Have you accomplished your professional goals for 2023?

(Yes, it’s hard to believe there are only a few more weeks left in the year.)

Some firms require employees to identify goals for the year. Other firms give their employees goals to achieve.

In either case, performance reviews depend on whether employees accomplish their goals.

If your firm’s fiscal year-end is not December 31st, you may have time to accomplish your professional goals (check with your manager).

Whether your firm has a program or not, take time to figure out your own professional goals – what you want from your work life.

Unfortunately, most of us spend more time working than we do living life.

The pandemic in 2020 transitioned some employment to a work-from-home role. (There were definitely some growing pains with that transition!)

Even if you can still enjoy the flexibility of working virtually, you’re still spending more time working than living life.

So why not make your life at work better?

Here are some questions to ponder:

Are you satisfied with your current role 80 percent of the time (face it, there’s no “perfect” job where things will be 100% perfect)?

Are you pleased with your current employer more often than not?

Are you learning new things regularly to improve your skills?

Do you feel valued for your contribution at work?

If you answered no to those questions, evaluate your professional goals.

Whether you want to stay with your current employer or explore new opportunities elsewhere, reflect on your needs and plan your implementation.

First, brainstorm for ten minutes on what you want to do professionally. It can be realistic, or it can be a stretch.

Don’t overthink this step; just start listing items you want to accomplish professionally.

Next, review your list and identify which items you can tackle in 2024. Target no more than three items.

Be realistic with your timeframe and task on hand.

For example, if you want to attain a certification or advanced degree, look at how long the program will take you.

If you want to look for a new job, then make it your only focus. Looking for a new job is a lot of work and takes time. You may need to spend 12+ hours a week on this task.

For the other items on your list, mark them for 2025 or later. You have the rest of your life to accomplish these items.

Many lose momentum with accomplishing their professional goals because they have too many items on their list.

Make it easier on yourself and target no more than three items to accomplish next year.

And it’s definitely okay to target only one item. There’s no gold star for accomplishing everything on your list.

You control your timeframe.

Stay PEF (positive, enthusiastic, and focused) by being realistic with your professional goals.

(Update to original post from November 30, 2016)


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing  comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”