Career Development Goals

A common misconception people have is that career development stops when they finish school and set out on their career path. But as you and I both know, this just isn’t true. In order to get ahead and continue to thrive, we must constantly find ways to grow, update our career development goals, and further develop ourselves. Some of us are fortunate enough to work in our dream job, while others feel “stuck” in their job but need to pay the bills to support themselves or their family. Still others are ready to make a move but just aren’t sure how to take that first step.

You may be lucky enough to have the support of your manager and/or HR department that sees the value in talent management. Companies know that helping their employees grow increases the likelihood that they will become more loyal and motivated to stay at the company while performing at their best and, in turn, save the company thousands of dollars in hiring costs. However, many companies, especially start-ups, simply don’t have the funds to allocate for employee development. It may not be a matter of caring about keeping employees but simply a budgetary constraint. If you love what you do but don’t feel like your company is providing you with the resources to grow, it may be time to take matters into your own hands. The best way to do this is to create your career mission statement and career development goals, and assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory can guide you along the way.

Read instructions on how to write your own career mission statement here.

Watch the 2 minute explainer video about the Strong Interest Inventory.

After you have your career mission statement, it’s helpful to set some career development goals for yourself. Think of the career mission statement as the wind in your sails, guiding you in different directions depending on the circumstances, while your career development goals are places you’d like to visit on your career journey. While goals will be different for everyone depending on what you’d like to achieve, a good rule of thumb is to have career development goals that are SMART.

SMART goals are:

Specific – with enough detail to know when you’ve accomplished them

Measurable – how are you going to measure this goal?

Achievable – your goal should be in reach, it should stretch you slightly so you feel challenged without being impossible

Results-oriented – your goal should measure an outcome, not an activity

Timely – link your goal to a specific timeframe