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Jan 25, 2023
Goal setting advice from the Manager of Customer Support Operations at Upwork

It’s a new year and with it comes new opportunities to grow our businesses and careers. To help you achieve your goals, we’ve collected career and business advice from executives within Upwork, human resources experts, experienced freelancers, and business leaders. January might be over, but we’ve still got more tips to share. You can subscribe to the blog to avoid missing this valuable insight.




Here's Serena's advice in full:


Stepping into the New Year, I like to remind myself that it's a marathon, not a sprint. As we settle into 2023, you might want to change your life in a small or big way; or maybe you want to get through the year unscathed, or you don't do "resolutions." The beautiful, and equally terrifying thing, is that there are no wrong answers; there is no right path—just the path you choose for yourself and the investment you make in yourself. My advice to you for 2023 is to plan. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I encourage you to self-reflect this January and build an important and realistic plan. Remember- January is one month out of twelve; don't be so hard on yourself, and take things slow. If you regularly check in with yourself and create some new habits, you could build a very successful 2023. 


Spend some time asking yourself these questions:

  • What did I learn in 2022?
  • What did I miss doing in 2022 that I want to do in 2023?
  • What is holding me back?
  • How can I be kinder to myself?
  • What small things can I focus on that could lead to significant change?
  • What do I want to learn in 2023, and how do I spread that out all year so I don't get bored?

I also like to remind myself that:

  • Goals are not binary; if you fall off the bandwagon, you are the only person who keeps you there. You always have chances for self-improvement.
  • I get more from my failures than I do from my wins.
  • It's okay to try something and not like it, but staying curious is essential. Try new things, and put yourself out there.
  • Change your self-talk to be positive; if you aren't kind to yourself, why would you expect others to be?
  • Choosing not to decide is still a choice- is that a selection I am okay making?
  • How I show up for myself is an essential factor in how I show up for others.


In the last two years of doing this exercise, I was hired through Upwork for a career I am passionate about; I work with people who respect and value my experience and challenge me to show up better than I did the day before. I have also opened a small business, became a beekeeper, joined a women's small business group in my community, became a member of an advisory board at a college, graduated (a different) college with honors, and joined the UBC Women's community as the co-lead. I have had a lot of challenges with each success I have had, which is an excellent reminder of gratitude. I am grateful I get to try new things, learn new things, and occasionally fall flat on my face. As you step into this new year, remember you might not be able to control the direction the wind blows, but you can control the way you react to it, and you control how you move forward from it. You got this!


Happy New Year!



What business or career advice would you give for the new year?