Career Tips

How to Set and Achieve Your Career Goals

All you need to do to set a career goal is to have a clear objective in mind. For instance, if your goal is to become a CEO one day, finishing high school can be a great first step. After that, you might decide to enroll in a four-year university with a focus in coursework on business management. While enrolled in college, you may choose to apply for an internship position. 

Individuals have different career aspirations. Some could be just interested in opportunities to advance their careers. This can entail obtaining a new skill certification, expanding their professional network, receiving a promotion, or launching their own company in the same field.

Others may wish to completely change their professional and career aspirations. A skills assessment, networking, and more education are just a few of the objectives someone looking to change careers must complete. If you’re not ready to make the full-time work shift, you can still find joy in a part-time job, volunteer your time for a good cause, or start your own creative project. Changing careers can be tough although rewarding.

The majority of workers claim that creating goals is crucial to their productivity at work. How to set and achieve that desired professional goals is what will be discussed in this article.

The first step is to define your career goals – short-term and long-term.

Your ultimate career goals may include a number of phases, but if you are patient and disciplined, you can accomplish them.

This article is for people who want to advance in their jobs and diligently work toward both short- and long-term career aspirations.

Short-term Vs. long-term Career Goals

Having both short-term and long-term career objectives is crucial for achieving your career goals. For instance, the youngster whose long-term objective is to lead a manufacturing company must first accomplish a number of short-term objectives.

Short-term objectives can be completed quickly, such as graduating from high school in three to four years. The short-term objective might involve spending six months to a year working part-time at a nearby plant. Your long-term objective should be reached once you have completed all of the phases of your short-term career goals.

Creating a goal plan

Having clear career goals is only the first step. You must make up your mind to achieve the objectives you have established. It will be more difficult to accomplish your goals if you don’t have a plan in place. Make sure the following conditions are met by your professional objectives:

Measurable – set a deadline for both your short-term and long-term objectives, such as earning your business degree in three years.

Realistic – realistic goals are a set of objectives you can actually accomplish, and you already have a plan in place for how you’ll do it.

Clear roadmap – recognize the steps that must be taken to complete each one in order to reach your ultimate goal.

Recommended Reading: What are the Key Skills to Put on Resume as a Fresher or Experienced Professional

Tips on How to Set Career Goals

For Those who desire to establish and meet their professional goals, below are some of the advice you might find useful:

1. Work backward from your end goal.

When setting professional goals, begin with your final destination in mind and work backward. Once you identify your career goal, make a list of the steps that will get you to the end goal.

2. Describe in detail.

Divide your overall goal into smaller, manageable, and timely targets. To make sure you stay on track, give each one a deadline. The likelihood that you will accomplish each goal increases with its level of detail.

3. Write them out

Although it may appear dated, this is a useful technique. To help you remember them and to hold yourself accountable for achieving them, put your goals in writing.

4. Ask your manager for assistance.

Discussions on goal progress shouldn’t be put off until annual performance review. Instead, management and staff should constantly talk about this subject to identify any obstacles to attaining goals and to addressing them.

Managers can frequently remove barriers, provide direction and advice, or adjust goals so they’re more achievable and realistic. Managers can inquire about employees’ work goals and follow up on them frequently.

Managers should be clear about expectations and make sure that employees’ goals support the company’s overall goals. By clarifying how your objectives relate to the company’s mission, you as an employee may help your manager help you.

5. Be proactive.

Meet with your supervisor or HR manager to explore career options if they only discuss them during annual performance evaluation.  HR should be able to tell potential and current employees about others’ career paths in similar professions and what they need to do to advance.

Gabriel Bristol, Intelifluence Live’s main consultant, advised being aware of what’s around you. Is there a job promotion you could apply for? Is your manager hinting towards team growth? Discover how to reach your career goals by carrying out some findings. You don’t want to miss a chance.

6. Go above and beyond.

You must show that you are investing in your personal growth in your current position. Brenda Reynolds, the founder of BKR Consulting, stressed the importance of volunteering to perform tasks outside of your job description.

Step up to do more, she advised, especially if it entails collaborating with people from other levels and areas of the business and going outside your own silo.

According to career counsellor and expert resume writer Debra Ann Matthews, this can involve organising yearly fundraisers, participating in charity events, and joining the teams inside your company that organise employee or client appreciation activities. These occasions give you the chance to network with a variety of personnel and help you create capital within your business, she said.

Regardless of your job, Matthews also advised earning qualifications and joining professional groups in your sector.

7. Use technology.

Many employees think that technologies, such as tablets, project management tools, and productivity apps, will be the driving force behind their professional growth.

Employees desire technology that will increase their productivity and efficiency so they can operate more effectively and efficiently.

You can look into technologies that will help you perform your job more effectively, even while your employer could be in charge of some of the more significant IT needs, such as collaboration software.

Technology can help you establish a strong presence in your industry or line of work. By blogging about your career interests, you may position yourself as an authority in your niche in addition to maintaining an active LinkedIn profile.

8. Be confident and committed.

One of the biggest roadblocks to accomplishing both personal and professional goals is a lack of confidence. When formulating their success plans, employees must have confidence in their own skills, take advantage of their strengths, and deal with their weaknesses. When you are clear on your career goals, you will be more willing to take the necessary risks to achieve them.

Most people are reluctant to take chances because they may fail, but if we don’t, we’ll never be able to pursue the career of our dreams. It’s wise to have clear goals and to let failure pass unnoticed. You won’t be fully dedicated to pursuing your dreams if failure is a possibility in your mind.

Above all, help people around you while carving out a niche for yourself inside your company.

Dare to excel not only in your speciality but as a professional who combines it with the capacity to inspire and engage others.

9. Guide your team members.

Engage people in an open discussion if you’re a manager and want to help an employee who seems stuck in a cycle. A good employee’s performance might occasionally change with the correct direction.

“Ask them their concerns, find out what they wanted to do for a living when they were younger, identify where their interest lies, and see if there’s a need for such a position within your organisation,” said Allen Shayanfekr, CEO of Sharestates.

Helping your employee will increase their commitment to the business.

Employees are human beings with hopes, goals, and aspirations, according to Shayanfekr. “You’re not only building a better team, but long-term loyalty, if you can help someone realise those dreams and enjoy their livelihood.”

Note: Being specific will help you figure out how to accomplish your goals. As your aspirations change, update your goals so that you may plan properly.

Creating a career roadmap

You probably have an end goal for your career, whether it’s to start your own business or earn the corner office at your present position. But, are you aware of what needs to be done to get there?

Make a road map describing the measures you must take to achieve your goals to gain a realistic understanding of what it will take to realise your career dreams. The best advice from career experts on laying out a roadmap to your ultimate ideal job are:

1. Be certain of your destination.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t plot your path. Make a thorough personal vision statement of where you want to be at different stages in the upcoming years as your first step, advised Joyce Maroney, a former director of the Workforce Institute at workforce management firm Kronos.

“Ultimately, you are responsible for your career. You, not your employer, your mentors, or the career centre at the university you attended,” Maroney stated in an interview with Business News Daily. “Before you pursue that dream career, you must define success for yourself, taking into account aspects of your life outside of the workplace. You can only create a roadmap to get there after you have a distinct idea of where you want to be in one, five, and ten years.

Before you take the initial step in changing careers and trying to map out a route to your new objectives, consider your motivations.

Am I rushing toward something or away from something? is the ideal question to ask while thinking about a career option, according to Maroney.

2. Concentrate on the tools required

You may have a wish list of employers or positions you desire to hold in your career. These goals are a fantastic place to start, but it’s more critical to understand what abilities you’ll need and how to develop them.

Instead of concentrating on organisations and jobs while planning your future, Kirk Baumann, marketing communications manager at O’Reilly Hospitality Management, advised people to consider the knowledge and abilities needed to pursue their ideal careers. “While you have no control over whether you will be hired by a particular company, by arming yourself with a killer resume, you will be ready to be a top candidate when exciting jobs become available,”

3. Networking with people

In career planning, networking with people in your field, especially those in positions you wish to hold, can be incredibly beneficial. Ask one or more mentors about their educational and career experiences. You can use this to investigate potential routes to your desired job.

According to Maroney, when networking, asking open-ended inquiries can help you learn some of the secret tales behind your ideal job.

4. Be open to changing your path.

Along the road, you can encounter some detours, or your destination might change totally. You’ll need to be flexible because your path isn’t predetermined and you might run into obstacles along the way.

Planning your career doesn’t guarantee that you’ll land your ideal position, according to Carson. “It’s likely that your ideals about that dream career will evolve. The keys to success in any field are — being adaptive, flexible, willing to learn new abilities, and a creator of anything, whether it be an idea or physical thing.

It’s never too late to make adjustments and gain knowledge from a mistake, even if you make one.

Because they are frightened of making the incorrect decision, “so many people are paralysed by the thought of choosing a career,” Porter added. “The good news is that changes are possible for you. Everybody picks jobs they’re not passionate about and makes stops in their career trajectories. Making a choice and taking action is the key. Make smarter decisions moving forward by taking the time to reflect on that choice and what it means for your career path.

Oladoyin Falana

Oladoyin Falana, a graduate of OAU, is an SEO Specialist, and IT business developer. He is the owner and content editor of, a platform that focuses on providing information on career, recruitment updates, exams, and admission updates, including general (How-to) information.
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