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How to create career goals you can stick to

Setting clear career goals is a great way to ensure that you achieve the success you want. But there’s no point in targets that you quickly forget about or that are totally unachievable. You want to be realistic with your objectives, otherwise, you could feel like you’ve failed.

Therefore, you want to set yourself aims that will motivate you and propel you onto your future success. To help you out, we’ve put together our advice below on how to create career goals you can stick to.

create career goals

Write down your goals

The first step is to document your goals. Keeping them locked up in your head will make it harder to assess your progress. Putting pen to paper will keep you focused on your aspirations, and remember what your aims were. This allows you to see what you want to achieve and put a real plan in place for how you can get there.

Aim to write down both your long term and short time goals. Then put together a career plan for how you can reach each one.  For example, if your long-term ambition was to be head of sales for a corporate company, your short-term goal might be to shadow a professional in this area.

Remember that just because you’ve written your targets down it doesn’t mean you can’t adapt them as your priorities and career path develop.

realistic objectives

Create realistic objectives

Huge goals that aren’t broken down into smaller more achievable aims can be difficult to stick to. Focus on smaller objectives over a reduced time scale, to reach your wider goals. Using the example above, if you want to be a sales director your four-year target might be to complete a degree in sales. With a more immediate intention to find universities which do the course.

Ensure that you’re giving yourself enough time to complete your goals considering the education and experience you will need. For instance, if you aspire to become a leading doctor in the UK, it’s unrealistic to achieve this a year after university.

Therefore, you should always be honest with yourself about what you can and are prepared to do to reach your objectives.

Monitor your progress

Monitor your progress

Without monitoring your progress, you won’t know how far you’ve come. So it’s important to keep on top of this. First, ensure that your targets are measurable and monitor these by setting yourself deadlines in which to achieve them. This can help to keep you motivated even at the most difficult of times.

What’s more, you should track and write down what you’ve done each step of the way. Use this to review your actions, deciding the best approach to take in the future.

Set the right pace

You wouldn’t sprint a marathon at a 100m pace, the same applies to your goals. Make sure you set a tempo that is achievable for you. The aim is to keep you motivated but also not stress you out.

Remember that trying to rush things won’t give you the results you want, and may negatively impact your progress. Taking the time to do everything carefully will help you meet that end goal. So, if you need to adjust your timings, make sure you do. Or if your deadlines are few and far between, quicken up the pace to give yourself a boost.

hard work

Put in the hard work

Success doesn’t come over night, you must be prepared to put in the time and effort to achieve your aims. This motivation may be harder at some points than others, so don’t lose hope if something doesn’t go to plan.

Try to keep a positive mind-set and focus on how far you’ve come already, this should motivate you to keep going. Alongside this, make sure you look towards the future because it’s important to stay focused on the end goal.

In summary

Creating goals you can stick to is important for you to find success in your career. While it may seem daunting when you’re starting out, it’s important to remain positive and keep your motivation levels high.