Being able to identify your career goals is essential for professional progression. It also helps to provide motivation during stressful or challenging times on your career path. If you’re wondering what career goals would be effective for professional growth in your career, this article is here to help you with career goals examples.
The best career goals examples will inspire you to create your own career goals to help you reach the next step in your professional life. Keep reading if you want to achieve better results in landing your dream job or business opportunity as you map out your career goals.
What Are Career Goals?
Career goals are objectives that you like to achieve in your professional career. A career objective can be a career change, salary change, or gaining additional skills. Setting career goals is important because they can make your career more defined and your path to success clearer. There are two types of career goal time frames: short-term and long-term goals.
In this article, any career goal achievable in one year is considered a short-term goal, while any career goal achievable in more than one year is a long-term goal. One of the most used and most successful methods of setting effective goals is the SMART method. A SMART career goal is a professional goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART).
Where Are Career Goals Used?
- Career advancement
- Salary advancement
- Professional development
- Personal development
- Leadership advancement
Why Are Career Goals Important?
Career goals are important because they can help you define your career path. They give you a direction to focus your professional development, providing you with targets and steps you can follow to get more skills, money, or success in your job. Pursuing career goals can also give you focus and job satisfaction in your day-to-day work life.
They can also help you when interviewing for another job. Having a clear idea of your career goals and sharing them during an interview for a new role, promotion, or leadership position lets employers see that you take your professional contributions seriously and value the experience that can be gained in a new position.
Real-World Examples of Career Goals
People set different goals, from becoming a CEO to starting a business, so there can be many career goals examples. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of career goals that you can consider adding to your own list.
- Learn a new skill
- Learn a new programming language
- Build a professional website
- Get a pay raise
- Achieve a high level of monthly sales
- Become a cyber security engineer
- Become a doctor
- Become a CEO
- Start your own business
- Create a retirement plan
10 Great Examples of Career Goals
Career Goals Example 1: Learn a new skill
If you’re in a job position with opportunities to advance, it is a common goal to learn new skills. For instance, to get a leadership role, you’ll need to acquire good leadership skills. Each position you aim for requires different skill sets, so make a list of the specific skills you need to develop to be the best candidate for that role.
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The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
Career Goals Example 2: Learn a new programming language
If you want to make a career change and transition into tech, you need knowledge of programming languages. Pick a programming language to study and practice coding and within a year you can become a basic level programmer. To expedite this process, you can study at a coding bootcamp where you can get mentored by professionals in the field over six months.
Career Goals Example 3: Build a professional website
If you want to start a business or a side hustle, building a professional website is a good idea. Having a professional website can help you establish your personal and professional brand. Many people build personal websites to show off their work portfolios or use them as online business cards. You can even create a website without any coding skills.
Career Goals Example 4: Get a pay raise
If you want to earn more and get a pay raise, you also need to level up your skills. Go above and beyond to demonstrate high performance and make sure your boss knows it. Networking skills are also essential in developing yourself and finding more lucrative job opportunities and potential employers that pay well.
Career Goals Example 5: Achieve a high level of monthly sales
Sales agents or sales representatives set monthly sales targets based on key performance indicators (KPIs), making it a possible short-term career goal. If salespeople want to get bigger commissions, they need to bring in more sales, or higher-value sales deals. Some may even receive additional incentives for closing a deal with huge sales figures.
Career Goals Example 6: Become a cyber security engineer
Becoming a cyber security engineer can be a short-term or a longer-term goal depending on the course of education you pursue. You can choose to pursue a college degree in cyber security, which takes four years to complete.
However, a degree is not always required, and interested professionals can study a bootcamp program in cyber security to become qualified to land a job as a cyber security engineer. Bootcamps provide job-ready skills and experience and typically last less than a year. For example, Flatiron School offers a popular bootcamp in cyber security lasting only 15 weeks.
Career Goals Example 7: Become a doctor
You need to invest a lot of time and effort to become a doctor, making it a long-term career goal. It takes 10 to 14 years to become a doctor, with four years as an undergrad, two years of post-baccalaureate, four years of medical school, three years of residency, and one year for licensing.
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Career Goals Example 8: Be a CEO
You can become a CEO by working your way up from a low level within an organization. This way, you’ll know the company better than an outside hire would. However, if you go this path, it can take many years, sometimes decades, of hard work.
Career Goals Example 9: Start your own business
Starting a business is a popular long-term professional development goal. It requires an entrepreneurial spirit, ambition, and hands-on experience. You must learn how to plan your business, find your target audience, network, and do the tasks necessary to keep your business operating.
Career Goals Example 10: Create a retirement plan
To enjoy retirement, you need to come up with a carefully thought-out plan. You need to decide how much money to save and invest in this long-term goal. It’s also important to revisit the plans regularly so that if your financial situation changes, you can also adjust your investment plans accordingly.
Pro Tips to Boost Your Career Goal Setting Skills
- Split your goal into smaller parts. It’s easier to reach and manage one small goal at a time to achieve the ultimate goal. A bigger professional goal can make you feel intimidated and overwhelmed, which can discourage you from starting. This is where setting smaller, incremental goals can help.
- Get feedback. If you work with a team of people, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback. You can ask for feedback from other co-workers or superiors. Self-evaluation can help you a lot, but professional feedback can help you even more. Through feedback, you’ll know exactly what works and what doesn’t for your work environment or job.
- Write them down. It’s important to write down and track your short-term and long-term career goals, as they can become blurred over time. When you have formulated a suitable action plan for your goal, it’s a good idea to document it. This helps you stick to the plan more effectively by creating a visual aid to remind you of the steps to take.
What Should Be the Next Step in My Career Goals Learning Journey?
The next step in your career goals learning journey is creating a master plan for pursuing and achieving your goals. It’s important to keep yourself motivated and engaged in the process. This means that when you reach a career step or goal, it is not the end of the road. As you achieve goals, set new ones.
Writing SMART goals can also help you stay focused on pursuing and achieving your career goals, whether they’re a short-term or long-term goal. It’s also important to break down your career goal into smaller parts and seek feedback. With constant feedback from seniors or colleagues, you gain more knowledge and get more skilled in the workplace.
Career Goals Examples FAQ
A career plan is a thorough proposal of a strategy with specific steps and actions on how to achieve a set of job goals. If you want to attain career goals, you need to create a detailed action plan on how to achieve them. It’s essential to have a career goal in mind, but it’s important to write it down and make a detailed step-by-step plan.
A career goal statement is a written statement for your future career objective or objectives. You can consider it a vision that you’ll follow to achieve your professional goals. If you have a professional growth mindset, a well-defined career goal statement can enable you to carry out an effective action plan and achieve success.
Life goals are goals we want to achieve in our personal life. In many cases, career goals can overlap with personal goals. However, when it comes to personal life goals, they are more meaningful and leave a lasting impact on your life. For example, creating a family or improving your physical health are some examples of life goals.
Career planning is important because knowing your career path can give you direction and motivation. On your path to achieving your career goals, there will be ups and downs. Despite any sidetracks or setbacks, having a plan will bring back your focus and get you back on track for your career development.
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