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How Do I Set Career Development Goals?

By Angela Johnson
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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When setting career development goals, it is important to put a plan in place, This includes creating an outline of possible goals and where those goals can lead. Keeping track of professional progress is important to advancement as is taking a close look at the end result.

Career development goals are an important aspect of planning for the future and rising up the career ladder. There are many people who end up in the same position, without an increase in pay or position, for many years. This can be due to not setting career development goals.

Creating a career plan must start with smaller career development goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable and realistic. It is also important to set a time limit to reaching these goals. This can help with motivation when a deadline is made.

An example of a specific career goal in finance would be to take a course on investment strategies for retirees. This goal can is specific, can be measured by the grade in the class, is attainable if a nearby school is offering the course or it is online. Plus, it is realistic.

Many industries require advanced education for positions in middle management and above. A good way to advance a career is to take courses that are aligned with the career goal in mind. Advanced degrees will take longer than a few courses or a certification program, but either way, education can be a large part of career development goals. Education has advantages when a person is planning on advancing his or her career.

Some people like to plan career development goals as an outline or as a checklist in order of importance. Writing a plan down and documenting it can be an extremely vital way to attain the goals. Seeing tangible results can oftentimes benefit people and motivate them for more success. Checking off goals that are attained can document progress in career planning goals and can be a good way to show success rates.

Mentors play an important role in advancing careers. Seeking out a mentor in your industry can benefit you in many ways. Mentors are generally in a desired role, or they know the ins and outs of the industry. It is great to have a mentor that has strong ties with higher-ups and who can offer tried and true advice. This level of support can help a budding career blossom.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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