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How to Create Development Goals for Work in Minutes

How to Create Development Goals for Work in Minutes

Your meeting with your leader is about to take place in an hour. At your last one-on-one meeting, you were asked to develop the professional goals you would like to accomplish this year. Unfortunately, this to-do slipped your mind with other pressing projects and deadlines. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

This article will help you walk through the steps for creating development goals for work in under 30-minutes. So let’s jump right in.


What makes a good development goal for work?

When creating development goals for work, you will want to ensure it meets the following criteria. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if your development goals for work are reasonable.

  • Achievable and Realistic - Will I be able to attain my goal within the time frame?

  • Challenging and Motivating - Is my goal going to stretch me outside my comfort zone? What will be the feeling when I achieve this goal?

  • Clear and Specific - If I told someone my goal, would they understand what I’m trying to achieve?

  • Relatable to Your Work Vision - Do my goals relate to where I want my career to go?

  • Fits Your Work-Life Balance and Commitments - In the pursuit of achieving this goal or when I have met my goal, can I do so while maintaining my work-life balance and outside of work commitments?

  • Measurable and Time-bound - Do I have a metric(s) I can track my progress and end date for achieving my goal?


Build Your Development Goals for Work

Identifying and pursuing professional development goals is critical for career acceleration and success. Follow these three steps to build your professional development goals quickly.


Step 1: Where Do You Want To Go?

The first step in creating any goal is to think about the optimal future state. It can be a long-term goal you want to work towards over several years or a short-term goal that can be achieved within the year. In either case, goal development starts with the vision of where you want to go.

For example, a goal may be a promotion to the next management level or hitting a sales target for the year. Whatever your development goal for work is, ensure your professional vision for your career also incorporates your priorities outside of work, commitments, and desired work-life balance.


Step 2: How Will You Get There?

Depending on the goal you’re trying to achieve, you will likely need to learn new skills, gain exposure to different people, and try new experiences. To create your roadmap of how you’ll achieve your goal, think back on the feedback you’ve received on areas of improvement or career conversations you’ve had. These will help you craft the initial draft of your development activities, which your manager can help you refine over time.

Your goal, how ambitious it is, and the level of skill and experience you currently have will all be factors in determining the number of activities, the timeline for achievement, and the new skills that will need to be developed.


Step 3: Write Out Your Intentions

The final step is to put your goal and plan for achievement in writing. Download the professional goals workbook and use the editable worksheets to map out your goals and what you’ll need to accomplish them. Before presenting your goals to your manager, assess them against the criteria of a good development goal at work.

Development Goals for Work Worksheet


Examples of Development Goals for Work

If you’re still struggling and need some ideas, here are some common development goals for work you can use.

  • Complete a Course: Pursuing a development goal often requires new skills. To gain knowledge and skill, many seek out training. Typical training topics include leadership development, communication, and business acumen.

  • Attend a Conference: In many roles, staying up to date on the latest thinking and trends is critical. Therefore, attending industry or function-specific conferences is an item on many development lists.

  • Go on Client Calls: Whether attending a project meeting or a sales call, going on client calls is an excellent development goal to add, no matter your functional role. These meetings give exposure to other departments, how leaders interact with clients, and insights into the customer experience and needs.

  • Pursue a Stretch Assignment: By their very nature, stretch assignments develop your knowledge and skill as they are projects that are currently beyond your level or new to you.

  • Job Shadow in Another Department: Gaining a cross-functional perspective and understanding is critically important as you move up in an organization. Job shadowing is an excellent opportunity to do so.

  • Work With a Professional Coach: A one-on-one coach will help guide and push you towards your development goals at work. Coaches are trained professionals who help clients build self-awareness, provide advice, develop skills, and create a roadmap to goal attainment.

Professional Goals Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide With Editable Worksheets

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