Setting career goals can help to give you direction and reaching them can give a sense of achievement. So how do you plan effective career goals? Three steps that can guide you are setting the right goals to begin with, keeping track of your progress and being accountable. Let’s take a look at each step.
Set the right goals
The first step in planning effective career goals is to understand what you want to achieve and why. Set clear outcomes so you know when you’ve achieved your goals. Make sure your objectives are measurable. Give yourself a deadline. Break larger goals down into smaller objectives that can guide you towards success.
Ideally, write your goals down. A note in your diary is a simple yet effective option. Perhaps put them on paper somewhere you can see them each day. Or try one of the many goal tracking apps available. Make sure you come back to your goals regularly and be prepared to adjust them if they’re not working. Being clear on your motivation can also help you stay focused on achieving your career goals over the longer term.
Check your progress
As well as seeing your goals regularly, set aside time to check how you’re progressing. Depending on what your goals are, you might want to track your achievement annually, quarterly, monthly or even weekly. Choose an interval that makes sense for you and commit to reviewing your progress consistently.
Having set specific goals and outcomes in step one makes it more likely you’ll be able to see how close you are to reaching success. Record your progress over time so that you can look back at what has changed. A goal tracking app, simple diary entries or a more fulsome journal can help you reflect on your career journey and implement effective measures to keep your career on track. If you find you’re not making the progress you’d like, consider why this might be and what changes could enable you to better reach your goals.
Accountability can be a helpful mechanism for maintaining progress in pursuit of career goals. One way to do this is by sharing your goals with a trusted friend. Then check in with them regularly to discuss your progress. You can also get more formalised accountability through coaching or mentoring.
Career mentoring can be a particularly effective accountability option. This is because a mentor can provide personalised advice and feedback on your progress. A more objective perspective can also allow for insights and observations you might not get from a friend. However you choose to be accountable, ensure you celebrate your success along the way.
I strongly believe in the importance of planning effective career goals. I hope this post has been useful as you consider your career goals. You can get more insights to take your career further on our blog or sign up for our newsletter to get insights delivered to your inbox.