Career Goal Planning

Career Goal Planning

When you think of your goals for the new year, do they include your career? Where do you want to be in five years? What will you be doing and what steps will you take in order to get there?

Why Set Career Goals?

1. Goals propel you forward.
A written goal is an external representation of your inner desires. It’s a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish.

2. Goals transform mountains into hills.
Proper goal setting can help break larger, intimidating aspirations into smaller stepping stones. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

3. Goals inspire you.
It’s about giving yourself the inspiration necessary to aim for things you never thought possible. Unless you make a goal for yourself and work towards it, how would you ever believe you could accomplish it?

4. Goals hold you accountable for failure.
Failing to achieve a goal can be a sign that whatever you’re doing isn’t working and that change is needed.

5. Goals tell you what you really want.
By asking yourself what you really want and re-assessing your goals, you gain the benefit of introspection – helping you to figure out what you really want in life.

6. Goals help you live life to the fullest.
There’s so much to do and experience in life, but the things you want to achieve and experience won’t be handed to you – you have to work for them.

How to Set Career Goals

With every goal you make, make sure it’s a SMART one. SMART goals help lead you in the direction of what you want to accomplish.

S – Specifics
What are the specifics? What do you want to accomplish and why? What are the requirements to make that happen? What are the constraints?

M – Measurable
How will you measure your goal and outcome? How will you know when progress is made and when the goal is accomplished?

A – Attainable
Is your goal attainable? How can your goal get accomplished and what are the steps you should take?

R – Realistic
Is your goal realistic? Is it a worthwhile goal and is it the right time for you? Do you also have the resources to be able to accomplish your goal?

T – Timeline
What is the timeframe for your goal? How long with it take to accomplish, and when is it due? Also, be specific about when you plan to work on your goal.

Career Goal Examples

Not everyone has a clear career path in mind. When you’re sitting down to create your goals this year, consider smaller achievements and steps that will help you develop professionally to get you to the next level.

Here are some ideas to think about:

1. Skill Set
Take inventory of the skills you have, is there anything missing that you would like to add? Are there any skills necessary for your dream job or the next position?

2. Mentorship
Do you have a mentor? Have you considered getting one? Consider supporting yourself with people like professional mentors or life coaches to assist you in creating a professional plan of action.

3. Work/Life Balance
How is your current work/life balance? Is there room for improvement or tweaks? It’s essential for your wellbeing to not compromise your self-care and home life to achieve a career goal.

4. Financial Goals
Assess where you want to be financially this year. What do you need to be making to achieve your personal goals?

5. Your Career
Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? What positions do you need to obtain in order to get the experience you need? Looking at long term goals can often help you create smaller stepping stones to support what you want to achieve.

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