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Five Steps to Reaching 2010 Career Goals

U.S. News University Directory Brings Job Seekers of the Coming Decade a New Path to Success

(PRWEB) December 30, 2009 -- January 1st, 2010 will not just be the start of a new year, but the beginning of an entire decade. It’s an excellent opportunity to set big plans in motion; millions of career professionals are now reflecting on their past achievements and thinking about what they want to accomplish in the future. Many are even considering major changes – either advancing their current career or starting an entirely new one. U.S. News University Directory is proud to bring job seekers of the next decade these five steps to success.

Starting down a new career path requires careful planning. Lack of preparation is one of the main reasons why so many people make New Year’s resolutions, but so few actually keep them. These steps can mean the difference between achieving career goals and staying in the same job for another decade:

1. Set Specific Goals – “Earn more money” or “get a promotion” are usually too general to help individuals formulate a successful plan. It’s too easy to technically meet such a goal without actually achieving anything significant (after all, getting a 2% cost-of-living raise qualifies as earning more, but it’s not really a major step forward). Instead, job seekers should think about all the changes they want to make and then list them in detail. “Get promoted to sales manager with a pay increase of at least 5%” is a good, specific goal.

2. Determine What Training is Needed – Depending on how much education a given professional currently has and what kind of credentials their goals require, going back to school might be necessary. This could be a minor task or a major commitment; a certificate in HTML might mean one semester of online classes, while an Executive MBA can require two years of full-time study at a major university. Carefully research what kind of education a new position or new career will require, then find an accredited school that offers such a program at an affordable price.

3. Get Educated – Once a professional knows what credentials their career goals require, they have to go earn them. For anyone working full-time, this will probably mean evening classes and plenty of discipline to balance job needs against the requirements of their coursework. Online classes can be a big help with this; if a school offers them, working students should take as many as they can. The flexibility and self-pacing of online study can be a huge benefit. And finally, don’t forget to explore all available financial aid options, including employer reimbursement programs. The less time students have to spend worrying about finances, the more they can spend studying.

4. Be Prepared for Setbacks – Working toward a major goal means that there will be occasional problems. Don’t allow them to become excuses for giving up on career aspirations. Instead, learn from mistakes; determine what went wrong and why, then correct the problem in order to succeed on the next attempt.

5. Get Your Name Out There – Once the credentials needed to get the job or promotion are earned, pursue it aggressively. First, career professionals should update their resume with their new degree or certificate. Then submit it to their potential employers by every means available. Employment websites are a good place to start, but not to stop. Having a resume on the Internet casts a wide net that could eventually land a career seeker their dream job, but more precise targeting usually speeds the process along. This means attending job fairs, sending emails and even applying for jobs in person. Career seekers should find out how each potential employer prefers to receive resumes, then make sure to submit theirs that way. And anyone with a new credential should remember to update their profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites. Finally, always follow up on call-backs and requests for more information (such as references) promptly.

Remember that deciding to advance or change a career is not limited to a certain date, even the New Year or new decade. It can be done at any time; those who are willing to get the education they need and vigorously pursue job opportunities can achieve the career goals they set!

About U.S. News University Directory
U.S. News University Directory – Providing comprehensive and unbiased information on more than 2,000 academic institutions directly from U.S. News & World Report, the most trusted source for college and university rankings since 1983. Search America's Best Colleges and America's Best Graduate Schools offering associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s and MBA degrees, doctoral and PhD degrees, and certificate programs. And because U.S. News is the leading ranking resource for anyone seeking an on-campus or online degree, students who use the directory are getting the best education advice and information available.

The original version of this article is posted on the U.S. News University Directory website at

Matthew Speer, Director, Sales and Marketing
U.S. News University Connection


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