Short term goals are easy, right? Nail this presentation. Nab that pay raise come review time. Get a good in with a boss, or higher up. Future, long term goals… those are hard to nail down.
But setting attainable long-term goals for your career is vital! Without a clear end goal, you might be fluttering along the wrong path, unsure of where you’re headed or what is in front of you.
Take these tips to set – and achieve! – long-term career goals to keep you on track and get you where you want to be not just next month, but in the next several years.
Ask Yourself Hard Questions
This is very personal, so ask yourself some serious questions – and put real thought into them. Write the answers down so you can cross-check and reference yourself.
Questions like what do you like in your current position, what jobs sound interesting to you, what skills do you have to offer, and what don’t you know but could learn all should go on your list. What is your best work environment? Ideal boss and work structure?
Answering these are going to set a strong foundation, and every time you go to make a career move, reference this list. Are the moves you are making checking all the boxes?
Next, evaluate your skills. You need two lists, here – the skills you have, and the skills you want.
The skills you have should be absolutely everything you bring to the table as an employee. Management, work ethic, any special software or coding skills. We’re not fine-tuning a resume, here – this is a list just for you.
On your next list, you should include all the skills you wish you had, or you could easily attain. Maybe it’s learning a new, more relevant language. Photo editing, video editing, or better management. All valid additions to this list!
Now take a look at your wishlist again. How can you make this happen, and what is the easiest one to tick off first? Go easy to hard, because you need to build your confidence, especially if you feel like you’ve been stagnant in your career for a while.
Whenever you need to motivate yourself, return to your hard questions and remind yourself that yes, personal development is time-consuming… but it is also going to lead you where you want in life.
Make Things Happen
As your skill set increases, your value to your company increases. Mark your improvements and continue down this road. As you develop look for new positions, promotions, or raises that will lead you to your end goals of the best working environment possible for you.
Don’t jump ship too soon – if you’re two months into personal development, make sure you really fine-tune yourself before moving forward. But growth is progress!
Mark your calendar for three months, six months, and one year from now. At each time frame, reevaluate where you are, and make adjustments as needed. Are you on the right track? Are you still developing yourself? What have you learned that you can add to your questions, and what moves have you made to put you closer to those goals?
Track your progress, and soon you’ll be hitting milestones and having a clear path to a better future.