10 Short-Term Career Goals That’ll Help You Build a Fulfilling Career

Quick Wins, Lasting Impact

Short-Term Career Goals

When you think about your career, where do you see yourself in 10 years? Perhaps you’re hoping to be in a higher-paying position, running your own business, leading your department or publishing a book. These are all great long-term career goals!

However, to achieve these kinds of big goals, you need a plan. By intentionally setting short-term career goals, you can create a roadmap to help you reach those larger goals. In this article, we’ll share the importance of short-term career goals and some actionable short-term goals you can set to reach your fullest potential in your career!

Why are Short-Term Career Goals Important?

First, it’s important to understand the difference between short-term and long-term goals. While short-term goals can be achieved anytime between a day and a year, long-term goals typically take five to 10 years to accomplish.

Regardless of your job title or line of work, setting short-term goals is essential for career development. Since long-term goals can feel overwhelming and unattainable, having short-term goals helps to break those big dreams into smaller, actionable steps. Therefore, having objectives for the foreseeable future is key to maintaining focus, staying motivated and progressing toward long-term goals.

10 Examples of Short-Term Career Goals

Here are some useful short-term career goals you can set to help propel your career forward!

1. Write Down Your Long-Term Career Goal

Creating a long-term career goal is one of the most important first steps for understanding your short-term goals. By taking some time to consider your long-term career goal, you’ll gain clarity about what kind of short-term goals are most important.

To create a long-term career goal, think about the professional achievements you’re interested in pursuing. If you’re unsure about that, research various career paths, learn about different job positions and take some time to soul-search and visualize your future career.

2. Pursue a New Certificate or Degree

Sometimes, reaching your long-term career goal requires additional education. Earning a new certificate or degree now can unlock new job options for you in the future. After completing an education program, you can also negotiate a higher salary. Plus, earning an additional certificate or postgraduate degree will give you a competitive edge when applying for future jobs.

3. Network

Networking is a great short-term goal because it helps enhance your professional life. By making professional connections, you can discover new opportunities, learn from those around you and maybe even find a mentor.

Some great ways to network are by attending networking events or asking people from your company or industry to chat over coffee. You can also network remotely using LinkedIn.

4. Create Your Own Portfolio

Having a portfolio is a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates. Whether you’re hoping to be promoted or applying for a new job, your portfolio is a great way to show an employer your accomplishments, skills and career highlights.

You can use many user-friendly websites to build a portfolio, such as Squarespace. On your website, you can include past work samples, notable performance metrics, relevant visuals and other information that’ll grab an employer’s attention!

5. Polish Up Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

If you haven’t updated your resume or LinkedIn profile in a while, this is a great short-term goal for you. By updating your resume and LinkedIn with your recent job experiences, you’ll be ready to apply for any opportunity that comes your way.

To make a new, high-quality resume with ease, you can use a template from Canva. On LinkedIn, you can revamp your profile with these 20 steps.

6. Improve Your Performance Numbers

Every job has some form of metric used to measure success or productivity. Think about a clear metric used for your job and track that metric over time. By focusing on improving that number, you can provide clear, quantitative data about your work accomplishments and progress.

If you’d like to monitor your productivity, you can use websites such as Fiverr Workspace to track your time and optimize your daily work schedule.

7. Read Books Related to Your Career

Continued education is extremely beneficial for achieving work goals. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be done formally. By taking some time each day or week to read a book related to your industry, you can sharpen your knowledge, learn valuable information and study new skills independently.

8. Attend Seminars, Conferences and Training Programs

Seminars, conferences and training programs are all great ways to enrich your professional life. These kinds of career development events allow attendees to connect with like-minded professionals, gain new skills and learn about emerging technologies.

9. Get Organized

A messy workspace or disorganized daily schedule might hinder you from reaching your full potential. Therefore, cleaning up your physical workspace and creating a daily plan can help improve your clarity and focus.

Take a few minutes each day to straighten up your space. You can also use websites such as Notion to help keep your to-do lists and work notes organized.

10. Find a New Job

If your current job is not a good fit for you or it isn’t in the industry you’re hoping to work in, it might be preventing you from reaching your goals. By finding a new job that’s a better fit for you and your goals, you can gain job experience that’ll help move you forward in the direction of your dreams.

Final Tips for Setting Short-Term Career Goals

Setting goals is very important, but try to be realistic about the number of goals that you set. Prioritize the most important goals and aim to achieve a few of them at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

It’s also important to share your goals with others for accountability. Having an accountability partner, such as your manager, mentor, friend or partner, will help you stay on track and committed to your career goals.

Finally, it’s important to check your progress regularly and reassess your goals periodically. With hard work, focus and patience, your short-term goals will surely pay off!

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