Career Development

Setting Goals for Your First Year on the Job

These goals are vital in keeping you on track and helping you stand out and raise your scores for the next job.

You impressed the interviewing panel and landed yourself a new job. Congratulations! Of course, what happens next is newbie anxiety will take the place of interview nerves, which is normal. 

However, when starting a new job, there are several goals you need to set and keep in mind, more so during the first year. These goals are vital in keeping you on track and helping you stand out and raise your scores for the next job.

Below are some goals you should consider setting:

1. Focus on Listening and Learning

Let’s suppose you’re an accountant at your previous job and have landed the same position with a similar portfolio at your new company. Don’t assume that the same rules apply here.

A grievous mistake people make is to assume that they know it all. The industry or product may be similar, but companies operate differently.

Granted, you’ll put into use what you know from your previous job, but there’s something new you need to learn in your new post. Listening and being teachable will make you more respectable and likable by both your employers and colleagues.

You’ll learn new approaches and techniques. And If you find that you’re learning nothing, it may be a clear indication that the job is not challenging enough for you.

2. Create Networks

Network, network, and then network some more. It’s easy to stick to your side of the office with colleagues in your department.

Nevertheless, strive to widen out. Familiarize yourself with other departments within the company and learn how they contribute to the company’s success. You never know, a friend, mentor, or future professional reference may be a door away. 

Also, an ongoing project may need input, and by involving yourself, you may help solve the puzzle, propelling the company up a different milestone.

3. Impress your Boss

In your first year at a new job, it’s essential to prove your worth. Remind your boss why they hired you. During this time, your employer gets a sense of what you’re capable of and your work ethic.

Yes, they already hired you, but show them who you are and prove to them that you’re even more valuable than they expected. Be quick to set the tone for the professional you are. I can assure you that this will get you noticed for all the right reasons.

4. Be Pleasant and Friendly

Nobody forgets the pleasant people they’ve worked with on projects. People who seem like they’re having a good day from Monday to Friday, say hello to everyone, and are just great to hang out with.

I had one of those – Jeff. Five years down the line, I still recall how friendly, cheerful, and helpful he was. Strive to be one of these people.

Also, a former colleague recruited me from my last job. I’d worked closely with him severally, and my guess is like yours – my pleasant demeanor may have impressed him.

5. Tally Your Career Highlights

During your first year in a new job, it’s important to keep track of all your achievements or defining moments that produced notable outcomes. Did you save the company money, bring in new clients, roll out new projects, or set a new record? Note it all down.

When the time comes to take your career a notch higher, it’s career highlights like these that will distinguish you from many other candidates.

The icing and cherry on the top of a cake are what make a big difference. Therefore, note these critical highlights and add them to your LinkedIn as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter what type of job you have. All I know is there will always be something to be proud of that’s worth noting down.


Setting both personal and professional goals during your first year in a new job will help give you a structure and path to success. Employers value candidates with a record of setting and accomplishing goals. It portrays you as a goal-oriented and focused person. 


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