How to set long and short-term career goals

by Jan 7, 2014

   Many of us struggle to make career goals

3Plus research suggests that the lack of career goals damages women’s careers


People spend the majority of their lives at work, which is why it is important to love what you do. When you are passionate about what you do, going to work is anything but a chore. People who are truly happy with their profession don’t mind waking up early, commuting and staying late to get the job done. They do it all with a smile on their face because they are professionally satisfied. Sure, they might have the occasional bad day, but these types of days, when nothing seems to go right, never cloud their love for what they do. Sometimes we simply want to change direction and do something else.

The sad reality is that not everyone does what they love, which makes them feel unhappy and dissatisfied, which eventually spills over into their personal lives. Because they need to make a living, they continue to live unhappy professional lives and believe that their dream job is unattainable. However, this is not true.


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A goal without a plan is just a wish. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Here’s how to set long-term and short-term career goals so that you can find in a profession that satisfies to enjoy living a life that is rewarding and fulfilling. Don’t wait to make it happen. Career goals can be made at any time of the year, but the beginning of a new year is psychologically significant for many. It’s also the time of annual salary and performance reviews, and objective setting for the new calendar business year. So perfect timing all round.

Long-Term Goals

Before you set any short-term career goals, you first have to set long-term ones. You need to take smaller steps to get to your perfect job. When setting long-term goals, you need to ask yourself and reflect, what you want out of both your life and your career? What would make you happy each day as a professional? What is your vision of your future self?

Make a list of the things that are important to you and give you satisfaction both in your personal life and career. Perhaps you did have goals at one time but somehow got side-tracked along the way. What are your values and passions now? And be honest with yourself.

If you’re serious about loving your work, you can’t hold anything back.

Once you have your list, re-evaluate it to make sure that’s what you really want. And if you have more than one dream job or profession, try to narrow it down to one that you are more passionate about than the others. Consider the transferable skills that may link them all. What do they have in common?  Don’t be overwhelmed about how unattainable your long-term goals may seem, because your short-term goals will help you achieve them. You need a plan.


short-term career goals

Short-Term Goals

Now that you have your long-term goal list, it’s time to work on making them a reality. To do this, you’ll have to break up that long-term goal into separate chunks or short-term goals that are steps to get you one step closer to loving your work!

To create short-term goals, you’ll have to write down the steps needed to help you land your perfect job. So if you dream of being a chef and owning your own restaurant, you will certainly need to gain a qualification from a culinary school and perhaps take business classes to give you financial insights, find investors and manage budgets. This would be a short-term goal. Continue doing this until you have a complete list of everything you need to do, to reach your goal and live your dream.

Once you define all your short-term goals, the path to having a fulfilling career doesn’t look as daunting as it once did when you only had a long-term goal list. By checking off each short-term goal, you’ll be closer to achieving your career goals.

It’s important to set career goals and stick to them.



If you are struggling with managing your career contact 3Plus now for details of our coaching programs

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