We all have goals we want to achieve in our careers. We make plans and have the best intentions to stick with them, but it’s all too easy to slip back into bad habits. Here are a few pointers to help keep you on track.

1) Strategize 

Plan, plan and then plan some more.

We should all have an ultimate goal in mind for our careers. However, this is essentially pointless, if we haven’t planned how to get there. Breaking your goal into smaller, more manageable sub-goals will help to create a path for your career that you can easily tailor to suit yourself.

I find the use of vision statements and mood boards helpful, as they push me to focus and elaborate on what I actually want. Visual communication tools not only preserve your commitment and focus, they also serve as a constant reminder that can be referred to and tweaked along the way.

For instance, at Cielo we have introduced an Annual Performance Review and Personal Development Plan to help identify what is working for the individual, what usually doesn’t and how this can be improved. This offers a valuable opportunity for peer benchmarking, giving each of us here a deeper analysis of where we currently stand, where we want to be and what we need to do to get there.

2) Invest in You

The world of work is a fast-paced, constantly changing environment. As people live longer, the workforce is aging. Coupled with the recent spike in people seeking further education, this poses two questions – Do I have enough experience? Am I qualified?

It’s important to not only keep up with key trends within your industry, but to also evaluate what you can bring to an organization and how you can build on that. Whether it be through a course, book or seminar, there is always something new to be learned, and we can all gain from developing our existing skillsets. Give yourself the best chance of success by investing in you.

Getting the relevant experience can at times be tricky, and tenured experience can only be garnered over time, but if some opportunities seem out of your reach, there is no harm in forming your own. With the rise of social media, there are many available channels to exhibit your work, and many millennials have carved successful careers by simply doing it themselves and making it accessible via a social platform. Social media also offers a great opportunity for networking and collaborating with other people within your field.

3) Be Your Brand

By making the conscious decision to actively manage your personal brand and reputation, you take ownership of your career path by giving yourself and others a reason to view you as valuable. If you have a skill or talent, let others know and become that go-to person. Strengthen your emotional intelligence and become the kind of colleague you would want to work alongside. By incorporating the values and attitudes we wish to see in our work lives into ourselves, we give others a reason to pick us.

4) Find a Mentor

We all know ambition is nothing without action, and that action means little without someone to show you the way. When it comes to your career, identifying your passion is the easy part. Keeping that passion alive, however, is where most people fall short. No venture in life will come without its ups and down, but it’s how we deal with these downfalls that truly shapely us and our careers.

By finding a mentor, we have the guidance of someone who has walked our desired path, who will encourage and inspire us to reach our desired goal. Following the career of someone you admire will help you maintain a tenacious attitude toward your work life, giving you that living example of how your dreams can be realized. Whether you choose to look up to a colleague within your workplace, within your industry, or a public figure, by following their career you have a positive example of what business practices and behaviors have been successful. Sites such as LinkedIn offer the opportunity to follow “Influencers” – people like Richard Branson and other top industry leaders. A mentor will serve as a constant reminder that your goal is achievable, fuelling you with the much needed positivity.

5) Work Hard, Play SMART

No journey toward success comes easy. With hard work and self-belief, we should all be on the right track, right? This sounds fine in theory, but research has found that happiness also plays a key role in someone’s success and happiness.

Our positivity and health flourish when we are at our happiest, and this is reflected within many aspects of our lives. The way we view our lives and the optimism we have for the future not only affect the decisions we make, but also the way we are perceived by other people.

By neglecting yourself, you fundamentally sabotage your own performance.

Productivity, the way we deal with stress and how we manage our relationships are all heavily affected by the regard we hold for our own lives. Prioritizing your happiness and well-being are crucial aspects of leading a happy work life. A balanced personal life, in which you are fulfilled, productive and happy, will extend to into other areas life, increasing your chances of achieving your goals.


Even if you feel like you’ve gotten off track and haven’t advanced in your career like you’ve wanted, it’s never too late for a new beginning. By taking control of our opportunities, we have the power to be successful, moving forward to become our best selves.

Post contributed by Kariesha Chisholm. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.