Here’s to Your Success! Setting Goals for 2018 – January 2018

Brand Career Management Monthly Tip Sheet

Hello Everyone,Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season went well. Now it’s time to get rolling into 2018, so this issue is devoted to setting goals for the coming year.


I would like to share follow-up on one of my goals for 2017. In the MTS December 2016 issue, I made a commitment to increase my LinkedIn connections by 10% in the new year and to share an update on how I did. I had exactly 1432 connections on 12/5/16, and I’m happy to say that I exceeded my goal. As of 12/12/17, I had 1602 LinkedIn connections (and the number is still growing).

To be honest, I didn’t religiously seek out three connections per week as I had originally planned, but I did spend at least 30 minutes each week. By spending that time on LinkedIn, this was a natural result. The specific actions I took to meet my goal were:

  • accepting any legitimate requests from others
  • sending invitations to people after I met them in person
  • using LinkedIn as a first step if I had a reason to reach out to someone

My point being that this all happened organically, by just spending time on the LinkedIn platform and following up as opportunities presented themselves.

I encourage you to set aside some amount of time each week for LinkedIn. Though the worth of your network is priceless, increase its value by making more quality connections this year.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2018!

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Increase your Connections on LinkedIn
The more first-degree connections you have, the more reach you have in your network, and this can be very powerful. Remember that you automatically become a second-degree connection, to everyone else who is a first-degree connection of your first-degree connections. Because of this, the size of your whole network is exponentially increased when you add a new connection (especially if that person is connected to a lot of other people).

LinkedIn seems to have eliminated the diagram it used to display, to show how you are connected to someone by 2nd or 3rd degree, which is disappointing because it was useful. However, you can still see the common connections you have with someone. When you go to their profile page, look at the Highlights section (right under the initial box of information with the profile picture). Here it will say “You have 7 mutual connections” and if you click on that link, it will show you who they are. This could be helpful if you are a 2nd degree with someone but would like to become 1st degree. See who you know in common, and ask one of your mutual connections to introduce you in person or through email. Then follow it up with a LinkedIn connection request.

If you’re not sure what to write in your invitations / messages, use LinkedIn’s feature to help you draft the wording. Alternatively, check out this funny and short post from Richard Moy of The Muse, on what to avoid when you send a LinkedIn request.

Set a goal to increase your LinkedIn connections by a specific percentage in 2018 and share that goal. From my experience, I know that setting a goal and sharing it in my December MTS increased my likelihood of getting on LinkedIn on a regular basis. Then, be sure to spend some time each week:

  • looking for former colleagues,
  • following up with people you met in person,
  • or sending an invite to the author of a post you enjoyed (explaining that you loved their post and would be honored to add them as a connection).

Good luck exceeding your LinkedIn goal for 2018! Please share your progress, your successes and / or your challenges in meeting your goal. I’d love to hear from you.


The posts below share useful tips on goal setting and your mindset for the year ahead.

Marcel Schwantes on shares an insightful post with great tips on how to ensure you achieve the goals you set for yourself.

Melody Wilding from the World of Psychology gives a quick explanation of the “Questolution.”

Once again, I’d like to share a free personal planner tool from DC based executive coach Michele Woodward. This is a great tool that I use each year to see what I have accomplished and what still needs to be done.

Finally, if you need some help gaining the strength and courage to see your goals through, check out this post by Travis Bradberry. He shares 13 things mentally strong people won’t do.



I will be speaking at a career day for the Johns Hopkins School of Education on the morning of February 3, 2018 and to St. John’s College on the evening of February 20, 2018. Both presentations will have a similar focus on creating an effective LinkedIn profile.

Also, I will be running a free webinar series in March to commemorate Women’s International Day Women’s History Month. More details will be shared in the February MTS issue.

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Paula Brand - MS, GCDF, CPRW, JCTC

Paula Brand – MS, GCDF, CPRW, JCTC, Global Career Coach & Consultant | LinkedIn Expert | Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator
As an experienced Career Counselor & Coach, my mission is to inspire you to manage your career by embracing LinkedIn! Reach your career goals faster by letting me show you how to use LinkedIn more effectively. By staying on top of the constant changes, I can save you time and make this process much easier.

Write to: or call me at 443-254-8173.

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