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Career goals simply explains and states in concrete terms how you plan to progress in your career. Clear career goals set achievable targets and objectives clear timeline and are essential for every job candidate as strong career goals make it easier to succeed, earn more, grow and even get more jobs.

Setting career goals and working towards them you end up achieving much more than your desired or anticipated outcome. Setting and achieving meaningful career goals provides three essential career development advantages.

The first is increased job satisfaction. Setting career goals increases job satisfaction and gives you something to look forward to everyday as you leave for work. Secondly setting and achieving realistic career goals makes for higher self-esteem. This means that you become more aware of your professional and personal worth and value. Whenever you are able to achieve any of your set career objectives it acts to boost your self-confidence. Finally achieving goals also improves quality of your life.

Setting goals is important because it gives you a framework to achieve milestones and objectives. There are two types of goals you should consider setting: short term and long term.

Short term goals

Short-term goals are more immediate goals you set for yourself to achieve your larger, long-term goals. You can think of short-term goals as stepping stones that lead to the achievement of long term goals. Examples of short-term goals might include completing small tasks or projects, gaining experience or taking classes. Short term goals are useful as they help you in achieving long term goals.

Long-term goals

Long-term goals are also called future goals and usually take longer time to be achieved. Long-term goals might include getting a job in a certain career, being promoted to a certain level or completing a lengthy, complicated project.

While there are several different ways to set goals, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the best possibility of success. They include

  1. Make your goal as clear and detailed as possible

Make sure your goals are as clear as possible and really states the kind of progress you want to see within a timeline.


  1. Check whether your goals are achievable

Setting goals you can accomplish within a reasonable timeframe will help keep you motivated and focused. You should work to understand the full scope of your goal ahead of time to ensure it is possible to accomplish. Don’t just set high and lofty goals, look at the practicability and the chances you have of achieving those goals within the timeline you set.

  1. Make sure your goal is relevant

You should set goals that align with your values and contribute toward your long-term goals. Each goal you set should be relevant and meaningful to you, moving you closer toward where you want to be in your career.

  1. Set timeline.

Setting a realistic time frame to achieve your goal can both help keep you motivated and on-schedule. Before setting a goal end-date, be sure to research all the milestones and possible roadblocks you might run into along the way.

Your goals should have five key elements to make them achievable. These five elements make up what is known as the “SMART goal” framework. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.

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