Setting goals for professional development is an important part of advancing your career. Whether your goals are to be more productive at work or become the CEO of a corporation, the only way to get there is by setting actionable goals you can work on every day.
Professional goals are goals you set that are focused on improving your career and increasing your competencies and capabilities in the workplace. There are several development goals you can set to further your workplace success, and the exact goals you set should be dependent on your unique aspirations in terms of career. Goals can be related to learning new skills, obtaining new degrees or certifications, getting more experience in a certain area, moving up in your workplace, and aiming for any other aspirations related to advancing your career.
- Give you an idea of your vision for your future: Many people know what they want to do in the next year, but do you know what your long-term career goals are? Where do you want to be in five or even 10 years? Establishing goals allows you to identify your long-term aspirations and begin to take action in reaching those aspirations.
- Help you hone existing workplace skills: Even if you’re great at what you do, there is always room for improvement or advancement. The greatest athletes don’t simply rest on their laurels and use their current level of fitness to ride out their success. Rather, they regularly practice to get stronger and faster. The same is true in the workplace—working on
honing your current skills allows you to get better and grow in new and different ways, which can ultimately make you a better employee and even more successful in your career.
- Encourage you to become a better employee: Employers highly value employees who are dedicated to their jobs and the advancement of their careers. Rather than simply showing up to work and completing your duties for the day, taking time to get better at what you do will make a positive impression on your employer and could even open the door to advancement within your organization.
- Improve productivity: Have a goal to work towards can provide a steady stream of motivation and boost your productivity in the workplace. This is especially true when you separate your goals into individual tasks and work to complete a task each day or week. Making progress, even when it’s small, can keep you motivated to push through and get the job done.
It’s easy to lose sight of goals, especially if a goal you’re working on is more long-term. That’s why it’s important to regularly check in with yourself and review your progress. Realizing that you are making progress towards each goal will keep you motivated and also ensure you’re still on the right path to achieving each aspiration.