Do you want to excel at work, climb the corporate ladder, and earn more money?
If so, you will need to set professional goals.
Work goals accelerate your professional growth, which increases your value in the marketplace. The more value you provide, the more opportunities and rewards you will get.
But what are good work goals to set?
This article covers the best professional goal examples for you to achieve career success.
So let’s dive in!
Professional goals are the objectives you set to achieve in your career. For example, think about learning specific skills, salary increases, job promotions, or crushing business targets.
Setting goals is essential to increase your chance of success.
Why? Here are some of the benefits:
But where do you start?
Here are ten of the best professional goal examples to inspire you to set your own.
Today, networking fills more vacancies than job boards. In other words, building relationships is essential in your career.
But not only for job opportunities.
Networks benefit you in many different ways. For example, your network can serve as a source for potential clients, speaking engagements and other surprising benefits.
That’s why you should set networking goals and here are some examples:
There are many different ways to gain exposure. And the best way is to get yourself out there and provide value without expecting anything in return.
The marketplace is always looking for people with skills that can solve problems.
So if you want to advance your career, you need to identify what skills are in high demand in your industry. And then develop these kinds of skills.
Here are some examples of goals to set:
Besides your specific industry-related skills, there are many different skills you could learn. Here are some useful ones:
Pick the skill that could lift your career the most and set professional goals for that area.
Improving your ability to understand someone’s point of view increases your effectiveness. It will improve your relationships and your ability to influence.
Communication is an essential skill to develop and includes:
If you want to improve your listening skills. How can you set up professional goals around these soft skills?
A great way is to ask your colleagues to fill out a feedback survey. Ask questions like, rate me on a scale of 1-10, in which a 10 means you highly agree with the statement:
You can periodically send a survey like this to the same people. Twice a year would be a reasonable frequency. And the more people you can get to fill out your survey, the more objective it becomes.
When you get the initial score, you can set a goal to improve your scores by 10%.
Tip: make the survey easy to fill out for other people. That will encourage them to provide you with this valuable feedback.
Did you spot a knowledge gap in your company? Then, setting professional goals to fill that gap establishes you as the go-to person.
It sets you apart within the company.
This can lead to more career opportunities and put you in a good position in future salary negotiations.
Becoming the go-to expert also has many other benefits. For example, people come to you for advice, which you can leverage to expand your network.
While this may seem challenging to do, it’s not so challenging if you develop the habit of proactivity.
To do so, here’s a challenge for you for this week:
Find a way to pick up something outside your routine tasks at work. In other words, look for a way to go the extra mile.
If you look for ways to provide more value every week than your job describes, you will develop the habit of proactivity.
Being proactive will lead to more opportunities too. And once you find an area you would like to become an expert in, learn everything you can about it.
Becoming an industry expert enables many opportunities like speaking engagements, job offers, and potential clients.
Both you and your company can benefit from it.
Of course, if you lack expertise and experience, you may want to become an expert in your company first but if you feel like you can provide value to your space, it’s an excellent time to contribute and build some good habits.
Here are some professional goal examples:
Avoid seeking recognition or earning money from your gigs. Instead, your goal should be to:
Becoming an industry expert is a big professional goal to set but the most challenging goals are often also the most rewarding.
Ever asked, “why do we do it this way?” and got the answer, “because we have always done so.”?
That’s an excellent opportunity for you.
Improving processes is an essential part of any business. And if you spot an opportunity to do so, you can provide lots of value.
For example, if your organization is struggling to get a hold of who’s on holiday, when, and how long, then Leave Dates is an excellent tool to improve that process.
Here are some other ideas for you to set professional goals around:
Many of these suggestions require a proactive approach but if you find ways to improve processes at work you'll certainly make yourself more valuable in the marketplace.
Time is the most valuable resource, and almost no one has enough of it.
In addition, most people are easily distracted by what is urgent and forget about the essential tasks.
That’s why time management is so important. Here are some professional goal examples of setting for yourself:
Setting goals in this area improves your awareness of how you spend your time, which is essential to mastering it.
How awesome would it be to achieve your goals while helping others achieve theirs?
Becoming a mentor not only benefits others, but it benefits you too.
What makes a good mentor? Here are the skills you will need to learn:
Besides becoming more valuable to the company, you will also learn a lot. Mentoring someone can prove to be a great challenge but a rewarding one.
If you’re looking for a new job or career, one of the best professional goals is to upgrade your resume.
The more it stands out, the higher your chances of landing an interview.
A great way to achieve this goal is with the help of a job or resume coach. The feedback they provide helps you understand how much you’re improving.
But if you want to do it yourself, here are some professional goals you could set to improve your resume:
The last tip especially will make you stand out from most other applicants. So make it a goal to tailor every resume that you send.
One of the biggest professional goals you may want to achieve in your life is getting your dream job. The challenge is that these goals often feel daunting and scary.
Dissect your big and hairy professional goal into smaller chunks.
Here’s how you can do that:
Breaking your goal down in this way makes it actionable and these goals feel much more achievable, reducing procrastination and increasing motivation.
Tip: When setting short-term goals, focus on actions, not results. For example, set a goal to write for 30 minutes rather than to complete two pages.
Setting work goals will help you achieve career success as well as benefit your company.
Each of the professional goal examples in this article can bring you closer to becoming the best version of yourself at work.
And as a result, it provides you with many opportunities and benefits you may not be able to imagine right now.