14 Career Goals for Voice Actors in 2021
Whenever a new year rolls around, it’s worth setting aside some time to reflect on your growth over the past year and map out what you hope to accomplish in the year to come. Writing down your goals is a great way to begin to actualize what you hope to achieve in both your personal and professional lives.
As a voice actor, getting your career goals down on paper and routinely checking in on them is a valuable practice that will help you determine what level of progress you’re making.
A large portion of voice actors are freelancers who treat their profession as their own personal business. Like any other industrious freelancer, most voice actors are perpetually auditioning for the next role, corresponding with clients, running lines, keeping up with industry trends, improving their skill set through online and traditional forms of education, and expanding their presence by networking on social media and remaining active on online voice acting platforms.
Whether you’re an emerging voice actor who has recently decided to give voice over a shot, or a seasoned talent with years of experience under your belt, marking down some distinct career goals will give you a roadmap of checkpoints to work toward.
However, a problem that many people encounter when they make New Year’s resolutions or set goals for themselves is that the goals are actually too vague to accomplish. If your goals only motion toward something you’d like to reach in the direction of, without any concrete target or game plan, then it’s likely that you won’t actually be able to achieve them. When your goal is just a nebulous idea, then you won’t have the metrics to gauge whether you’re following through and achieving them or not.
Luckily, there’s a handy trick that you can use to create smarter career goals. To start your voice acting career off on the right this year, let’s break down how to set SMART goals so that you can head into the new year and work toward accomplishing these 14 career goals for voice actors.
How to Set SMART Goals
First things first: what are SMART goals, anyway?
Well, SMART is an acronym whose letters spell out the qualities of any goal that you can practically work toward.
Here’s what the letters in SMART stand for:
If you approach your voice acting career goals by following the above criteria—ensuring that each goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely—then you’ll stand a far better chance of achieving them.
Let’s deconstruct how to set SMART goals for your voice acting career.
A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal, you must answer the six “W” questions:
Who: Who is involved?
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Where: Identify a location.
When: Establish a time frame.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
For example, a general goal would be “audition for as many jobs as possible in a day.” However, a more specific goal would be “each day, from Monday to Friday, submit 20 auditions per day.”
You should make sure to establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.
When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as:
“How will I know when it is accomplished?”
For voice actors, this can mean “achieve 1,000 listens on my demo” or “book 15 jobs in the first quarter of the year.”
Once you identify the career goals that are most important to you, then you can begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You’ll begin to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.
When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
Attainable career goals for a voice actor who is just starting out may be “get my first 5-star review for a job on Voices.” For a voice actor with more experience, an attainable career goal may be to “get a voice acting agent.”
In order to be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic—you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.
Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.
Building a multimillion-dollar home studio in 2021 may not be the most realistic goal, but saving up to purchase a new microphone by the end of the year is a more pragmatic alternative.
By the same token, if you’re aspiring to voice a national TV spot in France even though you don’t speak French, then you might just need to adjust your goal for realism. If you’re, say, an English speaker, then broadening the scope of your goal to “win a client in another country” is far more realistic than setting out to take the French-language market by storm.
A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to your goal, there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to land on the Voices Top 100 List, when do you want to do it?
“Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a time frame, such as “by the end of the year,” then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal. Landing in the Voices Top 100 List by the end of the year is a realistic, and worthy, goal.
‘T’ can also stand for Tangible. A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses—that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing.
When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.
14 Career Goals for Voice Actors to Aspire Toward in 2021
As a voice actor, your goals may cover a lot of ground that spans well beyond the jobs you complete.
Of course, some career goals may be directly related to the work. Your 2021 voice acting career goals may include the number of jobs you audition for, the number of jobs you are hired for, the star reviews you receive, and more.
Other career goals may revolve around aspects of your voice acting career that seem peripheral, yet actually contribute a great deal to your overall success. These goals can focus on your home studio setup, your daily routine as a full-time freelancer or somebody who does voice acting part-time on the side, or even the agency representation that you use to find more work.
Here are examples of 14 key voice acting career goals, categorized by personal development themes, that you may aspire to as a voice actor in 2021.
Booking work and building lasting relationships with clients is central to success as a voice actor. Some career goals you may set for yourself in 2021 when it comes to your clients may include:
- Book your first job
- Book your first $1,000 job
- Get your first repeat client
- Win a client on another continent
Building up the tech specs of your home studio and the tactics you employ to find work can be as integral to the process of being a well-rounded voice actor as the actual recording sessions are.
- Build your home studio
- Upgrade your home studio
- Get an agent
- Get an agent in another city
A lot of the time, your voice acting demos are what get you the work in the first place. Your voice over demo is often the first thing a prospective client hears once they visit your website or voice acting profile, so the more well-produced demo you have to showcase your talents, the better.
- Upload your first demo
- Get 100 listens of your demo
- Achieve 1,000 listens of your demo
Part of the Voices experience is about garnering attention for your vocal capabilities and unlocking features of the platform that help highlight the exceptional work that our talent are consistently doing.
- Get your first 5-star review
- Land on the Top 100 List
- Become Verified on Voices
Accomplish Your Career Goals in 2021
If you’re looking to embark or continue on the path toward getting your voice heard as a professional voice actor, signing up for a Voices account is the best place to start.
No matter what stage you’re at in your career, on Voices you can establish an online presence, get your voice heard by peers and industry pros, submit custom auditions for voice over jobs with some of the world’s biggest brands, and more.