Career goals you should make to set yourself up for success

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Career goals you should make to set yourself up for success
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  • This post originally appeared in the Insider Today newsletter.
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The new year is a great time to figure out how to level up your career.

For many companies, the beginning of the year is when they're looking at staff and budgets. So experts shared some professional goals that everyone should make to help themselves stand out.

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"Everything about the world of work has changed in the last several years — from where people work to the skills that they need to get ahead," Andrew McCaskill, a career expert at LinkedIn, told me.

So people should think of two or three skills they're not the most confident in and try to get comfortable with them. This can happen in multiple ways: online certification courses, an in-person class, volunteering somewhere, or taking on new responsibilities at work.

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McCaskill said you could ask for a "stretch assignment" at work — a task you might not already have the skills for — to try a hands-on learning approach. This could be a skills-based project or even managing someone.

Career goals you should make to set yourself up for success
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Find a relaxing hobby

Although this might seem outside the realm of work, it can positively impact your career.

"Doing something you enjoy — and that gives you peace outside of your professional and personal obligations — is going to help you recharge so that you can tackle both work and personal obligations more productively and with more energy," Clint Carrens, a career strategist at Indeed, told me.

The key is to find something that doesn't add more stress to your life. It can look like reading, playing a sport, making art, or anything else that takes your mind off your obligations.

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Develop a networking plan

Whether you want to change jobs this year or learn how to be more successful in your current role, networking is key to career development.

Carrens suggested making an actionable networking goal — all depending on your bandwidth. Some people have time to make multiple connections every week, while others might aim to make two connections per month.

Try attending an industry event, inviting a LinkedIn connection for coffee, or simply strengthen an existing professional relationship.

"The goal should be to commit to it and stick with it," Carrens told me. "We're all going to get to the same place eventually, as long as the consistency is there."

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