How To

How to Create and Achieve Short-Term and Long-Term Career Goals

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According to Forbes, successful people visualize their success before delving into their careers. To build a successful career, you need to create reasonable career goals to help you stay focused and motivated. This guide gives an inside look into how to create and achieve career goals in any industry.

What Is a Career Goal?

A career goal is a specific target that you intend to achieve in your career. Having a clear career goal when you are job searching is important, as it can help you focus your job search and make the best use of your time and resources. 

When setting a career goal, it is important to be realistic and specific. Consider your current skills and experience, as well as your long-term goals. If you are just starting out in your career, your goal might be to gain experience in your chosen field. Whatever your goal, it is important to have a plan for how you will achieve it. This might involve taking online courses, networking with industry professionals, or gaining more experience. 

Short-Term Career Goals

Short-term career goals are generally measurable outcomes that you can achieve in a few weeks to a few years at most. Many people use short-term career goals as stepping stones to achieve their long-term goals. This can prevent workers from becoming overwhelmed with everything that stands between where they are and where they want to be. 

For example, if your long-term career goal is to be a senior software engineer, your short-term goals might include getting the proper education. You can choose to get a bachelor’s degree or attend an online course, such as a General Assembly bootcamp. If you wanted to gain in-demand skills in less time than it takes to complete a four-year degree, you could browse General Assembly reviews to determine if a bootcamp path is right for you. 

Long-Term Career Goals

Most people have far fewer long-term career goals than short-term goals. This is because they can often take over a decade to achieve. A long-term career goal could be to start your own company, land an upper-level position with an impressive salary, or to become a thought-leader in your field. 

Step-by-Step Process of Setting Career Goals

Having a clear sense of what you want to achieve can help you focus your efforts and make the most of your talents and abilities. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you get started. Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting career goals to help you get started on the right foot.

  1. Determine what you intend to achieve. Do you want a promotion in your current company? Change careers altogether? Start your own business? Once you have a general idea of what you want, you can start setting specific goals.
  2. Set realistic goals. It’s important to set achievable goals. If your goal is something that’s out of reach, it’ll only serve to frustrate and discourage you. If you’re uncertain whether a goal is realistic, ask yourself if it’s something you can reasonably accomplish in the next year or two.
  3. Plan. Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to plan how you will achieve them. This means identifying specific steps you’ll need to take and setting deadlines for each step. For instance, if your goal is to get a promotion, your plan might involve taking on additional assignments at work, attending professional development courses, or completing a coding class.
  4. Take action. Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to take action and start working towards your goals. This doesn’t mean that you’ll achieve your goals overnight, but it does mean that you’ll be one step closer with each passing day.
  5. Evaluate your progress. Periodically check in to see how well you’re progressing towards your goals. If you find that you’re not making as much progress as you’d like, re-evaluate your plan and see if any adjustments need to be made. Remember, the goal-setting process is flexible – so don’t be afraid to make changes as needed!


Your dream career might seem out of reach, but it doesn’t have to be. If you set the right career goals, you can land a job you love and find satisfaction with your professional life. Stick to your plan and reward yourself every time you achieve a short-term goal. Before you know it, you’ll have achieved your ideal career. 

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