it’s in the next 6 months, 5 years or 10 years, think about the goals you want to achieve and why.

Break down each goal into actionable steps

As marketers, we’re all familiar with the concept of SMART goals in relation to marketing objectives, but did you know that this model can also be applied to personal career goals?

As per the SMART model, your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

An example of a career goal could be ‘to find a new marketing job’. Let’s turn this into a SMART objective:

‘In the next 6 months I will secure a new marketing job working for a marketing agency based in the North West of England that specialises in SEO and content marketing.”

The next step after identifying your goals is to break them down into achievable and actionable steps. These should be smaller goals that are easier to achieve and will contribute to you achieving your overall SMART goal.

An example of a smaller, actionable goal could be:

‘To research and apply for 3 jobs per week over the next two months.’

Big, ambitious goals can feel overwhelming and unachievable but by breaking them down into smaller, bite-size mini goals, they become less daunting and start to feel much more realistic.

Think about the obstacles you might face

It’s inevitable that in the pursuit of achieving ambitious goals, you will come up against obstacles from time to time. So, in order to reduce the significance of any obstacles that you may encounter, it’s a good idea to try and anticipate them before they arise.

Think about any skills gaps that you have identified during the goal-setting process and consider whether there are any ways that you can address them. 

Check out our tips on how to prepare for 2023 as a marketer to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward in 2023.

Keep track of your progress

How will you know if you’re on your way to achieving your goals if you don’t keep track of your progress?

Just like with marketing goals, it’s a good idea to note where you are currently before starting a new project or campaign so that you can compare your results during the evaluation process.

Looking back over your journey and seeing the progress that you have made is a great way to stay motivated. Keep track of when you achieve your goals, or mini-goals, so you can reflect on your progress and reassure yourself that you’re on the right track.

Some easy ways to track your progress include journaling, writing notes in your phone or creating a ‘smile file’ where you can store any small (or big!) wins that you can look back on.

Hold yourself accountable

Tracking your progress not only allows you to see what you’ve achieved but it also allows you to track the goals that you haven’t yet reached.

Research shows that you’re 1.4 times more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down, which also allows you to write down how far away you are from achieving them.

Holding yourself accountable can be difficult, especially if the goals that you have set are too ambitious but if you’ve created achievable SMART goals, it should feel much easier to stay on track.

The Girls in Marketing Membership is a supportive and inclusive space for marketers to learn, grow and find support. If you’re looking to set solid career goals and stick to them this year, why not join the community and gain the support and motivation you need to succeed?