Careers advice: Setting career goals for 2024

26 January 2024

As 2024 begins, lots of people discuss their new year’s resolutions – to lead a healthy lifestyle, to spend more time with friends and family, to develop new habits and so on. I expect some of you might be looking for a fulfilling career change or upgrade in 2024. In this blog, Alumni Careers Manager Konstantina Dee provides her top tips on how to approach your career goals for 2024. 

Take stock of where you are

  • Reflect on your 2023 and identify the highlights. A dear friend of mine recently told me about her ‘Weekly highlights’ Jar – the concept is pretty simple but I think quite powerful. At the end of each week, she writes a post-it note with her personal or professional highlight of the week. Then, as the year comes to a close, she revisits these moments by emptying the jar and reading the notes. This is a great way to browse and reassess all your achievements. My version of this is the SMILE folder in my inbox where I keep all the emails linked to an achievement I have marked at work. Having these highlights of the year will help you to identify what matters for you and what motivates you.   
  • Review your achievements. You should identify and reflect on what skills you have used or leveraged in the process and how you have developed these throughout the year.
  • Identify your learnings from 2023. What do you know now that you did not know in 2022? How can these lessons help link your personal development towards the goals you need to pursue or achieve? Look for an alignment between your values, your career, your job and the organisation you work for. Is there a need for change?

Develop new skills and connections

  • Do you remember a time in 2023 when you wished you had a certain skills/ knowledge? What was it? Is this something you can pick up in 2024? There are various opportunities for learning and upskilling - why not have a look at some of our Executive Education courses?
  • The Global Alumni Engagement team run various events for our global alumni community. Use these events to practise skills and connect with new people from whom you can learn and be inspired. The event schedule is available on our website and is also advertised in your monthly alumni newsletter.

Envision your dream role

  • Spend time clarifying what you would like from your next job – responsibilities, projects, variety, working conditions, company culture. Be open to explore opportunities beyond your existing work scope and location. In his latest newsletter Don Leslie highlights that McKinsey, Bain and BCG are investing and expanding in the Middle East. Would this fit within your dream job?  
  • Write down what career success will look like in 2029. Is this a new job title? A higher renumeration package? More flexibility in terms of the projects you will be undertaking? Success is different for different people, but be clear what you are after. 
  • Some people use career vision boards to help them in their career planning.  Pinterest is a great source for creative inspirations. 

Decide on Your SMART goals

  • Set no more than three goals, related to your career. Remember they should be measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. An example could be ‘Transition from a Business Analyst role to a Senior Consultant by 2025’. The consultancy firms are adding more junior consultant and analyst positions (Don Lesley’s January update reveals), which will lead to more opportunities for promotions.

Monitor and adapt

  • Take this as a project and manage it as one. Ensure you record regular updates on your progress. You can decide if you want to put something in your calendar or on Trello/ Miro. You can find someone who can support you in this and who you can be accountable to.
  • Life happens and you might face some setbacks or new opportunities, so the plan can change and you need to be ready for this and adapt. As a friend of mine says: “It is crucial to remain flexible.”

WBS alumni get access to a variety of free online careers resources and can arrange a free consultation with our Alumni Careers Manager. Please get in touch to find out more.