Professional goals vary from one person to another, and what's important to you might not be important to someone else. Goals often have the potential to change over time as you grow into your profession and your priorities change. Developing basic, general goals for yourself can help you chart the course of your career and realize tangible objectives.
Career and Education Planning
Developing a basic career plan will help you set basic goals. For example, if you want to work in the accounting field, an MBA will likely be required. An early goal should therefore include plans for earning your degree. This generic approach can be applied to any career path -- determine the necessary training or education required for your chosen profession and make completion a primary goal.
If there’s a certain salary you want to earn, examine your career path to determine what career moves you’ll need to make to reach that earning potential. This can help you set goals for achieving promotions, getting raises and moving up the corporate ladder. It can also help you decide when it’s prudent to leave one company for another to take on better opportunities that will position you to achieve your earning goals.
Title or Position
If you have a goal of wanting a particular title, like vice president, or a specific position, like marketing director, set goals to help you achieve these objectives. For example, if the internal chain of command begins with marketing coordinator, marketing manager, then marketing director, you can see the path you need to work your way through to meet your goals.
Even if you don’t have a specific position or title you’re aiming for, you may have certain responsibilities you have a goal of taking on. For example, you may want to be autonomous in your work, lead small groups or supervise large groups. Having these goals in mind can help you position yourself for increasing levels of responsibility.
Many professionals have a goal of establishing a comfortable and healthy work-life balance. Reaching this objective might mean seeking out employers that grant some degree of flexibility in establishing work schedules. It might also mean pursuing the type of position that lends itself to telecommuting, work-from-home or flex time options, like consulting or research.