The first step towards achieving your career goals is to know precisely what those goals are and then determine how to accomplish them.
Your career goals are probably the most crucial part of your life. They affect everything else about your life, from your relationships to your health to your financial situation.
However, career goals are often the one area that you’re not sure about, and when it comes to the future, you feel like you have no control. This article will show you how to set a clear, meaningful, and attainable goal that will help you achieve the life you want.
If you want to set ambitious career goals for yourself but are not sure how to fix them, you’re not alone.
What is a Career Goal?
Career goals are the life goals that are inextricably linked to career progression. They are the aspirations that a person has for their future, and they are determined through both conscious and subconscious processes.
Breaking Down Career Goals
If you can dream it, you can achieve it, but what you dream can be tough to actualize. Most of us have dreams of what we want to do when we grow up, whether it’s being an author, musician, chef, or lawyer.
But it’s easy to get stuck in that dream world where you forget to apply reality. Career goals are easier to define and can provide you with a good starting point. They also can help you stay focused and ensure that your progress toward achieving your dreams stays on track. It’s helpful to set three to five career goals and then break them down into smaller, more attainable goals.
What if you knew the road ahead was strewn with hurdles and barriers?
If you think your career goals are out of reach, you’re not the only one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many Americans don’t know what they want to do when they grow up.
Career goals often fall into two main categories: a specific profession and a more general desire to change careers.
But in either case, career goals can be broken down into three major components: skills, purpose, and money. Identifying where your talents lie, what you want to do with those skills, and what you can do to achieve your goals will help you define a career path that will give you the most control over your future.
Short-term vs. Long-term Career Goals
There’s a reason why you keep hearing about the importance of having a long-term career plan in place; it’s true!
While we often focus on the short term, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t value in long-term planning. However, you need to understand the difference between short-term and long-term goals. You can have both, but it’s essential to know where you’re heading with your career goal.
If you’re not sure where you want to be in five years, or if you’re unsure of what you’d like to do for a living, then you should start thinking about that now, while you’re still young and have plenty of time to figure out what your next steps should be.
Set SMART Goals to Get Ahead in Your Career
If you want to get ahead in your career, you need to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. To accomplish something in life, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. The better you can visualize what you want to get, the more likely you will achieve it. This will enable you to create realistic timelines for your progress.
Related: Smart Goal | What are they?
What Are Examples of Typical Career Goals?
The best way to figure out what to do is to consider what you’re already doing and what you want.
For example, if you’re in school, the answer might be, “I want to be a doctor.”
If you’re currently working, perhaps you’d like to own your own business eventually. Maybe you just want to make more money.
Whatever your goal is, it’s helpful to note what you already are doing and what you want to become and see how those two fit together.
How to Set Ambitious Career Goals You Can Realistically Accomplish
Whether you want to be a consultant, business owner, CEO, or something else, setting too small goals may leave you feeling disheartened and ultimately discourage you from even trying. Setting realistic but ambitious goals will help you reach your full potential and achieve more than possible.
The critical thing to remember is that while it’s important to set ambitious and lofty goals, it’s equally important to keep your goals attainable. If you’re trying to achieve too much, you don’t want to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you want to accomplish.
You Need Clarity
To achieve great things in your career, you need clarity. It would help if you had a clear picture of exactly what success looks like in your life. Once you have that vision in place, it’s time to plan to achieve that vision.
At this point, it’s helpful to consider the role that the three C’s play in creating a successful business plan. These three C’s are Clarity, Constraints, and Commitment.
It Has to Challenge You—But With a Realistic Outcome
Once you have identified your top career goal, the next step is to develop a compelling way to make it happen. The challenge of writing an effective goal statement is that it must be challenging but attainable.
You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by setting a too hard or unrealistic goal. But you also want to set yourself up for success by setting attainable and realistic goals.
It has to be challenging without being unrealistic. We all like to dream big, but if you don’t have the means to achieve those dreams, don’t set yourself up for failure by putting yourself in a situation where you can’t succeed.
Setting yourself up for failure by trying to do something that’s not realistic will not get you anywhere. But, if you’re practical, your goals will help you achieve the dreams you want.
It Would Be Best if You are Committed
The number one reason most people give up the dream is that they don’t think they can do it.
This is one reason you must be committed to setting ambitious career goals you can realistically accomplish. If you don’t feel like you’re capable of achieving something, chances are you’re not willing to put in the work required to get there.
It’s not hard to think of the next promotion on your résumé or the next client you will win. But if you’re dreaming about the next thing, you’re not planning anything—and you may never reach that next goal.
If you want to hit a home run in any field, you should identify and act upon the key steps you need to take to prepare yourself for success.
Feedback is Essential
When you receive positive feedback on your work, you can keep moving forward in the direction that makes sense for you.
If you receive negative feedback, it’s time to consider why.
Whatever may be the sentiment of the feedback, the reason you received the feedback is the same reason you should keep moving forward — because the input can help you grow and improve as a result of the experience.
You Must Create the Right Conditions (Constraints) for Success
As with any other goal, the conditions that must be met for a career goal to be successful can be broken down into two categories: conditions within your control and conditions not within your control.
It is tough to change external conditions such as your current salary, location, and social circles.
However, you have the power to change internal conditions, such as your attitude, skills, and self-image. This includes your ability to overcome negative thinking and emotional states like fear and anxiety.
Once you can accept these conditions and develop the mindset that allows you to adapt and grow despite them, you can begin to achieve your career goals.
I hope you enjoyed my list of how to set ambitious career goals you can realistically accomplish. I hope that you’ll use this information to set realistic goals, get organized, and take control of your career.
If you find that your goals seem out of reach, don’t let that stop you! Remember, you can accomplish anything you want in life if you believe in yourself and give yourself the resources and opportunity to succeed.
To achieve your career goals, you need to set yourself up to succeed. You need to set the right expectations for yourself and your future.
It would be best to work on achieving your goals, not trying to accomplish them.
FAQs | Career Goals
How can I achieve my career goals?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this issue, as the ideal strategy to attain your job objectives may differ based on your unique position and desires. Nonetheless, some strategies for achieving your job objectives include defining attainable goals, networking with industry leaders, and utilizing internet resources.
What are 3 tips for setting career goals?
Understand what you desire. Taking the time to determine your professional goals may appear to be stating the obvious, but it is essential. What are your objectives? What are your interests? What do you wish to achieve?
Make a plan. Once you know what you want, you must formulate a strategy for achieving it. What actions must you take to reach your objectives?
What are the 7 steps to achieve your goals?
Define your goals
Set a deadline
Make a plan
Celebrate your success!
What is the best key in achieving goals?
There is no single secret to reaching objectives, but there are a few things that will aid you along the path. First, ensure that your objectives are attainable. Avoid setting yourself up for failure by doing too much at once. Second, divide your objectives into smaller segments so you can monitor your progress and remain motivated. Lastly, be persistent and do not give up when things become difficult. Continue advancing until you achieve your objective.
How will you achieve your career goals?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this topic, as the optimal approach to achieving your professional objectives may differ based on your unique position and desires. To reach your career objectives, however, you need to network with specialists in your area, enroll in continuing education classes, and actively seek out new chances.
3 People Who Will Help You Grow Your Career
A mentor is a person who has walked in your footsteps and is willing to take you to the next level.
Coworkers with complimentary talents – working with others who have different strengths than you can help you develop new skills and advance in your job.
A professional development group or network – it may be highly advantageous to be a part of a group of professionals who are all devoted to learning and progressing.