Happy New Year 2020, dear dream job creator! 

If you decided to make 2020 the year to remember for achieving your career aspirations, great!

Before jumping into goal setting, check these 7 areas that can help you achieve more holistic and fulfilling outcomes, as well as more balanced working life. 

Setting your career goals can be a powerful technique to gain clarity and focus to achieve what you desire in your career. Yet be mindful as achieving goals, working harder, longer hours, acting like a machine or pushing towards your  goals can leave you feel exhausted, irritable, sometimes even disappointed.

Work is one part of your life, and although it is important frankly it’s not the most important one. It may sound strange to hear it from a career coach but I genuinely believe that leading a successful career while struggling with your health, relationships, love and family life and in some case with your finances makes no sense at all. So, what can you do to change that?  

Look at your career more holistically. 

These are the most common areas that my clients marked as challenging when achieving their career goals. When you’re setting career goals for this year consider how this more holistic approach can help you achieve more fulfilling outcomes. 

Below I am going to list 7 areas that you may find helpful to re-visit before setting your career goals for this year. Review those that resonate with you and that you set (except your career) as your priorities.

  • Functioning at work
  • Experiencing your work  
  • Personal resources 
  • Health, wellbeing, work and life balance
  • Finances and financial literacy
  • Relationships, family, love life  
  • Community and support – keeping give and take in balance 

Examples within each category came up for me when writing this article, but it’s possible that you may want to add or change these to suit your situation. Feel free to elaborate  and reflect to set goals authentic and genuine to you.

1. Functioning at workis about what and how we are doing.

It includes whether we are able to express ourselves, learn new things and shape our performance as well as our relationships at work.

Before setting your goals consider how your functioning at work can help you advance your career and life.

  • Do you need to learn new skills, get better at public speaking or come out of your shell and make yourself more visible for your results?
  • Maybe you’d like to get better at networking and build new connections with colleagues in your team?
  • Perhaps you’d like to move into a new department or industry and connecting with employees from these departments or industry can help you understand their work if you consider it for your career change?


2. Experiencing your work perceptions, feelings, motivation, engagement – aspects that shape how you experience your work, performance and career. Your thoughts impact your feelings about your job, colleagues, boss or even the purpose of your job.  Your feelings affect your actions. Your motivation is linked with your engagement. When setting new career goals for this year, consider how you feel about your work and career and how your feelings impact your actions: 

  • What experiences would you like to have/change/let go off?
  • Do you need to become more assertive and learn to say NO more often or provide negative feedback because you’re constantly correcting someone’s mistakes?
  • Maybe you want face your fear and take on new working challenges?
  • Maybe you’d like to be less defensive and more coachable when it comes to improving your performance? 


 3. Personal resources – your attitudes, abilities, talents that come from your or from your relationships with others – imagination, concentrations, observations, self-awareness, confidence, persistence, attitude to change and so on. These are natural gifts and abilities that you can develop.

I personally love this area most and feel that it gives you the opportunity to grow. Maybe you’re not gifted to become a great accountant, salesman or doctor, but for sure you can become more confident, focused, concentrated and self-aware in the area of your field, passion and purpose. 

  • If you are thinking of changing your career totally and finding work that is a better fit for you, you may want to set a goal to discover and develop your talents.
  • If you want to improve your performance, you may want to set a goal to become more resilient and flexible to perceive changes as new opportunities.  
  • Maybe you may want discover your personal resources that help you achieve your goals easy? For instance discovering your Talents help you to understand your strenghts and weaknesses better – GallupStrenghtsfinder is a great tool for that.


4. Health, wellbeing, work and life balance – your physical and mental condition, state of being, including the balance between your working and personal life. Have you put on more weight and started to neglect the exercise? Have you lost your vitality due to work commitments? Have you increased intake of coffee, cigarettes or alcohol due to work-related stress? Have you ignored headaches and tiredness from staying at work environment that is not aligned with your values and that is ignoring employee’s health and wellbeing? 

When setting new career goals consider their impact on your health as well as work and life balance

  • If you want to increase your income, do you really need to work longer hours permanently?
  • Could improving your sleeping routine increase your concentration, your daily performance at work and reduce your excessive overtime hours?
  • Could introducing physical exercise help you release stress to become less irritable when talking to your co-workers or family members? 
  • Could taking regular breaks or taking your lunch break outside of your work help you detach from work-related issues? Which other energy boosters could you introduce into your daily work schedule?

5. Finances and financial literacy – your financial resources and an ability to manage them – while money does not guarantee your happiness, they are certainly helpful and needed when it comes to paying your bills, mortgage and securing a certain/desired standard of living. Maybe your goal is to increase your income, double your salary, yet consider that earning more money doesn’t mean you’ll be left with more. Consider how your financial literacy impacts your career options and how you career impacts your/your family’s living standard.

  • What could you improve? How could you become more resourceful? 
  • Maybe it’s good time to review your shopping and spending habits, look at your ability to spend wisely, build savings or investment income, or maybe your studying fund.
  • Good area to look at is how you spend money when suffering from stress – do you compensate for the lack of fulfilment in career by excessive or impulsive shopping? Or are you too attached to saving not giving yourself a persmission to invest in your health – to see a wellbeing specialist, book fitness classes or maybe treat yourself to regular massage to release your backproblems?

6. Relationships, family, love life – career and working life do have an impact on your relationships, family and love life. It goes far beyond how much time you have free/available for your family. I remember one of my clients who I worked with two years ago, a nurse, wife and a mum of three children. She was so stressed at work that she couldn’t detach from it when being at home. Her body was at home, but her mind wasn’t. Her mind stayed at work instead. She admitted that she was not present with her partner and children. Improving your relationships will require some reflection, honesty and self-awareness.  Don’t let your career destroy your relationships, family and love.

  • When setting your goals, ask yourself, your partner and your family if there is any potential negative impact on your love/family life? 
  • It is not easy to admit that you’re not paying attention to your partner or to your children, but if you can be honest with yourself is there a day or at least a significat part of day that you dedicate only to people that matter to you most?
  • It may not be easy to decide to switch off your work mobile or laptop during the family dinner or while spending evening with your loved ones but think what is the cost of not doing it – what are you missing out? Hearing about your children’s experiences, seeing your partners smile …
7. Community and supportkeeping give and take in balance – social groups that you are a part of or that are part of your life – it could be groups at work, circles of your friends, social clubs, community or interest groups, professional organisations you are a part of … you  name it. When it comes to participation in communities and groups, we are involved in giving/supporting or in getting/being supported. While giving may come a lot easier to you, asking for support may not. When setting your career goals for this year consider keeping these two in balance.
  • How can you avoid overgiving so you can create more time for your goals (maybe your family)?
  • How can you participate in these groups to learn new skills for your career change or promotion?
  • Who could you ask for support when it comes to achieving your goals – maybe introduction to new networks, maybe finding your accountability buddy?
  • Remember when it comes to achieving your goals, you are not alone and you don’t have to do it all by yourself – your community and social groups can be there for you when you feel alone, lost or stressed.
I hope you find these article helpful. Happy to read your comments and of course I am curious:

What are you going to focus on in your career and life in 2020? 

I will be writing about my intentions and holistic career goals in my next article.


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Author: AdriAna Kosovska

Professional and certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB ACADEMY


I work with employees, couples and organisations that care about

Stress reduction |  Talents and strengths development | Dream job