A study at Harvard University showed that people who set career goals are more likely to succeed in their professional and personal lives than those who do not. A career development goal requires one to transform, modify and adjust his actions and priorities to achieve success further in his life. To make this professional development, one needs to make a realistic plan that can guide him/her to make a successful decision in career. Making this plan can help identify an individual’s skills and teach them how to implement those skills ahead in professional life, leading them one step closer to their goals. Actions like learning new skills, acquiring degrees and certificates, getting experience in different aspects of the workplace, and aiming for your aspirations are all a part of setting a career development goal. These goals can be further divided into two categories, short-term and long-term goals. Lets know about Career Development Goals.
SHORT TERM CAREER DEVELOPMENT GOALS
In simple terms, setting small objectives yourself that can help you achieve long-term goals are called short-term goals. These goals consist of small-scale adjustments and changes that can help you stay more productive. These goals make you focus on tasks and challenges that can be achieved within a few months, weeks, or days. These small challenges can be considered stepping stones toward long-term success. Planning a realistic schedule for short-term goals is essential as one needs to be aware of his/her capabilities because failing those short-term goals can lead to a demotivating attitude. Making a career development with short-term goals helps interviewers to identify whether you are committed to your career plans or not. This gives them clarity about your personality and character as well.
Following are the steps you need to follow in order to set short term career goals:
1)Identify long term goal
The first process begins with finding out what you want in the long run. Only then will you be able to narrow down and track the whole process of short-term goals.
2) SMART Formula
This step allows your objectives to become specific and efficient. The SMART formula ensures that your goals go through these steps-.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable / Attainable
R – Realistic / Relevant
T – Time based
One best-suited example of a smart formula is “I will dedicate 60 minutes of time to learn a new language every weekend”.
3) Be committed and track the process
Being committed to the process is necessary. Staying focused on the task you have in your hand is more critical than overlooking long-term goals. Once you make a plan which is trusted to give you success in the future, then the only thing left is for you to be fully committed to completing those tasks and objectives. More than that, keep track of your progress. Sometimes the flow of your process can be a little slow, but this happens with everyone at some point. Tracking the process will help you identify where you are going wrong with things. One can only do better if he/she observes his mistakes and learns from them. Keep a journal and write out the whole process.
Some of the examples of short term career development goals are :
“I will exercise three times a week.”
“I will learn a new skill related to business in a month.”
“I will meditate for 10 mins before going to work every day”.
“I will stop spending lunch money and make my lunch by waking up an hour early every day.”
LONG TERM CAREER DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Long-term career goals act as a blueprint that helps you to achieve the outcomes you want to see further in your life. Setting these long-term goals help you attain higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. They lead you towards growth and fulfillment and motivate you. Making these goals can help you get a clear idea about your career and draw your attention towards what kind of “big picture” you want in your life. Sometimes, long-term goals require advance planning as they are difficult to achieve and require ample time. People often set long-term goals over a span of five years to ten years. One should be careful while planning long-term development goals as these are the objectives that act as a direct path of a whole career. It affects not only an individual but also the employees who are working underneath him/her.
Following are the steps to achieve long term goals:
1)Visualise your future
If you don’t have an ideal picture of the future in your mind, then setting a long-term goal can disrupt your career plans and personal life. The position which you want in your future life should be clear in your mind, then only would you be able to make a path towards achieving it.
2) Smart Formula
This formula is very flexible and applicable for both long and short-term goals. It ensures that the framework of your goals is:
All of these measures help you stay focused and motivated. An example of a long-term career goal with the help of a smart formula is “This year, my company will start a mentorship program for trainees/interns.”
Break long term goals into short term goals
This step might be a slow process as it requires one to break down the whole objective of their goal and finish it step by step. However, once you decide on your long-term goal, you can look at the whole process and divide the objectives you need to achieve it. This way, your plan can be more realistic and manageable. For example, if you want to write a novel, you’ll start by taking steps like reading and watching things that will inspire you, making an outline of a story, writing 500 words a day and editing the details every weekend, etc. Taking small steps like these will help you come up with the novel you want in at least a year.
Examples of long term career development goals are :
“I will publish professional articles.”
“I will start my own business.”
“I will do my best to get promoted within two years.”
“I will earn a new degree.”
Career development goals are likely to make your job easier as they help you become quicker and more productive based on what you learn and acquire while fulfilling them. Setting professional development goals also shows your superiors that you are serious about your job and want to continue to excel in the field.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are your short-term career goals?
Answers like “ Finding a mentor” and “expand interpersonal communication with colleagues” can help you move towards long-term goals and can leave a good impression among the interviewers.
- How does one come up with a plan for career development goals?
Strategies like the SMART formula can help if you are a beginner in setting these goals. One can always get professional help if one plans on making advanced plans.