Personal Finance

How to Achieve Your Career Goals in 2020

By some estimates, nearly 4 out of 5 New Year's resolutions fail. In this article, we highlight ways you can make your career goals come to fruition.

Whether you daydream about retirement or your dream job, you are likely to be setting career-related goals for yourself in the next year. Regardless of where you are in your career, it is helpful to determine exactly what you would like to achieve in order to make substantial progress. In this article, we've highlighted several ways that anyone can use to boost their career trajectory in the new year.

Write Down Your Goals & Tell A Friend

Do you ever find yourself falling short of your aspirations? You might be missing your targets by simply skipping one important step: writing down your goals. Research suggests that individuals who write down their goals are significantly more likely to achieve them than those that do not. The study's results also indicate that those that share their goals with their friends are even more likely to meet their targets than those that keep their aspirations private. These findings support the idea that accountability and commitment are instrumental for achievement. Therefore, those that hope to learn new skills, find a new job, or even earn a promotion would do well to write down their goals and share them with a close friend.

Consider Taking a Class

If you're looking to land a new job with more responsibility and higher pay, improving your technical skills is always worth considering. Thankfully, the emergence of coding bootcamps in Singapore (such as NEXT Academy, ALPHA Camp, and General Assembly) offers a relatively inexpensive way to make you an asset to any team. These bootcamps—which typically cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to S$15,000—are less financially burdensome than university education, which increasingly requires study loans.

Furthermore, the coursework is diverse and varies in duration and scope, with topics ranging from data science to software engineering. These skills are in high demand, as evidenced by competitive salaries offered to entry level workers in related roles. For example, the average entry level salaries for iOS Developers and Data Scientists in Singapore exceed the median gross income of all professions in the country.

Average Entry Level Salary by Position 2019

With that in mind, some individuals may find it worthwhile to pursue part-time coursework in order to round out their skill sets and eventually obtain a great jobs. We recommend that individuals view these types of courses as supplements to formal education, especially as a way to pick up a specific skill (e.g. new coding language or data visualisation). In most cases, this type of coursework is not a sufficient replacement for university degrees. Finally, we strongly recommend that individuals seeking to boost their career growth via additional coursework consider courses offered by SkillsFuture, which are subsidised through the SkillsFuture Credit.

Join a Club

If you're not interested in adding technical skills and would rather improve other professional abilities, there are great opportunities for you too. Toastmasters is a great example of a club allows for communication and leadership development. This international group provides individuals the opportunity to sharpen their public speaking skills through weekly group meetings in which members take turns presenting their speeches to the club. There are a handful of Toastmasters clubs in Singapore and membership typically costs about S$150 - S$200 per year.

Don't Forget to Have Fun

Believe it or not, finding enjoyment in your work can actually help you stick to the goals that you've set. In 5 related studies, professors from Cornell University and the University of Chicago found that individuals were consistently more likely to persist if they experienced some short-term benefit along the way. For example, students surveyed typically performed better in classes that they reported as more interesting. Additionally, in another study gym-goers that described their workouts as "fun" were more likely to spend more time exercising.

For those that hope to apply for a new job or study for an academic entrance exam (such as the LSAT or GMAT), these findings suggest that it is important to make the job application and studying processes more enjoyable. For example, the authors of these studies suggest working from a favourite coffee shop in order to remain committed to your goals.

William Hofmann

William is a Product Manager at ValueChampion Singapore, helping consumers and SMEs find the best banking products through comprehensive analysis of data. He previously was an Economic Consultant at Industrial Economics Inc, where he conducted a variety of research and economic analyses. He graduated from University of Vermont with degrees in Economics and Psychology. His work has been featured on a variety of major media such as the Straits Times, the Business Times, the Edge, DailySocial, the Entrepreneur and more.