Are you feeling stuck in your career? Are you unsure of where to go next? It’s time to set some career goals.
Having career goals is essential for everyone, no matter what stage you’re at in your career. Whether you are a high school student just beginning to think about your future, an experienced professional looking for a change, or somewhere in between, you should have clear career goals.
Career goals are the ambitions you have for your professional life. They can be long-term or short-term, but they should all be focused on helping you reach your desired career goals. Long-term career goals are typically more focused on the big picture, while short-term goals can help you reach those long-term goals.
In this post, we’ll give you 9 examples of career goals and discuss the importance of setting career goals and how to make them achievable. So let’s get started!
How to create career goals?
Creating career goals is essential to planning a successful professional life. The SMART method, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely, is a useful tool to help set career goals.
When setting a goal, it is important to be Specific. A career objective example of a specific goal could be to “obtain a position as a software engineer at a large tech company within the next year.” This goal is specific because it states the desired job title, the type of company, and the timeline for achieving the goal.
Measurable goals are important for tracking progress. A long-term career goal example that is measurable could be to “increase my salary by 10% within the next three years.” This goal is measurable because progress can be tracked by comparing salaries from the present to the future.
The goal should also be Achievable. A smart career goal example of an achievable goal could be to “complete a certification program in a specific software engineering language within the next six months.” This goal is achievable because it is realistic to complete a certification program in a set amount of time.
Realistic goals are important to ensure success. A statement of career goal example that is realistic could be to “gain a promotion within my current company within the next two years.” This goal is realistic because it is achievable within the given timeline.
Finally, the goal should be Timely. An example career goal statement that is timely could be to “apply for a management position within the next six months.” This goal is timely because it is achievable within a reasonable amount of time.
Short-term career goal examples
- Obtain a promotion
A promotion can help you advance your career, increase your salary, and give you more responsibilities. It will take dedication and hard work, but it will be worth it in the end.
To achieve this goal, you should set a specific timeline for when you want to achieve it. This will help you stay motivated and on track. When setting a timeline you should consider industry norms, your skill levels, and even the organization you’re working for.
Next, make a plan of action for how you will achieve this goal. This should include what steps you need to take, like obtaining better educational or professional qualifications or improving your communication skills and what resources you need to get there, which may include taking additional classes, attending seminars, or networking with other professionals.
Once you have a plan and have assessed the resources you need, reach out to leaders in your industry and even your colleagues for advice and guidance. They can provide valuable insight and help you stay on track so you can obtain your promotion in a timely manner.
- Learn a new skill
Acquiring new skills is a great way to expand your knowledge base and become more valuable in the workplace. It can also help you stand out from the competition and make you more attractive to potential employers.
To achieve this goal, you should start by selecting the skill you want to learn and the timeline for when you want to learn it. If you don’t select a skill and a timeline, it might lead to scattered focus and you may not master any skills within a set timeframe.
Once you have chosen the skill you want to learn, you should make a plan of action for how you will learn it. This plan should include the resources you need to learn the skill, such as books, online resources, or workshops.
Once you have your plan in place, you should reach out to mentors and colleagues for advice and guidance. They can provide valuable insight and help you stay on track.
- Develop a new habit
Habits can be anything from a daily exercise routine to a new language. Whatever habit you choose, it can have a significant impact on your life. Although developing a new habit can be a challenge, with the right plan and resources, it can be achieved.
To develop a new habit, you should start by selecting the habit you want to develop and setting a timeline for when you want to develop it. For example, you may want to create a habit of reading at least one book per month. If you’re not an avid reader, this can be hard to achieve in your very first month. So set a realistic timeline and ease yourself into that habit.
After you have selected the habit, make a plan of action for how you will develop it. This plan should include specific steps and milestones that you want to achieve. But the most important thing is to have a consistent schedule because consistency is key to developing a new habit. Be sure to include the resources you need to develop the habit in your plan.
You can also reach out to your friends, family, and colleagues for guidance and advice. You can even join support groups, reading clubs, and any other related club to get the support you need. This will help you stay on track and get advice from people who have successfully developed the habit.
- Improve your communication skills
Good communication is essential for any professional, as it helps you to effectively collaborate with colleagues, build relationships with clients, and present your ideas and opinions in a clear and concise manner.
To achieve this goal, it’s important to set a timeline for when you want to improve your communication skills. For example, you might want to give yourself 6 months to become a better communicator. This will give you a sense of urgency and will help you to stay on track.
Once you have a timeline in place, make a plan of action for how you will improve your communication skills. Consider what resources you need to make this happen, such as online courses, speaking clubs, and even just going out of your reserved ways and talking to your colleagues about your ideas, opinions, and reservations.
If you think you need additional support, never shy away from excellent communicators you come across—they can be your superiors, online personalities, or even your peers. They can provide valuable insight and help you to develop the skills you need to become a better communicator.
- Increase industry knowledge
Knowing more about a certain industry can help you to better understand the job market and the roles available to you. It can also help you to identify potential career opportunities and to make more informed decisions about your career.
To achieve this goal, you should select the industry you want to learn more about and the timeline for when you want to increase your knowledge. This will help you to focus your efforts and to set realistic expectations for yourself.
Next, consider what avenues you have to increase your industry knowledge and make a plan. It could include reading industry-related news articles, attending industry events, or taking courses to learn more about the industry. Whatever your plan is, make sure it is consistent, actionable, and achievable.
The next step is to acquire as many resources as you can to improve your knowledge about the selected industry. You can rely on books, industry courses, seminars, webinars, workshops, and other materials that can help you to understand the industry better.
It could also be beneficial to talk to industry leaders and get their guidance and advice. They can steer you in the right direction and you could draw from their vast experience and sharpen your industry skills.
Long-term career goal examples
- Become a Manager
Becoming a manager is one of the best ways to take your career to the next level because it allows you to use a combination of your strengths and experience to lead and manage a team. You’ll develop new skills and expand your knowledge while taking on more responsibility.
That said, you have to set yourself a realistic timeline to become a manager. Most often, it could take several years to achieve a managerial position so it’s very important for your goals to have a reasonable time frame, during which you can slowly start to take on additional responsibilities, expand your professional network, attend career development sessions, and even get yourself a professional qualification.
It’s also not a bad idea to talk to superiors within your own organization or even get mentorship from people in managerial positions in your professional network.
- Start your own business
Starting your own business is a great way to make a living doing something you’re passionate about. You can be your own boss, make a better income, and have more control over your schedule. That said, it’s also one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do in your life, so you must have a lot of courage, dedication, and resilience.
Identifying what you are passionate about is one of the most important things you should consider when starting a business. Otherwise, it can become a very stressful ordeal for you and your loved ones. You should also decide when you want to launch your business and then break it down into smaller tasks that need to be completed. This will help you stay organized and motivated.
Once you start the business, you should set reasonable and achievable targets. You can expect your business to blow up overnight and become a success. It might take a long time before you can see the returns you want—so prepare and be patient.
You should also be able to think quickly and adapt to the changing market. To improve your entrepreneurial skills, you can attend workshops, mentorship programs, and even read books. This will ensure that you have the skills needed to succeed.
- Become a mentor
Becoming a mentor will open up a world of opportunities and help you develop and refine your skills in areas such as communication, problem-solving, and collaboration.
It’s also a great way to give back to your community and help those around you reach their professional goals. Whether you are mentoring a student or a professional, each experience can be rewarding and fulfilling.
To become a mentor, you can start by researching organizations that offer mentoring programs. Many of these organizations offer guidance and support to help you become an effective mentor. They can also provide you with resources, such as books, articles, and workshops, to help you become a better mentor.
It is also important to understand what type of mentor you want to be. Some programs focus on providing career advice, while others may provide emotional support and guidance. Consider the needs of the person you are mentoring and decide what type of mentor you want to be.
You should also establish clear guidelines and expectations so that both you and the mentee understand the parameters of the relationship. This will help ensure that the relationship remains positive and beneficial.
Make sure to be consistent so that the mentee knows they can count on you. Being a good mentor involves showing up and doing the work. You should be available to answer questions, provide guidance, and give feedback. It is important to be consistent in your approach,
- Earn a degree or professional qualification
You should set a goal to earn a degree or certification if you want to advance in your career and increase your earning potential. By having a degree or certification, you’ll be able to showcase your skills and abilities to employers and set yourself apart from the competition.
Set an achievable and reasonable timeline for yourself to achieve this certification or degree. It should include a start date and end date, as well as any milestones you want to reach in between. For example, you can aim to finish your master’s degree within the next 4 years.
Most often, you’re going to have to enroll in a course, online or offline, to earn your degree or certification. So do thorough research into what options you have for courses and institutes and choose one that’s most relevant and beneficial to your career. Of course, you can choose to finish an entirely unrelated qualification to what you’re doing currently if you want to make a career switch in the near future.
As you go through the process of earning your degree or certification, you may find that some of your plans don’t work out the way you expected. By tracking your progress, you can quickly recognize any issues and make the necessary changes to reach your goal.
Reach for your dreams by setting SMART career goals
Creating career goals is an important part of professional development and can help you stay focused and motivated. The nine career goals examples outlined in this blog post can help you brainstorm and create your own goals. You don’t have to stick to the same examples, but they can provide you with some inspiration.
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Gabrielle Martinsson is a Content Writer at Interviewer.AI. She’s a tech geek and loves optimizing business processes with the aid of tech tools. She also loves travelling and listening to music in her leisure.