A lot of us have bucket lists of some kind for our lives – the things we would regret leaving the planet without doing.
I was looking back at a blog post I wrote several years back that listed the personal bucket list things I wanted to do. I saw backpacking in Europe on the list, and laughed at my old self: the one who didn’t know herself, and put things on lists that simply sounded cool.
I’m a different person than I was back then. That version of me didn’t have a vision for who I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do. A few years later, my vision for myself started getting clearer.
A few months ago, I was able to create a career bucket list easily, while stay unattached to the way it will ebb and flow through the years. What I might be doing in five years from now might not even exist yet, in the same way that my career now didn’t exist a decade ago.
When I created my career bucket list on a Google Doc, I filled with my own personal goals that fit what I hope to accomplish. The list will shift as I grow and my desires change, but the vision helps me stay aligned with what I want my career to look like.
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Here’s why creating a career bucket list was helpful for me:
It helped me to get clear on what I envision for my career path
I can reflect on it quarterly, and see if some of them don’t resonate with me anymore. What isn’t on this list is just as important as what is on the list.
It makes it easier for me to say no to things that aren’t aligned with my goals. If I’m having trouble deciding on a project, this can be so helpful to refer back to. I can ask myself: “Will taking this project on keep me on track for my vision?”
While my goals are specific to me, I’ve crafted 20 ideas that might help you get started in creating your own career bucket list.
Invest in a business coach
Whatever your business idea, there’s a business coach for that. Sometimes we think we can figure it all out ourselves (and we probably can) but things will go a lot smoother and quicker with some help. A business coach can help you figure out what exactly to do to make your career goals a reality.
Write a book
Seeing a book you wrote sitting on a shelf at Barnes and Noble is something that a lot of us dream about. There’s something about putting in a year + worth of work into something in such a digital-first world. I love that we still have books that take time to create, and that you can hold that kind of effort in your hands.
Get an office space or join a co-working space
Community over competition. I believe in community and creating spaces where we can collaborate with like-minded and different people. It takes work to be able to create a space of your own – or to join a co-working space.
Work from home at least one day per week
If you’re at an office job and you’re dreaming of working from home, create a goal of working remotely one day a week. Prove yourself at the office before requesting it, and then see if you can work offsite once a week.
Start a podcast (or be a podcast guest)
Everybody has a podcast these days, and we’re here for it. There’s enough room for you and your voice. Whether it’s creating your own podcast or simply putting yourself out there to be a guest on a podcast you love, we say go for it.
Travel for a conference
Isn’t it such a dream to let a business pay to fly you out for a conference of your choice? It happens all the time, and can happen for you too. See what kind of perks like this your boss and workplace might offer to expand your education.
Get a promotion
If you’re working for someone else, where do you see yourself going in the company? There always comes that time in a career where it gets stagnant. Sometimes there’s room to keep growing in your company – and sometimes there’s nowhere up to go. Consider asking to expand your role or moving to a new department, or considering looking for a company that can keep you growing.
Hire an assistant
Do you like all the tasks you do every day? It’s time to take it off your plate. The first hire is always the hardest, they say. Because we get so precious about everything we do, especially when it’s our own business. Outsourcing for the first time with something you don’t like doing, whether it’s a personal thing like cleaning or work-related is a huge step of growth. It shows that your time is worth something. And whether you believe it or not, your time has way more value than you’re giving it credit for.
Create my own course
We all have topics that we can teach on, because life allows us to become knowledgable in new subjects all the time. In order to teach, you just need to be a few steps ahead of the people you want to teach.
Buy a course (or complete a course you bought)
On that note, buy a course yourself. Get that certification, or complete that course you bought but only made it half way through. There are so many places to get more education online these days.
Invest in myself
Whether it’s for retirement or getting enough money to start your own company, investing in yourself is such a powerful way to express self-love. We love Ellevest, because they’re an investing platform build by women for women. There’s no minimum to start investing and you can create goals based on what you want to accomplish financially. You can get $25 toward your first goal with the promo code EV25.
Speak at or host an event
It’s time to become a leader. You can start with your first goal of getting invited to attend an event. And maybe one day you can create your own community or be a speaker elsewhere to inspire and share your story.
Create a physical product
Like creating a book, working on a physical creation is so exciting. To be able to hold something that you worked your butt off on and have it add value to other people’s lives is such a powerful experience.
Get a company to fly me first class
Sure, flying first class sounds frivolous at first. But why not dream big? You’re hard work can land you places you’ve never even thought could be possible.
Wear a personal uniform
We make thousands of decisions in a day, and one less decision can be about what we wear. While we want to look good and present ourselves the best we can, it can be helpful to simplify the process. Make it a goal to have a standard look that takes the guesswork out of the “what should I wear today” game.
Whether you relate to having a personal brand or not, you do. Choose to rebrand the way you present yourself online, or if you have a brand beyond yourself, give it a makeover.
Start an email list
If you’re starting a business of any kind and you’re focusing more on Instagram followers than email subscribers, it’s time to consider this fact: You don’t own those subscribers. Focusing on growing your email list should be your number one priority if you want to sell online.
Ask for a raise (or raise my prices)
Are you doing work that is above your pay grade? When’s the last time you got a raise? It might be time to evaluate and talk to your boss about a raise. If you work for yourself and you’re packed with clients or customers, it’s probably time to consider raising your prices.
Be a month ahead of tasks
Batching is the ultimate time management technique that can save you hours of stress. It works, because you lump similar tasks together to get it all done at one time. Instead of writing emails throughout the day, you can batch work them in the morning and late afternoon.
Take my side hustle to full-time
One of the biggest goals for millennials, right? Working for ourselves full-time is the dream. It’s a lot of hustle and intentional working, and it’s probably the most exciting one to check off the list – because it’s dependent on our dedication to ourselves.
What career goal are you working toward right now?