For 2012, Write Goals, Not Resolutions for Your Job Search

The ball has dropped, the confetti has fallen, and we all have to adjust to writing “2012” on our dates instead of “2011.”

For most of us, this also marks the beginning of well-intentioned, but all the same doomed, New Year’s resolutions that we might stick to for a month, maybe two.

There’s the “lose weight” resolution, the “learn a new language” resolution, and for the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, at least one professional resolution.

It could be simple, like “make more money” or a little more complex, like “get promoted to manager.” Either way, I think we all know those types of resolutions simply do not work.

What’s wrong with our resolutions?

In essence, resolutions have wonderful intentions. However, that is also where they fall short. Having good intentions is only 5% of the big picture.

Resolutions don’t work because they are bandied about like wishes instead of your personal resolve to accomplish a desired state. They are typically outlandish, unattainable, and easy to dismiss when they don’t magically happen on day one. They might answer the “what you want” and the “why,” but usually they don’t answer the “how you will get it” and the “when you know you are successful”. That’s where goals come in.

Why is setting goals better?

Writing goals instead of resolutions is a much more effective method for just about anything you’d like to change about yourself.

Instead of saying you’d like to “lose weight,” write out a goal that establishes specifically how much weight, in what time frame, and how you will accomplish your goal. Replace your broadly stated resolution with, “Lose five pounds each month for 3 months by taking in a maximum 1,500 calories daily, and visiting the gym 3 times a week.” Specific goals seem a lot more attainable when they’re broken down into measurable tasks.

How can I write New Year’s goals?

You probably already have some resolutions on your mind or in place for 2012. All you have to do is take those resolutions and break them down by answering the how and the when. Instead of stating that you plan to make more money, figure out how exactly you can do that. Want to get promoted to manager by July? Do some research and figure out what is required for you to land that position and how you can make that happen.  Then do it.

What do you think? Do you think that setting goals is a smarter approach for job seekers looking for change? What are your New Year’s goals? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Tony Morrison is the Vice President of Business Development at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. His roles include sales, marketing, and business development. He is passionate about building talent communities and brings this passion to Cachinko where he focuses on helping job seekers to find their ideal job and employers to find, attract, and engage their next rock star candidates. Find him on Twitter and Talent Connection. And, connect with Cachinko on Facebook or Twitter.

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