5 Top Tips for Setting and Achieving Goals in your Career and at Work

By Elizabeth Hines

The hardest thing to do when it comes to goals is to make them not just a one-off thing. It is extremely easy to sit down when you are feeling super positive and have loads of time on your hands. In this circumstance you can take the time to make goals; but what about when you have not got much time and are not feeling overly great? It is particularly important to make goals setting a continuous practice, even when it is easy not to. Setting goals when it comes to your career has to be an ongoing practice simply because things change in you world and your career all the time. I can almost guarantee you that what you wanted to ‘be when you were older’ at two years old has definitely changed be now; and the same principle applies to your goals.

Setting goals must be divided into three separate categories, otherwise you will end up making pointless goals that will not help you progress in your career or do much at all. Start with goals that are right in front of you or what I like to call ‘eyesight goals’. These are things that your boss has given to you for work this week, or anything with a deadline that is racing towards you. Secondly, take a look at medium term goals which will help you make strides in your career, and then lastly, long term career goals. The funny thing about goals is that you cannot make long term strides in your career with firstly setting eyesight goals and medium-term goals. So do not try and skip steps! In this piece, we are going to take a look at five of my top tips for setting (and achieving) long term career goals.

1. Take your “Big Goal” and Work Back From it

This principle applies to all types of goals, from eyesight goals all the way to long term career goals. I grew up with the saying, “you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time”, and this is so true. You simply cannot get one big goal completed in a single bite, and it is necessary to break your big tasks and goals into achievable little bites. This will eventually lead you to the achievement of your final goal, whether big or small.

2. Be Detailed when Planning your Goals Out

Writing vague goals will not achieve anything. Imagine writing a vague description of the plot of a book when reviewing it; no one would buy it! Similarly, if you write vague career goals, the likelihood of you ever achieving them is extremely low. Jack O’Donovan, a business blogger and editor at Uktopwriters and Revieweal, commented, “It is important to detail your goals with exactly how and when you want to achieve them, with important timelines and details on each one.”

3. Write Everything Down

You might be thinking that you will be able to remember all of your career goals, at least vaguely. However, remembering goals vaguely, as we mentioned above, will be absolutely no help to you in achieving your long-term career goals. I would personally suggest having a ‘goal diary’, or a ‘dream planner’, which is both aspirational and helps you stay on track when it comes to the goals you have for your career. Rachel Harris, a career writer at Elite assignment help and Oxessays, noted, “Write all your details down, track your personal progress when it comes to your goals, and ensure that everything is in one place. This will not only help you keep on track, but also be very encouraging when you do achieve something!”

4. Ask for your Manager’s (or Mentor’s) Help

Managers are not there to just tell you what to do on a day-to-day basis, and it is important to not treat them as necessary evils. Try and use them as a support system and network for helping you achieve your goals. Some people, however, simply do not have the best managers! In this case, do not just skip this step, but instead try to reach out to people who could fulfil a similar role like a mentor or other career goal supporter.

5. Try Not to Focus on the Immediate, but on the Bigger Picture

Try to treat every day, every short-term goal, and every daily task as a step towards your own personal long term career goals. The growth that you will see in your personal career as a whole is entirely dependent on the compilation of these little goals every day. Although the things you do in your role at the moment may seem little and like they might not mean much; the combination of achieving all of these little goals and capitalising on these moments will mean a lot for your long-term goals over time. It is important to remember this. Do the immediate well by relating every little task to your larger goals.

Setting goals is a never-ending practice, and it truly does not stop until retirement! Even people who you think look like they have ‘made it’, still set goals, trust me. How do you think they got where they are now? The most successful people in life do not simply happen upon a stroke of good luck but craft their own luck and path over time through successful planning and detail-oriented career goal plans. The hardest time to set goals and keep your career plans updated is when you need to be doing it the most. When you feel ‘stuck’ in a role or like you are making no progress when it comes to your plans; sit down and update your goals. The hardest thing to do is not to write new goals but stick to old ones and keep working at it. Persistence is key when it comes to goal setting and achieving in both the short and long term. Hopefully these five tips will help you stay on track when it comes to your goals.

About the Author

Elizabeth Hines is an online content marketer and blog writer at Coursework writing and Big Assignments. She enjoys writing about new business and technology trends, especially marketing and recruitment. She also writes for other online platforms such as Simple Grad.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.