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Learn How to Set Short and Long-Term Career Goals

December 30, 2020


Ever try to get somewhere without a map?


If you don’t know what direction to head in your career, it can be tough for you to get there. If you hope to achieve more professional success, you need to define exactly what your goals mean to you. That’s why creating a roadmap for yourself is always a necessary part of achieving your dreams.


In your roadmap, you should identify both short and long-term goals to work towards every day. That said, while you likely know that setting goals is essential, it can be hard to identify the right ones to get your career moving in the desired direction. To set goals that will help advance your career, check out some of our tips below.


Make Your career Goals Specific and Measurable


Do you know the main reason why New Year’s Resolutions don’t work? It’s because they are way, way too vague. Saying that you want to lose weight in the new year doesn’t give you a specific goal. It’s more like a wish.


It’s the same when it comes to your professional goals. It won’t do you any good to say you want to have a better job in five years because that “goal” doesn’t give you anything immediate to work towards. 


To create a specific and measurable goal, brainstorm your ideal career situation, and work backward from there. Begin by outlining the concrete steps it would take you to get where you want to be from your current position. For example, one of your goals could be to learn how to use a skill you’d need to know to advance in your job. For example, if you work on the production line, could you learn to use the software program that runs the line? You could also consider working with a recruiter to step into the next job up at a new company. Before you know it, you would be on the fast-track to leading your own team.


Phrase Your career Goals in Positive Ways


“Think positive” is much more than just a slogan. It actually works! 


When you are coming up with your professional goals, you want them to be inspirational. Rather than focus on what you don’t want, phrase your goal in a positive way! For example, if you hope to move out of your current warehouse position and into a higher-level job, don’t phrase it as getting out of this warehouse job you hate. Be specific about all of the positive reasons why you want the job you’re aiming for instead! 


Be Realistic About Time Frames


Nothing happens overnight, especially when it comes to long-term goals. 


When you set a goal, make sure that it is something that you realistically have a viable shot of achieving. Otherwise, you might become discouraged along the way. 


That isn’t saying that you should be limiting your vision, but you need to be realistic about what you can achieve within a specific timeframe. To do so, set a deadline for yourself, allowing yourself enough time to have a genuine chance at success.


Plan Actionable Steps for Each Goal


What steps can you take today to achieve your goal?


Every goal should provide you with very specific steps you can take to move forward. These should be a key part of the roadmap we were talking about earlier. Without clear steps, it will be difficult to even get started towards your goal. 


Instead of saying “be a truck driver on the open road,” for example, you could set a goal to take classes towards your CDL license. Then, your next actionable step could be to enroll in the test six months from now. These goals are measurable, actionable, and can provide you with a clear path from here to there! 


Allow Yourself Some Flexibility


Never set anything in stone, because you never know what could happen in the future.


2020 is a perfect example of this. So many people become discouraged because they didn’t achieve the goals they set at the end of December 2019. But here’s the thing: it wasn’t their fault! Unexpected, unprecedented events got in the way. 


Obviously, 2020 is an extreme example, but life often throws you curveballs that can get in the way of your goals. You don’t want to become discouraging if you don’t achieve them within the timeframe you set, so always allow yourself some leeway. Remember, your career is a work in progress, and unexpected things happen all the time. By giving yourself some flexibility, you can adapt to changes in your overall situation, altering your goals to fit your new reality! 


Even with these tips, achieving your goals can often feel overwhelming, especially when you don’t have any help. That’s why Spectra360 is here. We want you to accomplish your professional goals, and we want to do whatever we can to help you along the way! 

The fastest way to advance your career is to apply for a new job. Our recruiters can help you lay out a path for success and step you into the job of your dreams, Contact our recruiters today!

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