A Step-by-step Guide to Setting Career Goals

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Career goals are well-defined declaration outlining the occupation that a person intends to follow throughout his/her career. Any worker or job seeker must identify their career goals clearly. This allows them to come up with successful action plans.

Setting unrealistic expectations may contribute to disappointment. Nonetheless, it does not mean that one can stop formulating career goals. The best way to keep yourself motivated to fulfil your dreams is to make resolutions.

Career goals

How setting goals affect the progress in your career

Setting goals is a significant step in the process of career preparation. Define your goals and formulate a plan to accomplish them in order to have a fruitful and fulfilling career. A career action plan is called a roadmap that makes you choose a profession to work and thrive at it.

Both long and short-term goals must be in your career action plan. Including the steps to take to achieve each one, along with ways to get around obstacles that might get in your way, is essential.

See also Choosing a Career Path: 8 Easy Tips

The difference between short-term and long-term goals

Goals are roughly divided into two categories: short-term objectives and long-term objectives. In around six months to three years, you will be able to meet a short-term goal, while it will typically take three to five years to hit a long-term one. Often, in less than three months, you may reach a short-term goal, and a long-term one can take more than five years to complete.

You must first accomplish a set of both short-term and additional long-term objectives to achieve each long-term goal. For instance, let’s assume you aspire to become a doctor.

That may be your ultimate long-term priority, but you need to meet a few others before you can answer it, such as full college (four years), medical school (another four years), and a medical residency (three to eight years).

There are some short-term priorities to be explained first along the path to achieving specific long-term goals. They include excellence in entrance tests and applying for college, medical school, and finally, residency. Since grades matter when it comes to reaching your goals, it is essential to break your short-term goals down even further, including obtaining a high-grade point average.

Setting your career goals

Your hard work will play the most significant role in your performance, but achieving them will be far more difficult if you do not correctly formulate your goals. The following requirements must fulfil your short-term and long-term goals:

  • Have concrete objectives: Maybe you’ll say, “I want to be successful.” Well, who doesn’t? But can you describe what you mean by success? Success for one person may mean becoming a company’s CEO, while for another individual, it may be getting home from work by 6 p.m., every day.
  • Your targets must be measurable: Have a timeline for your goals to be accomplished and a way to determine whether you have achieved them.
  • Do not be adverse: Instead of trying to stop something, the purpose should be something you like. “I want to develop my skills over the next four years so that I’m fit for a better job”, or “I don’t want to be stuck in this job for another four years.”
  • Become practical: Your long-term ambitions must be consistent with your abilities and skills. If you can not sing or play an instrument, saying “I want to win a Grammy Award” would set you up for failure.
  • The goal must be achievable within the time frame: Break down a long-term objective into smaller objectives. Baby steps are easier to take than one huge giant leap.
  • Pair each target with an action: For example, if your purpose is to become a writer, sign up for a writing class.
  • Be versatile: If you encounter obstacles that threaten to hinder your advancement, don’t give up. Instead, change your priorities accordingly. Let’s say you’re going to have to keep working to keep you from going to college full time.

While it would not be feasible in four years to complete your bachelor’s degree, you can enrol part-time in school and take a little longer. Flexibility also involves letting go of objectives that are no longer meaningful and putting the resources into following others instead.

Here’s 10 Ways to Know if You Need a Career Change

How to accomplish your career goals

Below are some pointers you require to accomplish your career goals:

Write them down

It may appear like an outdated method, but it’s very efficient. Individuals who jot down their career goals have a greater chance of achieving them compared to those who do not, based on many reports. Writing down one’s objectives has many advantages. For one thing, a person is forced to think critically about how to accomplish each goal.

Share your idea

Another advantage of writing down career goals is that sharing them with friends, colleagues, or even a boss makes it easy. They feel more motivated to pursue them through to the end when they disclose their short and long-term career goals to other individuals.

Envision success

The visualization of their performance is one thing that high achievers do. Sports psychologists challenge their top athletes to imagine crossing the finish line or kicking the field goal by themselves. It’s the same idea with job priorities. one should think of all the steps they need to achieve their career goals and prepare for their setbacks.

A career goal is mostly about setting goals relevant to one’s career choice in the short and long term. It is crucial to set career goals, as it helps drive people to achieve them. This is especially so when the individual is sharing their plans with a third party.


Career goal –corporatefinanceinstitute

How to Set Short- and Long-Term Career Goals – thebalancecareers

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