7 Intentions to Set for Your Career in 2021

By Ellevest Team

The past year probably didn’t go the way you expected, career-wise. Some of us were forced out of the workplace or lost our jobs, while others had jobs that suddenly demanded they work twice as hard. Some of us were able to take advantage of new opportunities, and some of us spent the year just adjusting to the new normal.

But no matter what your 2020 looked like, now’s a great time to reflect on the year’s challenges and what you learned — and set some intentions for the coming year.

A collage of a woman in a business suit looking at her phone. Her briefcase is made of money.

Create a clear vision for your career

Here’s a workshop with our career coaches to help you set your 2021 intentions and create actionable goals. Here’s some guidance on the transformational power of small wins to help you gain momentum.

Here’s a list of questions to ask a career coach, if you’re ready to book a session. And Ellevest members can kick off the year with a four-week course to explore what the bravest, strongest, most courageous version of yourself would do with your career.


There’s a reason Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck calls networking the “#1 unwritten rule of career success. Because networking is a BFD, whether you’re actively looking for a new job or not. Here’s our best guidance for making valuable, authentic connections when you’re networking remotely. Here are 17 networking tips to help you supercharge your career. And Ellevest members can sign up for a free email course, 7-Day Networking Boost (Even for Introverts).

Get that raise or promotion

Some prereqs: If you’re in your first full-time job, check out this giant list of advice to get the most out of your experience. And no matter what job you’re in, here’s what to do if you feel like your voice isn’t being heard at work.

Next, it’s time for some money talks — here are a few conversation starters to help you ask about salary with different people in your life. Then check out this article on how to prepare for your next performance review and this one on using science to negotiate it.

And (real talk) if this year’s annual review convo doesn’t go your way, now’s the time to start building up to your next opportunity to ask. Start by seeking out feedback on ways you can get better in your role — here are some tips for how to ask for feedback to make sure you’re on the right track and an explainer on separating the good feedback from the bad.

Join us for a workshop on negotiating a raise, promotion, or job offer — members get free access to it, plus discounts on sessions with a career coach to decide on your next step toward your goal and dive into your negotiation strategy.

Find a new job

Here’s how to update your resume, LinkedIn, and cover letter, how to widen your job search past your history to discover other roles you might thrive in, and why volunteering can help you in your search. Here’s some guidance for new grads and for everyone about job-searching during the pandemic. Check out our guide to great preparing for the interivew as soon as you schedule it and the day before you have it. You can also book a session with a career coach to nail the interview and negotiate the offer.

If you just recently lost your job, take a look at seven things you can do both financially and for your career. And if you’re looking to totally pivot into your career’s “third act” now that the kids are gone: We’ve got that too.

Be your own boss

Time to do your own thing? If you’re thinking of starting (or staying) small with a freelance side hustle, check out this article on a smart approach to setting your rates.

And if you’re ready to set out on your own, here’s an explainer on how to make it happen, how to fund your business, and some classic mistakes to avoid if you’re going to be pitching to investors.

Be a leader

Looking to move into management (or higher management than you’re in now)? Check out what Sallie learned about leadership from the skeptics and why she almost didn’t take a leadership job (but ended up doing it anyway). Here’s how to book an executive coaching package to understand your strengths and blind spots, see the big picture, and plan your next steps. And if your next move is joining a board of directors: Here’s how to do it.

Now that you’ve got the data, you’re ready to set those intentions and start working (and celebrating) on the small wins along the way.


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Ellevest Team

The Ellevest team is working to help women reach their financial and professional goals.