Take the Leap: Set Long-Term Career Goals

Achieving career success isn’t about luck. It’s typically not even about intelligence either. Instead, it often comes down to one practice: effective goal setting. With realistic and tangible objectives, you’ll have a plan in place that enables you to better navigate your career path ahead. Not only that, but you can measure progress along the way, ensuring you don’t get off track.

When it comes to setting long-term goals, where do you begin? There are some best practices to keep in mind, so you feel more confident taking the leap. Here’s a look at 5 of them:

#1: Know where you want to go.

Obviously, you can’t start setting goals unless you have some clarity about what you’re trying to accomplish. Is it a move up in your current company? A total career change? To gain more specialized skills in your field? To work with one of Kansas City’s employment agencies to advance your career into a new job? Whatever the case, get specific when you’re defining long-term goals. For instance: “I want to get promoted to the position of XYZ in the next year.”

#2: Write it all down.

Creating a plan in your head might be a good first step. However, writing it all down should be the next one. When you do, you’ll have to think deeper about each, which will help you pinpoint flaws or weaknesses, as well as tweak areas that aren’t completely clear. As a result, you’ll be able to develop concrete goals that are more attainable, too.

#3: Be realistic.

Above all, your goals should be realistic. If they’re not, then you’re simply setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. If, for instance, you want to earn your MBA and you have a family of small children and a spouse who travels, getting it done in two years might not be feasible. However, creating a four-year plan could make more sense. Likewise, your goals have to be compatible with the skills and abilities you have.

#4: Create benchmarks.

During your journey, it’s important to have benchmarks in place to track your progress in an easy way. To create them, set up a timeline for each goal and then assign specific aspects of each to those dates. That said, there are times when situations change. Perhaps a month into your plan, the perfect job opportunity falls into your lap, one you didn’t expect. That’s ok. Your plan should be flexible and one you’re open to adapting.

#5: See yourself succeeding.

There’s something to be said about the power of visualization and positivity. It’s a tactic athletes, actors and other high-achievers put to use. So, if your goal is to get promoted, think about what that will be like, from day-to-day duties to your career satisfaction, as well as how it will impact your life overall. This will keep you motivated at points where progress seems stagnant.

There’s no magic formula for long-term career success. Instead, setting measurable goals – and persisting over time – is the best way of accomplishing them.

Interested in more advice and help with career planning or job search efforts?

Turn to the team at Morgan Hunter. As one of Kansas City’s top employment agencies with more than 30 years of experience, you can trust us to help you define career goals, identify the right-fit opportunities, and connect with rewarding jobs at some of the area’s leading companies. Contact us today to learn more or get started by searching our Kansas City jobs now.