Planning Career Goals for 2015

If 2015 is going to be your year for finding a job, now is the perfect time to start planning your career goals and developing your strategy. Goal setting may be the most important action you take in your job search—numerous studies have shown that setting goals can increase your productivity from 60 to 80 percent.

With regards to your job search, setting goals means you’re not losing a lot of time on useless activities that aren’t getting you closer to employment. It means you’ll be able to find more job opportunities, and increase your chances of getting hired—sooner rather than later.

Working with a recruiter is one of the fastest and most effective ways to find a great job. Here are some tips on setting goals with your recruiter for 2015, and setting yourself up for job search success.

Clarify your career goals

It can be frustrating for both job seekers and recruiters when the only goal you have is “get a job.” Even if you’re desperate for any employment you can get, this overly broad goal makes it difficult, or impossible, to find the right job—or even a job that will work for you. Clarifying your career vision helps you and your recruiter find better opportunities.

A few tips for setting clear career goals:

  • Describe the specific job type you want. You might feel that narrowing down the type of job you’re looking for will limit you and make you miss opportunities, but offering a clear picture of the kind of job you’re suited for will help your recruiter find the best positions—those you’re most likely to get hired for.
  • List your target or “dream” companies. Take some time to create a list of companies you’d love to work for. Even if your recruiter doesn’t have relationships with those specific companies, they can look for jobs similar to your target companies—or try to develop relationships with the businesses on your list.

Stay motivated

It’s easy to get discouraged when you’ve gone on two or three or five interviews in a row and you still haven’t heard those magic words: “You’re hired!” Part of your career planning strategy for 2015 should be building in ways to stay motivated, regardless of your progress.

Here’s how:

  • Make time for breaks. If you work for too long on any one thing, burnout is inevitable. Make sure you have planned breaks from your job search—whether you take the weekends to recharge, give yourself a mid-winter vacation, or simply schedule a few hours each day for yourself.
  • Get out of the house. If you primarily work on job search activities from home, such as polishing your resume, communicating with your recruiter, or looking at job boards, consider grabbing a laptop or mobile device and taking your job search on the go. A change of scenery can be refreshing and motivating, and there are plenty of public places with free WiFi.
  • Have a support network. Of course, keeping in touch with your recruiter can help you stay motivated and on target—but you should also have others you can talk to. Reach out to friends or family, or join a job search group on LinkedIn to connect with like-minded job seekers who’ll share your successes and frustrations.

Combat distraction

Once you’ve established your goals and priorities, it’s important to focus on them. But there are plenty of distractions out there that can keep you from reaching your job-search goals—and most of them come in the form of shiny, tempting technology.

To stay focused, organize your workspace in a way that promotes concentration. This often comes down to personal preference, but usually having a quiet, clutter-free space to work is effective for most job seekers. You should also schedule blocks of time when you put away the mobile devices, stay away from email and Facebook, and simply focus on your job search goals.

The to-do list is a helpful tool for job seekers. Break out tasks according to their priority levels, and estimate how much time it will take to complete them. This will help you stay on track and get more accomplished.

Set up an accountability system

One of the most vital aspects of goal setting is to hold yourself responsible for meeting your goals. In order to do this, the first step is to make sure you set realistic, achievable goals.

Sit down with your recruiter and discuss your potential goals for 2015, and get their input on whether your goals are realistic. If not, making adjustments to your strategy now will save you from disappointment later when you fail to meet your goals. Your recruiter can also help you remain accountable for seeing your plan through.

Finally, reward your responsibility and accountability. Choose specific goals or milestones, and set rewards for yourself when you reach them—have some chocolate or wine, see a movie, take yourself out to lunch, or buy yourself something nice. Job seeking is hard work, and you deserve to be rewarded for your progress! To learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at


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