Professional Goal Setting Tips


Goal setting sounds easy enough. You point toward your dreams and say, “that’s where I’m headed,” and you’re on your way, right? It’s a good start, but you have just activated a vision, not a goal. Your vision for your career is the overarching picture or idea of what you’d like to have happen. Your career goals are more tactical and involve action. Want to take goal setting to the next level?


You may ask yourself, why is professional goal-setting essential, and how can it assist you in your job search?


Well, think of it this way. When you have intentionally and thoughtfully considered what you want for yourself, you can deliberately search for new jobs and accept offers. has a list of professional goal-setting templates you can use to outline your short-term and long-term milestones on your way to success. Also, James Clear’s book and blog, Atomic Habits, is eye-opening.


Here are a few elements to consider as you prepare to outline your professional goals.

  1. Is this goal something you can commit to long term?
  2. Are you able to create actionable steps to reach your goal?
  3. Ask yourself what’s your “why” and what’s most important to you?
  4. What personal and professional changes can you make to achieve your goal?
  5. Write down your vision for the future. What does your career and work-life balance look like?


One of the other tried-and-true methods of developing your professional goals is the SMART method. Your goals need to be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Sensitive.


Here is a deeper look at each part of the SMART acronym:



When setting goals, it is essential to be precise. This ensures accountability and direction. For example, you have a vision that you want to get certified. First, choose a skill that you want to grow. Then, go the extra mile and choose a training program with courses and dates.


It’s easy to get off course with your career goals if they aren’t measurable. Suppose you intend to craft better work friendships. In that case, you will need to set mini-goals such as attending one happy hour per month or starting a walking lunch with a few teammates. This vision can become a goal and then a reality by adding measurement.


It’s good to believe that nothing is impossible for you, but it’s important to be pragmatic. For example, if your goal is to double your sales this quarter compared to last, look at past quarters and determine whether or not that’s realistic. If it is, your next step is to set smaller stepping stones to get there.


Stay focused. Let’s say you want to build your business by growing your network. You can attend more networking events and post and comment on LinkedIn. These strategies will allow you to reach more business owners who need accounting advice.


Deadline force you to commit or let go. Say you want to sort your inbox into usable folders. Set an end date of 30-days from now. Set smaller goals like deleting or filtering a certain number of emails daily or weekly. This will keep you accountable and help make your plan appear less daunting.


Now that we have discussed how to set professional goals, do you feel ready to dive in?

One more thing, tap here to discover how to make working from home a success, or here for tips on how to conquer procrastination.

Focus offers customizable job search options, and we can connect job seekers to their perfect-fit opportunities. Click the link to start your job search or call our office at 770-937-0410! Our team of recruiters are here to help you meet your career goals!


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