How To Make (and Accomplish) Killer Career Goals

Sara Mandeed
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Write down your goals

Your journey starts with writing down your career goal.


Keep your goal private and only share it with people that you trust. Those people can act on your behalf to help you keep your goal. A private goal will be more likely to work as a trigger for you to take action.

Be specific

To begin, it’s important to figure out precisely what you want to accomplish. I often find that this part is too challenging for my clients. They struggle with identifying what they don’t want to do vs. what they do want to do. So let’s take a moment to explore a few exercises that you can do to more clearly define what your career goals are.

The Vision Board

One visualization that’s helpful in this process is the vision board. A vision board is simply a collage of images that represents what you want in your life. It is very effective in defining career path because you often have one or several images in your vision board that represent what you want your career to be.

First, think of images, and write down keywords or phrases that represent what you want your career to be. Include images or graphics as much as possible. When you’re working on this project, use Google images: this will help you gather ideas based off of images that actually exist. You may likely come up with a few different ideas so make a comprehensive list. You can also use Pinterest or Flickr: these sites often have multiple images that represent a single concept that can be put together into a collage.

Dream big

TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS, it starts with defining them. We have been taught to set goals in a fairly routine manner. We come up with a list of eight or more things we want to accomplish in life, and we go about our way of achieving them. However, these types of goals don’t always work well for everyone.

Setting a reasonable career goal is relatively easy if your ideal job or employer has already been identified. However, if you’re still trying to find your niche, a career goal is harder to define.

To come up with an effective career goal, you’ll first need to look at the entirety of your career – where you want to be in the next three to five years – and what you hope to gain from working toward that position.

Why do you want to work in that particular industry? What do you hope to accomplish there? Do you want to use your degree toward a specific position? If so, what will that position do for you? Do you just want to make a lot of money or do you want to find a long-term career? These are all questions you’ll need to ask yourself to help you formulate a realistic and stable goal.

Limit the number

The first step is to make a list of all the things you want to accomplish. What would you like to be doing five years from today? Write down your goals…all of them!

When you look at your list, do you really want to tackle all of those goals at the same time? Will you be able to concentrate on your family, your work, and your career development if you have so many things to sort out?

It probably isn’t possible. That is one of the reasons why I advocate having small, clear goals instead of big, vague goals.

You might have been thinking about your career goals, and you might have already made a list of things you want to improve. But do you have any priorities?

Don’t worry if you are finding it hard to work on your goals. There are understandable reasons for this.

For one, it is difficult to decide where to start and what’s important. The list of career goals might be big, long and a bit overwhelming …and that’s because you’re trying to accomplish everything at the same time.

Save the date

A great habit is to always add your tasks to your calendar. I like to see all my stuff on my calendar so I can view it at a glance, especially when I’m in a meeting.

If your job allows you to carry mobile devices, use them.

These days, you can keep your schedule with you and easily jot down reminders anytime, anywhere.

Be sure to include your reminders into your calendar (if you have one).

This way your to-dos will always be in front of you and will serve as an invitation and reminder to start up your task each day.

You can also include the time it takes you to accomplish each goal. It might be a long-term goal, but have a completion date.

Think of time as a type of currency. For example, if you want to write a book, the goal is to get 50,000 words out by a certain date.

Each day, you need to deposit time into your goal so you can accomplish it by the date you need to.

I like to set google reminder to keep me on task.