January career goals

January can be a time when people reflect on the past year and look ahead to the new year.

When thinking about your career plans, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start.

Follow our hints and tips to find out what small steps you can take to help you get from where you are now, to where you want to be.

Careers adviser speaking to a customer.

Think about your skills

When thinking about skills, we can break them down into hard and soft skills. Soft skills, like communication and teamwork, are used in most jobs.

Hard skills are more specific to a job like carpentry or graphic design.

If you need help thinking about what skills you have, complete a skills health check. Look at the ‘personal skills’ and ‘work based skills’ assessments.

Once you know what skills you have, you can start to think about the skills you want to develop. If you have a career in mind, look at our job profiles to find out more about the skills you need.

You can do this by:

Find out more about identifying your skills and upskilling.

Look at your options

Once you have an idea of what skills you have and what sort of things interest you, it can be helpful to do some research. You could explore different careers that are available. Make a note of the ones that interest you and look for related careers.

Doing a job search will let you have a look at what is available in your local area. 

If you want to do some training, you can find a course in your local area.

A young women doing a job search on a laptop

Get ready

It's important to get prepared for any change in your career. This could be updating your CV, starting to work on an application or even starting some volunteering. By taking this next step, you can feel a sense of achievement and that you’re moving towards your goal. 

Find out what to put in your CV. By keeping your CV up-to-date, you’ll be ready to apply if an opportunity comes up. 

You can demonstrate your skills on a CV or in an application form by using the STAR method. This helps whoever is reading it to know what skills you have and how you have used them. 

You might also want to start volunteering. This is a great way to get experience which you can include in your CV. It looks good on your CV and it’s a great opportunity for you to try out a career you might be thinking about to see if it’s right for you.

Take action

By following the steps above, you’ll have taken some steps towards your January career goal. You can now take action and look at what you need to do next. 

This could be:

  • applying for a job
  • signing up for some volunteering
  • registering for some learning

If you're not sure of what next step to take you might find it useful to speak to a careers adviser.

Speak to a careers adviser

Chat to an adviser

If you're not sure what to do next, you can chat to a qualified careers adviser.