Often when people land a job, they can become trapped because they don’t adequately plan out the next step in their career. Serious considerations professionals have to deal with include what types of skills they have and where they want to be professionally. Creating career development goals addresses these issues. If you want to take the next step in your career or make some professional changes, you have options available that will help you establish goals.
Step 1 – Get on your boss’s good side. Develop a relationship with your current superior, if you have one. Your boss can be a valuable asset in creating your career development goals at the company for which you work.
Step 2 – Obtain a copy of your job description. This is a formalized document that outlines exactly what your job responsibilities are. If you’re trying to formulate career goals while staying at your current company, a job description can give you a better idea of where there is room to develop. You can use this job description, in conjunction with a sit-down with your boss, to request greater responsibilities and duties, or formulate goals that will help you reach a job position with more responsibility than your current one.
Step 3 – Make your development goals concrete and measurable. Avoid vague benchmarks like “I will become better at my job.” Instead, say “I will be the highest-selling salesman at the company in six months.” Work with your boss, if necessary or feasible, to develop these goals.
Step 4 – Make notes during the entire process of establishing career goals, from initial talks with your superior or a friend to actually achieving some of your goals. Documenting all the information that is exchanged during your formulation of career goals can help you have valuable information on hand later in the process. Chances are, these goals will take awhile to realize; you may have to refer back to plans made or comments you or your boss said in the past.
Step 5 – Set up one or more dates for evaluation meetings throughout the process. Concrete goals, such as “Gain a master’s degree in architecture,” are only realized when you regularly evaluate your progress toward them. Evaluation meetings with a boss or someone you trust can help you stay on top of these goals. For instance, if you want to get that master’s degree in architecture, but haven’t chosen a school or submitted an application yet, an evaluation meeting can help you sort out your priorities and act on them.