We are ending our year in just a few months. This is the perfect time to start planning your career goals for next year. Be inspired by the career goals examples you will read in this article.
Career goals will help you get more experience and enhance your work skills, which will amplify your chances for promotion. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve in your career is the key factor in accomplishing any of your goals.
Why You Should Have Career Goals
A career goal’s main objective is to enhance your abilities because it gives you a framework to achieve your milestones. Setting goals gives you the motivation to work hard and become more productive.
As mentioned in our previously published article, career development should be one of your priorities if you want a positive change in your work life. You can develop and discover new skills to apply for a promotion or a career change.
If you want to improve the chances of becoming successful, you should focus on self-improvement. Having a clearly defined goal is a great way to start improving your life.
Examples of Career Goals You Should Start Now!
1. Improve your time management skills
Effective time management is the first step towards achieving your goals. It helps you structure your goals and work efficiently and advance in your position quickly. Organizing your day through time management enables you to complete your tasks on time.
By setting a certain amount of time each day, you will complete the necessary steps to achieve your goals. Also, by completing your duties more efficiently, you will have more time to do new endeavors. It helps you to stay on top of your tasks and get things done faster and more efficiently by enabling you to work smarter, not harder.
You can use your extra time to learn more new skills and gain access to more opportunities for career advancement, and create a better work-life balance.
2. Develop your emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EQ) helps you move forward and succeed in your career. Having a high EQ gives you high social competence by allowing you to manage your personal interactions with other people. It helps you understand your own feelings and other’s feelings, which helps you relate to other people.
Having a high EQ allows you to cope with your stress and emotions so you can overcome challenges. You are also less likely to be negatively impacted by the presence of stressors.
You can boost your EQ by taking time to learn about people, their behavior, and how to become more aware of their emotions. Practicing being mindful of other people and your own feelings and reactions can also help you become more empathic, communicate more effectively, and be a stronger leader.
3. Enhance your professional relationships or networking skills
Increase your chances of experiencing new opportunities by boosting your capacity to network with people. Having strong networking skills can improve your ability to reach your career goals and drive your career towards success.
The process of networking is building an authentic relationships with people and nurturing it in the long term. You can start improving your networking skills by talking to a new colleague or other colleagues who are in different departments. You can also attend conferences or professional events and expand your network by meeting new people.
4. Expand your communication skills
Communication skills play an essential role in your personal and career development. No matter what field you work in, your ability to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues is vital. Actively improving your communication involves speaking, listening, writing, non-verbal cues, and understanding messages.
Working on your communication skills and becoming an effective communicator can help you land your first job and ensure a positive future. You can articulate your thoughts and knowledge and make others understand your ideas. You also have the ability to understand what people have to say and meet your employer’s or client’s needs.
5. Develop a growth mindset
Career development starts with a growth mindset. If you are eager to aim to develop your skill and become better continuously, you can achieve more in your personal life and in your career.
When you develop a growth mindset, your brain can overcome challenges during the state of learning. Therefore, you are more persistent in learning new skills, which is the opposite of a person with a fixed mindset.
People with a growth mindset have a strong desire to learn, more innovative, and believe that they develop their abilities, skills, and knowledge through hard work and dedication. They embrace challenges, don’t give up easily when faced with obstacles, open and learn from criticism, and see failure as an opportunity to grow.
You can read our previously published article to find out more about the key differences between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
6. Earn a degree or a professional certification
Continuing education or certification is important to help you as a professional advance in your career. It boosts your value as it provides recognition for your specialized skills and knowledge.
Investing in continuing education is worth your time and money. Our world is constantly changing. To stay current with the latest development and keep abreast of all the updates and changes in your field, you must continue learning and upgrading your skills and knowledge.
There are many ways you can continue learning even after college. You can take online courses or enroll to complete your certification or master’s degree.
7. Learn a new tool or technology
If you aim for a higher position or career advancement, you should learn about new tools that will help you do your job easier, faster, and help you manage people with ease.
You can start learning how to use a project management software if your goal is to become a project manager. There are many different kinds of project management software that you can start learning and add to your skill set to help you move up in your career.
For example, if your company uses JIRA, why not consider familiarizing yourself with the tool?
8. Get into a leadership position or be promoted
Getting into a leadership position and being promoted should be one of your career goals. Part of preparing for the leadership role is recognizing your need to invest in different skills, such as leadership, active listening, influencing, mentoring, and coaching.
Having this goal in mind will help you do your job even better as you perform at work showing your leadership potential. This goal allows you to always put your best foot forward and step up in every project and demonstrate accountability for any contributions and decisions you make. All of these will help you reach your career goal.
9. Become the go-to expert in your field
When you want to grow in your career, striving to have a reputation of being an expert in the workplace, regardless of your career path, should be your goal. When your goal is to become a manager or team lead of a project, you should know your stuff and be a specialist in it. For you to answer the toughest questions, accomplish tasks faster, and overcome challenges in your field, you should have an abundance of skills, experience, and wisdom.
If you want to become an expert, you should have a strong desire and passion for doing well at your work. If you don’t have these, then you would not be an expert in anything. Once you have established the authority of being an expert in your field, it can open more doors for job opportunities and higher-paying jobs.
10. Improve your productivity or performance metrics
Every company has its own Key Performance Indicator (KPI), and usually, KPI is tied to the financial objectives. KPI helps measure if a company is achieving the business objectives effectively by evaluating each team’s performance, team member, and the project overall.
The good thing is that you can use KPIs for your professional success. Developing your own KPIs allows you to focus on your goal and measure your progress based on the outcomes. It will also keep you accountable and motivated in your day-to-day- work.
Increasing your productivity and performance metrics at work demonstrates how efficient you are, which will help you with your career goals. Your KPIs can be short-term or long-term goals. Examples of KPIs to track include:
- Increasing customer retention and satisfaction.
- Delivering projects before the deadline.
- Reducing the cost of your project to increase profitability.
How to Set Ambitious Career Goals
A dream is just a dream. “A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” –Harvey MacKay
You need to come up with steps on your career development action plan. Using short-term and long-term goals will help you be on track with your career plan. What you can do is to think backward. Think of your ultimate goal (your long-term goal) and plan the steps (your short-term goals) going back to what you can do now.
For example, your ultimate goal (long-term goal) is to be a doctor. For you to become a doctor, there are short-term and long-term goals that you need to complete: 4 years in college and another 4 years or so in medical school, and at least three years of medical residency.
You must also remember that your goal should follow the SMART goal setting. It should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
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