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Get crystal clear on your goals and win the new year

Thanks to our friends at Southern Cross University Online

Have you felt like your career has been put on ice this year?

COVID has pressed pause on a lot of our priorities – both professional and personal. You might feel like you’re going backwards; perhaps you lost your job or business. Or maybe you’re just going through the motions to ride out the year, having shelved your dream of a shiny new job or spot in the leadership team. That’s all normal – and it’s all OK.

With a new calendar year comes the opportunity to refocus and reboot. Thanks to our friends at Southern Cross University Online, we were recently joined by the energetic entrepreneur, recruiter and executive coach Chris Khor. Chris shared strategies to audit your career and personal life, get clear on your goals, and win 2021.

Research by McKinsey identified that COVID has shifted priorities at a personal, community and societal level. Ask most people and they’ll tell you that they’ve now got a deeper understanding of themselves, their values and their priorities. It’s forced us to re-examine our needs versus wants, and subsequently, has made us question whether our work aligns with our personal values.


What employers are looking for in 2021

So, you want a new role in the new year. While it’s always been about technical skill, COVID has shown us that technical skills won’t take you all the way; it’s leadership skills that will take you to the end. And while you can buy in technical skill, organisations need resilience and people that can problem solve with a lack of information.

If you’re an individual looking for a role, promotion or looking to benefit your current organisation, these are the skills to leverage and build on.

  • Leadership
  • Resilience
  • Problem solving
  • Engagement
  • Teamwork
  • Initiative
  • Stability
  • Optimism

“One thing that we women are good at is being humble. What we’re not so good at is sharing our skills and experience and patting ourselves on the shoulder. Make sure that you show your leader or potential employer that you have these skills.”

What employees are looking for in 2021

So, you want to attract shiny new talent. This year has shown us that people want someone they can work with and aspire to be. According to Chris, they’re seeking inspiration and someone who will have their back. It’s a lot of pressure for a leader to be a role model, because people want to be proud of who they work for. Your people want someone who is stable, consistent and will treat them in a predictable way. Employees understand that businesses exist to make money, but they want to know they’re doing good for their customers and the world. In 2021 employees are looking for employers that provide:

  • Leadership
  • Flexibility
  • Stability
  • Integrity
  • Values alignment

How to avoid the Sunday-night blues

Sure, you might be killing it in your role, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune from experiencing the Sunday-night blues. Chris expressed how important it was to check in with how you really feel about the work you’re doing. You can do this by asking yourself:

  • Would you work for you? If you were the leader, would you want to show up for yourself?
  • Have you done your best work this year? What would you change next year? What resources do you need in order to do your best work?
  • When you turn up as a team member, do you inspire others or detract from the team around you? As Chris said, “we work best when we have a sense of belonging. While it’s a lot of pressure on a leader to inspire every day, it’s what makes them a great leader.”
  • Are you inspired? “I believe every person in an organisation can be a leader. The people who inspire me every day are single mums who have no support, yet who still turn up every day. Think about who else inspires you and channel this into how you turn up every day.”
  • Most importantly, ask yourself if you are truly happy. “What are we here for if it’s not to be happy?”


If your answers to these questions doesn’t point to your current role, think about the type of role that would. Once you’ve landed on it, ask yourself:

  • Does the world need it?
  • Can you get paid for it?
  • Are you good at it?
  • What can you do to get good at it? Perhaps you need to work with a business coach or enrol in some additional study.

With these reflective exercises you can get crystal clear on your goals and move from a “things happen to me” attitude to one of “I make things happen”. Because the world is your oyster once you’ve made the commitment to find something you’re genuinely excited about in 2021.


Close the gap between you and your ambitions with Southern Cross University Online‘s affordable, 100% online MBA. Designed for the busy professional so that you can balance study with your work and family commitments. You’ll  learn in-depth knowledge to enhance your business management expertise in today’s competitive global market. Diversify your skillset, develop a managerial perspective and learn how to lead with Southern Cross University Online

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