If you have been searching for ways to increase your income this year, then learning a new skill might be the solution for you.
As the job market evolves, so do the skills that employers desire. Whether you are creative, people-driven, technical, or analytical, you can always learn something new in your area of expertise to help you progress in your professional career. Because as we all know, the more you can add to your resume, the more desirable you become to prospective employers. And thanks to today’s unique job market, some of the most in-demand skills of 2022 have the potential to turn your income into 6-figures.
We have curated a list of the top skills of the year, their salary ranges, and some resources to help you begin your education. Whether you want to propel your career forward or are looking to negotiate for a higher salary, learning a high income skill is a valuable investment in your future – one you can start today!
Top 10 In-Demand High Income Skills
1. UX Design
The UX designer’s role is invaluable in delivering quality products to customers while also meeting the needs of the business. Being able to understand both the consumer and the developer is a key skill towards excellence in production. With UX designers in increasingly high demand, $89,822-$161,000 can be expected annually.
2. Data Analysis
Data is everywhere, and we all know how important it is when it comes to decision-making and the future of business. So, it only makes sense that data analytics interpretation and usage would be the next skill on our list. Because data and numbers drive every industry, data analysts can expect to make $73,746-$153,000 annually.
To help introduce you to data analysis, Coursera offers both free and paid courses.
3. Cloud Computing
In a time where work and education are becoming increasingly remote, helping businesses securely store and manage their data is a valuable ability. Perhaps this is why cloud computing is the one of the most in-demand, high income skills of 2022. And as a cloud computing professional, it’s possible to make $86,997-$330,000 per year!.
It’s no secret that Search Engine Optimization plays a big role in theonline success of businesses and brands, and companies are willing to pay big to have their websites rank higher on Google search results’. This is why understanding best SEO practices is the next skill on our list, and why it can rake in $69,629-$137,000 a year.
If you’re unsure of where to begin your education, Backlinko can help you get started on learning best SEO practices.
While coding is a skill that requires time and patience to learn, it’s indispensable knowledge in this increasingly digital age. Regardless of the field, there is always a need for someone who can competently and skillfully code, and the annual $68,105-$135,000 that comes with this ability reflects just how valuable it is.
6. Video Editing
YouTube and TikTok have proven just how impactful video content can be for marketing, and just as the written word requires editing, so does film! Experienced video editors are hugely in-demand, and with the possibility of earning $69,817-$143,000 annually, it is certainly not an unwise skill to add to your resume.
Here is a detailed article for those who want to get started in video editing but aren’t sure where to begin.
Since sales directly impact how much a company or business earns, the desire for adept salespeople is endless. And because this role has commission-based pay, the earnings for a skilled salesperson can range from a base salary of $71,267-$167,000 with the possibility of even higher.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, HubSpot Academy offers free courses in sales to jumpstart your education.
With international business growing, so is the need for translators. Knowing a second language is a skill that many companies need to improve their cross-cultural communication, and with translation it is possible to earn $62,529-$171,000 annually or to use your skill to negotiate for a higher salary.
9. Technical Writing
Technical writers play an essential role in helping companies better communicate with their audience. In a society where tech rules, this important skill is vital in a variety of fields, and as a technical writer it is possible to earn a salary between $76,523-$153,000.
If you are confused about where to begin your education, here are some Technical Writing Courses to help get you started.
10. Digital Marketing
With so much business being conducted online, the need for digital marketing is higher than ever. It has quickly become the most effective means of marketing today, making digital marketers an indispensable asset to any business. The high demand and the $74,373-$260,000+ paycheck makes digital marketing a wise skill to invest in.
Check out our article on Digital Marketing Career Growth to learn a little bit more about what a digital marketer is, does, and how to make the most out of your career with this skill.
How to Develop and Learn High Income Skills
Utilize free resources. There are plenty of free educational resources available online to help with developing and learning new skills. Here at PowerToFly we offer a number of free resources on our website, but other sites like YouTube, Coursera, and Grow with Google also offer a number of free programs that you can take advantage of today.
Invest in a paid course. If going back to school doesn’t sound appealing but you would like to take your education a step further, investing in a paid online course is a great option. Sites like LinkedIn, Skillshare, and Springboard offer low monthly subscriptions to gain access to hundreds of different courses, while Udemy provides courses at set costs in a variety of fields.
Take formal classes. If you are serious about your new skill and want to pursue it professionally, there is always the option of university courses or committing to gaining a degree. While a degree is not necessarily required for these skills, it is always an excellent addition to any resume and can help you obtain a more well-rounded and in-depth education that free resources may not be able to offer.
Find a mentor. By finding a mentor who has faced similar challenges and held the same goals, you can have access to an important support system to help you move forward in your professional journey. While there are different mentorship opportunities available online, we offer a variety of mentorship options here at PowerToFly. We want to help you achieve your career goals and reach your full potential by receiving the catered support that you need.
Find an internship or job. The best way to learn a high income skill is to immerse yourself in it. By gaining hands-on experience through a job or internship, you will be able to practice what you have learned in a professional environment while expanding your knowledge along the way. Keep an eye out, because we are always updating our website with available jobs and internships!
And How You Can Use It to Transform Your Career
Imagine scrolling through your phone only to be interrupted with a notification about low storage space. This irritating notice is often accompanied by an offer to free up storage space by offloading your data into the cloud. The simple act of moving your data off your device and into the cloud is the essence of cloud computing. Fundamentally, cloud computing is defined as an on-demand service that is delivered via the internet. While simple to conceptualize, cloud computing is actually quite vast and has numerous uses that may prove advantageous for both individuals and businesses.
Read on to learn about five ways that cloud computing can optimize your use of the internet and even land you a job!
1. Cloud computing is pay as you go. Before cloud computing, it was common to invest in the infrastructure needed to support your internet needs. This meant that you would need to purchase ownership of software or physical hardware, invest in security, and allocate space for server storage. With cloud computing, individuals or businesses simply need to pay for what they need without worrying about the other logistics. An easy way to think of this is to compare cloud computing to streaming services like Netflix! Users pay a monthly fee to access all of the services provided by Netflix and can stop that service at any time. Furthermore, the user no longer needs to purchase or store individual films and series as they have unlimited access to Netflix’s content library. By paying as you go the user does not have to take on the responsibility of owning and maintaining infrastructure and can better control the usage and costs of internet services.
2. It's both secure and has fail safes for restoring data. One of the main concerns regarding cloud computing is security. The idea of trusting your data to the cloud can seem daunting but here are a few ways that cloud computing actually makes your data more secure:
- Your data is encrypted
- Security measures are constantly updated
- All your data is stored in secure facilities usually in remote isolated locations (server farms)
- Cloud providers use AI and firewalls to keep hackers out
In addition to these security measures cloud computing is also an excellent way to store backups and copies of your data. Most cloud services practice redundancy where your data is copied and stored in various data centers. In the case of a natural disaster or power outage, redundancy is one way that guarantees zero or minimal loss to your data.
3. It creates a better environment for collaboration and is crucial for advancing remote work options for employees. Cloud computing services can make it easier for employees to collaborate and share access to files in real time. If you’ve ever used Google Drive then you’ve participated in collaborating via the cloud. This sharing of information on one accessible platform eliminates the confusion of having multiple copies of the same document and allows information to be merged coherently. Most employees prefer the ease of using one central collaborative platform and believe that doing so increases overall productivity.
Another valuable consequence of cloud collaborative platforms is synchronicity for all workers regardless of location or time zone. Cloud computing platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, offer flexibility and can be instrumental in providing your employees with remote or hybrid work options.
4. Cloud Computing can be customized according to your needs. One of the best features of cloud computing is that it can be tailored to your specific business functions. There are two models that break down the ways that you can customize your usage of the cloud.
- The Deployment Model – Deployment models define who has access to the cloud. You can choose from public, private, and hybrid models. In a public model the cloud is open to all and is owned by cloud service providers. Private clouds are operated exclusively by you or a third party. Finally, hybrid clouds allow you to blend both ownership and access.
- The Service Model – These are models that cater to your specific business requirements. These three models are known as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). For more information about the functions of each model you can click here.
All in all, these models customize your usage of the cloud and help you to develop business practices that are compatible in an increasingly connected economy.
5. There’s an emerging job market in cloud computing, and it’s changing the game for many tech professionals. With more companies using cloud services, these service providers are on the lookout for skilled and knowledgeable cloud computing experts and pay them excellent salary packages in place of their services.
Want to Learn More?
These five advantages to using cloud computing are all ways to increase overall efficiency and even cut costs. If any of these reasons appeal to you then you should consider learning more about Cloud Computing via our free Cloud Skills Challenge! We’ve handpicked three different courses that teach you in-demand skills and provided an opportunity for certification. The first 50 people to complete both the challenge and exam will receive a full reimbursement. We hope that you participate, good luck!
You can also check out cloud computing jobs by clicking here!
We live in a world where change is constant, and the job market is no exception. After a year of major shifts and changes for workplaces around the world, it has become more and more apparent that not only do companies need to be adaptable, but people do, too.
Wondering how you can advance your career and better cope with changes in the workplace? Time to make upskilling and reskilling your new best friends.
Building on your skill set
Upskilling and reskilling have become buzzwords in the last couple years thanks to.continual technological advances that mean employees have to keep up with new trends and methodologies if they want to remain experts in their chosen fields.
Upskilling is the process of building on your skill set by taking courses or training. Generally, the end-goal of upskilling is to advance in your career field to keep up with demands and changes in the business.
Reskilling refers to learning new skills adjacent to your existing skill set with the intent of shifting positions or fields.
The rapid evolution of technology and industries creates a gap between the existing workforce's skills and the skills that are needed for their jobs to be executed effectively. The size of the skill gap varies depending on the industry, but one thing experts in all industries agree on is that it is constantly widening. If employees don't upskill or reskill, they add to the skill gap and are at greater risk of stagnating in their career.
5 reasons you should upskill and reskill
1. It helps you cope with change.
Our world is constantly changing and the needs of industries are changing along with it. While we can't control these shifts in the world and economy, we can do something about improving our skill sets to keep up with the times. A report by the US Chamber of Commerce found that 74% of hiring managers say that a lack of adequate skills is one of the biggest obstacles in hiring. Taking advantage of upskilling and reskilling opportunities can help you cope with change and meet future work demands that you otherwise wouldn't be prepared for.
2. Increase earning potential
When you bring new skills to the table, your value increases. You can leverage your updated skills to make a solid case to ask for a raise, especially if you are able to take on new responsibilities or demonstrate how your skills benefit the organization.
If you are looking to enter a new company, a robust skill set can be your ticket to land a job with a higher starting salary.
3. You can identify new interests and talents
You can learn how to code, communicate more effectively, or speak a new language–the possibilities are endless! Upskilling and reskilling give you the opportunity to tap into your passions and identify new interests and talents you didn't know you had. Whether it's through a formal course, internal training, YouTube university, or a Chat & Learn at Power To Fly, you can spark your interest and build your career.
4. Shape your career path
Upskilling and reskilling boost your potential to advance in your current career or to change to a different job. You can shape your career path by upskilling in areas that are relevant to your future career goals. The more skills you develop, the more opportunities become available to you.
5. Greater satisfaction from your work
66% of workers say that developing new skills has given them greater satisfaction fromtheir work. It also boosts confidence and productivity—when you become capable of doing more varied work, you're able to maintain your focus longer… and feel more fulfilled as a result!fulfillment.
So, what's next?
Now that you know why you should upskill and reskill, you can identify the areas that you want to grow in. Here are some examples of specific skills that you can build on:
- Data literacy
- Web and software development
- Microsoft Suite
- Digital marketing
- Social media
- UX/UI design
- Data analytics
- Public speaking
There are countless upskilling and reskilling resources online. Once you have chosen the areas you want to focus on, use your favorite search engine to find the one that best suits your needs. Here's a list of some affordable resources to help get you started.
- Chat & Learns on PowerToFly (shameless self-promotion! Hey, they're free!)
- Hubspot Academy
- Khan Academy
- Google Analytics Academy
Want more upskilling content? Click here to check out Power To Fly's upcoming upskilling opportunities.
We asked 30+ women how you can make this your best year yet.
Resolutions are one thing. Goals are another.
How do you move from vaguely hopeful statements about what 2021 will mean for you personally and professionally to thoughtful plans that are likely to come to fruition?
You set good goals. Specific goals. Goals that tie back to your values, goals that can be tracked, goals that make you excited to get out and start working towards them.
We asked 32 incredible and accomplished women about the advice they'd share with anyone looking to make 2021 their year. Here's what they had to say!
1.Make goal setting a ritual.
Sure, a new year is just a change of date, an arbitrary way to mark time. But if we create meaning around it, it can become something else entirely. Carmen Kelly, Training & Development Team Leader at Quicken Loans, likes to see it as a real beginning. "I enjoy embracing the fresh, new year with hope of what could be, and a huge part of that is goal setting," she says. "Having goals in life is essential. Even creating goals for different areas of your life is key. This can help with making sure you are balancing out all critical aspects of your life that are most important to you."
Starting with reflection can help make sure that your goals are well-connected to where you are mentally, personally, and professionally. "I always start with reflecting on my past to gain better understanding of myself," says Ankita Patel, Principal Software Engineer at Clarus. "What my capabilities are versus what I really foresee myself doing in next quarter or so. It allows me to see where I stand, what difficulties I have faced, and to shift my perspective from doubting myself to believing in myself. It forms the baseline of starting fresh and helping me plan for my future."
For Jess Tsai, VP of Business Operations at VTS, the ritual of goal setting begins with a long journaling session. "I reflect on the last year and rate myself on a scale of 1-10 for how happy I am in these ten areas: health, emotional/mental, relationships (friends/family), love/romance, service, learning/personal growth, experiences, spirituality, career, and finances," she says. "In the areas where I scored lower, I reflect on why. Then I go through each area and write out in detail what my life would look like if I scored 10 in each area, and try to visualize that life and feel like I'm already there. Depending on my scores and what's most important to me right now, I set some intentions for where I want to focus for the year."
2.Build around your values.
Disparate goals scattered across different aspects of life aren't as likely to motivate you as one set of goals that coalesce around a theme, says Jac Le, a Senior Territory Sales Representative at Autodesk. "Whether or not you're conscious of it, values are the foundation of goals, dreams, character, and decision making," she says. "Instead of creating New Year Resolutions, I create a Theme that I want to focus on for the year, which is based on my values. It can be a word or phrase. From there, every goal set throughout the year is measured in alignment with that Theme to ensure that my goals are an expression and enhancement to my values instead of a stressor to check off."
If you're having trouble thinking of a good place to start from, or naming the values that drive your everyday life, Dipabali Chowdhury, a Learning & Development Specialist at MongoDB, has advice that can help. "The more self-awareness you can build, the more specific your goals will be and the more motivated you will be. Sometimes, we set goals without understanding what's important to us. We follow someone else's compass instead of our own," she says. She suggests asking yourself reflection questions: "When I was happy at work, what contributed to that joy? When and why was I frustrated at work? What mindsets held me back from achieving my goals this year? What challenges did I overcome? What are my natural strengths? What skills, knowledge, or behaviors do I want to build in the new year?"
Claire Lucas, Senior Manager, Services Operations at Elastic, suggests beginning with an end vision in mind. "I work backwards," she says. "I journal about my vision for the end of the year, trying to think about it uninhibited from any constraints. I then focus on creating a declaration for myself that will help me break through to reach my goals. The declaration ties together who I am today, and who I need to be in the future to fulfill this goal."
3.Consider making personal and professional goals in harmony.
You might have personal goals that are completely unrelated to what you do at work. That's okay! Great, even. But you do need to make sure that they are complimentary at least so far as how they'll be achieved, says Lee Ann Mangels, Senior Director of Program Management at Clyde. "Your personal and professional goals have to be somewhat aligned. If you decide to improve your time management in the new year, it will only work if the practice or process you start applies to your home and work life," she says. She gives an example: "Several years ago, I started taking 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon to review the week ahead. What meetings do I need to prepare for? What are we having for dinner? Do I have to coordinate any personal appointments for our family? Investing 30 minutes on Sunday has been a game changer for me."
4.Start big, then whittle down as needed.
Being aspirational when you make your goals is key—but so is creating a practical plan to achieve them. "I always try to look at the bigger picture [when goal setting]," says Beatriz Alvarez, Talent Acquisition Sr. Analyst - Recruitment Events Lead at Lockheed Martin. "I try to set a long term goal that seems impossible, making sure it is measurable, down-to-earth, and real—and most importantly, that it is motivating. Once I have my eyes on the prize, I strategize by setting up a group of smaller goals that will help me achieve it."
That being said, it's important to not lose sight of those aspirations, either. Amanda Fennell, Chief Security Officer at Relativity, has advice for finding the Goldilocks moment between too-easy and too-hard goals, finding the just-right pace where you're pushing yourself: "You never know how far you can go unless you set stretch goals. If I only set goals that I knew I could ace, it would be stacking the deck. I want to know how far I can push myself and in taking this approach, I have achieved some pretty amazing things. As Captain Marvel says: 'Higher, further, faster.'"
Yasameen Raissinia, APAC Commercial New Business Manager at Smartsheet, is a fan of the stretch goal, too. "I always like to push myself either personally or professionally to hit smaller attainable goals that add up to a big audacious goal. For example, I always try to set the goal of getting to the Presidents Club which typically has a goal post of 130%, which is massively difficult to achieve. In order to get there, I try and break down my weeks and my quota to overachieve, and try to give myself smaller goals around numbers of accounts, or contracts I close per week, helping me get to the major and impressive goal!" she says.
Bridget Barrot, Chainalysis's VP of Customer Success, has a three-step framework for getting that balance right. "The best lesson I've learned about setting goals is they need to be simplistic, realistic, and strategic," she says. "Simplistic: It's important to find things that are easy to measure, so that you can regularly assess them. Anything that requires too much work to analyze will set you up for failure. Realistic: Stretch goals are important, but it's also important to be practical about what you can complete in any quarter or year. When they get too lofty or too numerous, it's easy to just give up on them all together. Strategic: It's important to differentiate between goals and a 'to do' list. Goals can be a mix of big and small things, but they must be grounded in results rather than just a list of tasks to check off."
5.Write goals down.
"We're all familiar with the numerous studies that underscore the correlation between writing down our goals and our ability to achieve them," says Shavit Bar-Nahum, Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at Moody's Corporation. "The bottom line is, if it's not documented, it's less likely to happen, you are less likely to hold yourself accountable, and it's much easier to slip back into old habits and behaviors. So whether you are embarking on a new opportunity, learning a new skill, or increasing your sales objective, write it down. And not just for yourself. From documenting it in a system of record to creating a visual reminder for yourself, capture your goals in a way that you and others can see your intentions and can support you on your journey."
Going beyond writing down goals can help, too. Mary Kay Evans, pymetrics' Chief Marketing Officer, recognizes the power of writing down her own story: "One of the most challenging and rewarding exercises for me was actually writing out my story. Not goals in a bullet point list, but rather in a story format as though it's already happened. I began the year 2018 by writing the story I wanted to tell by January 2019. It was a narrative looking back on my accomplishments and challenges faced and how exactly I overcame them. By being vivid and specific, like a good narrative requires, I really had to bring my vision of the year ahead to life. It went beyond simply listing my goals to describing outcomes and how I would experience them. This preparation made all the difference as 2018 was a year of tremendous growth and accomplishment for me. It works!"
6.Find a way to track your goals over time.
The many women we talked to had different ways of tracking, but the unifying thread is that each had found a way that worked for them. Alisa Cash, Director of IT Solution Delivery at BCBSNC, sums up the key approach: "Do not set a goal that cannot be measured. This does not have to be an emphatic measurement (such as achieving 100% on time delivery = x; 90% on time delivery =y), although the more you can do this, the clearer resources tend to be."
For Sarah Morningstar, Ph.D., Data Researcher at Primer, breaking her goals into timely metrics helps. "I have found that I am more likely to achieve my goals if they include specific and actionable metrics; otherwise, it is hard to determine if I am successful," she says. "For example, one of my goals for 2021 is to practice more yoga. However, the term 'more' is vague and difficult to know when I have achieved it. Instead of more yoga, I decided I wanted that to mean that I will practice yoga at least two times per week. Over the year, I need to practice 104 times or 26 times per quarter to be successful. Each quarter I work backward from 26, I do more some weeks, and others it's less. I allow this flexibility because I know that being a mom and a working professional, I can't always control my schedule."
Amanda Sternklar, Marketing Director at State Listings, agrees, and notes that she checks in on her progress every week: "The most important thing for me is ensuring my goals are measurable, through metrics directly related to my own activities. That means that if I want to increase our blog following in the new year, my goals would look something like 'Create 3 original blog posts each week' and 'Be a guest contributor on 10 blogs in 2021.' That way, I can create a tracker—mine is a physical page in my planner, but there are also various apps that help with this—to see my progress at a glance. I review my tracker on the first Monday of each month to make sure I'm on track and figure out any steps I need to take if I'm not."
Amy Luo, Senior Product Designer at Lattice, likes identifying specific behaviors that she can easily keep in mind. "Be specific and focus on actions or behavior when defining your goals," she says. "Try setting a number you want to achieve or a completion date. It'll help keep you on track and you can clearly measure your progress toward the goal over time. For example, if you want to work on your writing skills, a general goal like 'Become a better writer' would be too vague and difficult to measure. A specific and actionable version could be 'Write for 30 minutes every day' or 'Publish an article every month.'"
For Stacey Chase, Senior Manager Internal Audit at Siemens, adding a visual element to her goal metrics is what keeps her on track. "I use a Kanban board on Trello to plan and organize my activity," she says. "In my first column I list my goals for the year and assign them a color. As I work on things throughout the year and add tasks I tie them back by color to the goal the effort is in service to. This helps me multiple ways. First, it is a visible reminder I see daily or weekly of the goals I have set. Second, I am constantly tying back my efforts and time spent back to my goals. Third, it gives me early warning that my goals or my efforts may need to be reevaluated if I find most of my energy is spent on things other than my goals."
7.Don’t keep your goals to yourself!
Many of the women we spoke to highlighted how important it is for your goals, personal and professional, to exist outside of your own head. "Be sure to share your aspirations with others and ask for feedback along the way—don't assume your supervisor knows your near and longer-term plans," says Wyetta Morrow, Executive Director, Human Resources at Raytheon Technologies. That's particularly true for goals that can be advanced at work, she notes, adding, "Our career journey includes a village and it helps to have others that can advocate for you when you may not be present."
And there's no need to limit that sharing to just your manager—what about all of the other people that care about you and want to see you succeed? Janet Higgins, Vice President of Regional Sales at Ciena, suggests broadening your circle. "Build a support group around you. Share your goals and your thinking with your trusted mentors and friends. Actively think about who you can leverage in this way. Chances are they would be more than happy to reciprocate. Seeking the perspective of people outside your industry who only have your best interests at heart and are willing to give you straight honesty is pure gold," she says.
8.Considering making your goals three-dimensional.
Writing down your goals is a classic approach, but if you have a creative bent or are a more visual learner, maybe going a step farther and making a concrete representation of your goals will help you focus on them. "Try creating a vision board that includes pictures and words of the mini goals and milestones you want to focus on to help you achieve your bigger picture goal," says Gursharn Dhami, Senior Global HR Business Partner at Stack Overflow. "If you make it visible, you may just feel more accountable to accomplish what you've envisioned for yourself!"
Brooke Kaylor, Program Manager, National Security Group at Primer, agrees with the power of seeing your goals around you. "Visualize it. Decide what it is you want to do and make it so real you can touch it, see it, taste it. When I decided to change my career completely, I put things into my workspace that reminded me of where I wanted to go. Articles, photographs — anything that kept my focus on my goal," she says.
9.Tackle the hardest things first—if that’s possible (ribbit).
There's an argument to be made for starting with easy wins, but Laura Ripans, Datadog's Director of Channels & Alliances, won't be making it. "Get the important things done first," she says. "For me, this is early in the morning when I have no distractions. Stay focused and concentrate on the things that matter most." She suggests reading Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. "There's an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're done with the worst thing you'll have to do all day. For Tracy, eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task—but also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life," she says.
As it turns out, Claudia Petrocchi, Executive Director of HR Operations for CSL, is a big fan of the frog approach, too. "Years ago, someone shared a Mark Twain quote with me: 'If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.' This quote clicked with me—it's so visual that it really helps me. Normally I would wait the whole day and think how awful this frog will be. But now, I'll eat the frog right away. For years I had a sticker of a frog on my laptop. So, if I had that crazy email or that crazy project, that would be my frog."
Sasi Murthy, VP, Product and Solutions Marketing at Netskope, has a visual trick to help you remember to keep that big, hard goal front and center: "Invest time in thinking about what you want to achieve, not how you will do it. Then find a jar and place a big rock or a few that represent these goals inside, and fill the rest with smaller rocks. This will be a reminder that we are most effective at anything we set out to do, when we give it the space in our 'mental jar' first, and follow it with the smaller goals."
That being said, make sure the hard thing you're going after is even possible. For Shelly Anderson Bodine, a Chief of Staff at SoftwareONE, remembering that she's operating in an environment where she can't control everything is key. "I once had a leader tell me you needed two things to get promoted," she says. "First, a position had to be available, and second, you had to be ready for the role when it was available. That feedback has always stuck with me throughout my career. I realized I really only had control over the latter. So each time I would move into a new role, I gave myself 6 months to acclimate. At that point, I evaluated what I could do to be better than the next person in the role I have and where do I want to go next. From there, I would create a list of things that would bring me closer to my end game, narrow down to the 2-3 most impactful, and those became my goals."
10. Goals aren’t set-it-and-forget-it.
If you set goals in January and ignore them from then on out, your chance of marking them "achieved" at the end of the year is low. "Try not to think of goal setting as a yearly activity," says Sarah Burke, Senior Director of Software Engineering at Ciena. "Achieving goals requires continual review and reassessment of priorities. Book some personal time in your calendar once a month to remind yourself to check in on how you're progressing and hold yourself accountable for re-adjusting. You are responsible for your success!"
11. Go beyond a 12-month horizon.
Many of the things you're most interested in—be it becoming a VP, launching your own company, writing a book, finishing an advanced degree moving to a different country, or any other number of goals—might not happen in just one year. Tami Early, VP and General Manager Sales—Major Accounts at Ciena, suggests breaking down your goals into "digestible and achievable bites." She uses the VSEM method: setting a 5+ year vision, a 2-4 year strategy, a 12-18 execution plan, and 12-month rolling metrics. "This method of goal setting allows me to think about my long- and short-term objectives, while holding myself accountable to measurable outcomes inside of a year," she says.
12.Treat yourself with grace.
You won't achieve all of your goals, and that's okay. As Megan Sykes, Contracts Manager at Elastic reminds us, "Don't set overbearing expectations on yourself. Afford yourself grace. While it's important to progress personally and professionally, we have to be adaptable to the circumstances around us (which can change over time) and live with integrity."
That's never been more important than after the year 2020. "I'm very goal orientated both personally and professionally," shares Amanda Eleuteri, a Sr. HR Business Partner at CarGurus. "Early on in my career, I would feel defeated if I didn't achieve my goals for the year. I try to be mindful that sometimes a goal is not achieved because priorities change. That was certainly the case in 2020 as needs in the business evolved and what I was focusing on shifted in response."
NSA's Meredith D., PhD, echoes the importance of revisiting, and revising, your goals: "Your goals are not meant to be set in stone! There are several factors that can require them to change, even dramatically at times. Be flexible and willing to change your SMART goals. Sometimes we can foresee that the goal is not going to be achieved in our original timeframe. Or we change our mind completely! This is not a failure. It is an opportunity to reflect and revise the goal given the new information at hand."
After all, it's about the journey, not the destination. "The process of working toward a goal is often more important than achieving the goal itself," says Stephanie Cheng, Product Engineer at Folsom Labs. "The shape or timeline of your goal can change as long as you check in with yourself and continue to consistently work toward them. It's okay if you don't achieve your goal on the first try. Working toward goals is really about building the muscle memory to form slightly better habits each year. With consistency, patience, and positivity you can build the tools you need to succeed."
Think you may want to work with one of the incredible women highlighted here? Check out open roles at the companies mentioned:
- Apply for open roles at CarGurus
- Apply for open roles at NSA
- Apply for open roles at Folsom Labs
- Apply for open roles at Autodesk
- Apply for open roles at Clyde
- Apply for open roles at Lockheed Martin
- Apply for open roles at Relativity
- Apply for open roles at Smartsheet
- Apply for open roles at VTS
- Apply for open roles at MongoDB
- Apply for open roles at Chainalysis
- Apply for open roles at Moody's Corporation
- Apply for open roles at pymetrics
- Apply for open roles at BCBSNC
- Apply for open roles at State Listings
- Apply for open roles at Lattice
- Apply for open roles at Siemens
- Apply for open roles at Raytheon Technologies
- Apply for open roles at Stack Overflow
- Apply for open roles at Primer
- Apply for open roles at Datadog
- Apply for open roles at CSL
- Apply for open roles at Netskope
- Apply for open roles at SoftwareONE
- Apply for open roles at Ciena
- Apply for open roles at Quicken Loans
- Apply for open roles at Clarus
- Apply for open roles at Elastic