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Blog - New Year New Job - Goal setting to get a promotion and land a 6 figure public service job - Athena Ali The Get Noticed Coach - Public Service Career Coach

You’re back from your holidays – great! 

But you’re still in the same role as last year and you’ve been eyeing off new roles or a promotion and applying with no success for months, worse, maybe longer. 

You’re ambitious, you want to climb that ladder, but you don’t know how to stand out and get noticed for higher level roles. You think no one is taking you seriously for senior positions.

You keep getting rejected every time you apply and you don’t know how to position yourself as a leader in your field and don’t know how to be the only choice for the job.

It’s now gotten to the point where you’re sick of being ignored or coming second best and you’re being passed over by someone less qualified or they’ve been there for a shorter period than you.

The problem is not only that you’re still in your current job, but one or more of these things is happening to you:

  1. You’re invisible. No one notices all the hard work you do or the extra hours you do it in. No one understands your expertise and no one really knows what you stand for. 
  2. You’re underappreciated and your boss doesn’t ever say thank you for keeping it all together and you don’t get any meaningful professional development to elevate your career. 
  3. You’re undervalued. You know that you can perform at a much higher band level, you have the skills, experience and you know you should be getting paid more.
  4. You’re often seconded into Acting positions, but can never land the role permanently. You’re good enough to babysit the department, but not good enough to be taken seriously for the ongoing role.

You’re disappointed and it hurts. 

It hurts because you’re career-driven, want to make a difference, love what you do and there’s nothing worse than your work and your expertise going unnoticed. 

Your confidence and self-esteem take a hit and if you’ve told people in the office you are looking for a promotion or a new job, it’s embarrassing when you don’t land that job. Especially when you’re always Acting in that role.

You start to doubt whether you do have the skills to perform that next-level role. 

I mean why else weren’t you chosen? Especially if you are one of the longest-serving people there? You know you deserve that promotion.

So now what? 

One of the most overlooked elements of a successful career path is career planning. It’s simple, but rarely ever done, or if done, the strategy is not right for you.

It’s key to actually getting to your destination because you are more likely to take the required action to get there.

One of the most important steps of career planning is to set goals. 


A career goal is the ultimate job you want to land in your career. This is the overarching goal or vision you have for your career ambitions.

So what are the steps to create and achieve your career goals?



  1. Research and exploration.

    You need to have the end in mind before you can set goals.

    Ask yourself “what do I want?”

    Without knowing what you want at the end, you cannot set goals.

    Conduct a self assessment of what you have and don’t have and any gaps you need to fill.

    Some questions you could ask yourself at this stage is:– What kind of job are you looking for?
    – Where will this job be located?
    – The department or business unit you want to work for?
    – The salary?
    – Terms and conditions? What flexibility do you need in your next role?
    – What training is available?
    – What type of work environment am I looking for?


  2. Establish goals.

    Now you know the job you want and where you want to work, it is time to start setting goals that will get you there.

    Start with big overarching goals and then break them down into achievable chunks.

    Only you know how much time you have in your day so it’s important to set goals that you will action every day.

    Your career ambition and your goals need to motivate you enough so that you actually complete them.

    Your goals might be grouped into the following categories:

    Qualifications – do you need to gain a qualification to get to your goal?

    Experience – do you need to volunteer to get experience or take on a new project at work?

    Memberships – are there any professional memberships or associations that would help you meet the right people or gain the professional training you need in your niche?

    Skills – can you gain specific skills in your current role that would serve you well in a more senior role? Soft skills are transferable and are often overlooked, so can you participate in any roles that would enhance your soft skills?

    Job application documents – do you need to rewrite your resume/CV? Have you considered rewriting your LinkedIn profile? Do you know how to write key selection criteria that make hiring managers excited to ask you in for an interview?

    Interview process – are you interview-ready for the role? Confidence to answer tricky questions?


  3. SMART Goals.

    Now that you know what your overarching career goal is and some of the steps to get there, you need to articulate the short-term goals that will get you to your long-term career goal.

    Your goals need to be:

    Specific – be clear about what you want to achieve
    Measurable – quantify what you will achieve
    Achievable – set goals that are small enough that you will have time to do them
    Realistic – don’t set goals you won’t finish. If you can’t this is a sign to break down that goal even further
    Timebound – when will you achieve it?


  4. Take action.

    Now that you have your SMART goals in place it’s time to diarise them and take action to complete them.

    Goals without a actions are just a wish.

    Goals with action are a reality.


  5. Review your goals regularly.

    Sometimes life does get in the way so it’s important to re-prioritise goals rather than let them go.

    Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t achieve one thing. Reset the goal and ensure that you action it on another day or time.

    Check that you still want to achieve the goals you set.

    Check that they’re still achievable or realistic.

    If your overarching goal has changed you need to review that and set new goals or start the process again.

    When you do check the progress of your goals, tick them off your list and don’t forget to celebrate that you finished something you started.

    The satisfaction of completing a goal, especially if it was a little challenging for you, really can give you a boost of confidence and a real sense of achievement.

    You really can achieve anything you set your mind to or in this case any goal that you write down for yourself.

    You have to set goals, plan them, and take the action and you will get there!


    Of course, if you’re having trouble setting your goals to land a 6 figure public service role and this is super important for you to achieve this year, then you can download my FREE Set Goals, Take Action Career Planning Calendar below which helps my clients set, plan and achieve their goals.


    Athena Ali – The Get Noticed Coach   




    Hi, I’m Athena Ali the Founder of The Get Noticed Coach.

    I help mid-career professionals and leaders get noticed, get hired, and get ahead in a public service career they love, increase their income, get flexibility, paid professional development and where they can make a difference to the community.