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101 Short and Long-Term Career Goals Examples for You to Steal

101 Short and Long-Term Career Goals Examples for You to Steal

You can’t afford to take a passive approach to your career. In fact, you need to be in the driver’s seat of it. You should be one in control, actively managing it every step of the way.

Otherwise, you may end up on a path that doesn’t authentically align with your aspirations and values. When that happens, dangers like disengagement and demotivation become a more significant threat to your overall sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Fortunately, setting short and long-term career goals for yourself is one way to exercise control over your career and shape it so it best suits you. If you have yet to do so or are looking to update the goals you have, this article will help, as there are over a hundred examples of short and long-term goals included below. Look at them as inspiration, and then use the Goal Setting Workbook to flesh your goals out and track your progress.


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What Is a Short-Term Career Goal?

Short-term career goals are defined as the objectives you want or need to achieve within a relatively brief timeframe, typically over the next few months to a year, that get you closer to your career aspirations. Think of them as stepping stones. By breaking down your broader long-term ambitions into more manageable, immediate, and tangible goals and then celebrating them as you achieve them, you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment, motivation, confidence, and direction.


Short-Term Career Goals Examples

Your short-term career goals should reflect your unique aspirations, values, strengths, weaknesses, and development areas. However, these short-term career goals examples should give you an of the types of goals you want to set for yourself.

Short-Term Career Goals Examples - Niagara Institute

  • Get approval to enroll in a training program
  • Dedicate 30 minutes every week to your personal development
  • Leave the office/stop working by X every night
  • Develop a personal branding strategy
  • Ask X to mentor you 
  • Volunteer for a cross-functional project
  • Practice using each of the main leadership styles
  • Revise and update my resume
  • Achieve a specific sales target
  • Attend a minimum of X industry networking events
  • Create or update your career plan
  • Learn the basics of how to use a new piece of technology
  • Create or update your portfolio
  • Get your email inbox under control
  • Create a development plan
  • Obtain a new certification
  • Craft a case for a raise or promotion and present it to your boss
  • Shadow a leader or colleague you want to learn from
  • Start time-boxing
  • Obtain a new certification
  • Read a leadership book
  • Identify your communication style
  • Identify your conflict style
  • Gain proficiency in a foreign language
  • Take your breaks instead of working through them
  • Complete an online course or workshop relevant to your role
  • Ask boss/teammates/colleagues/clients for feedback
  • Assess current responsibilities using the Eisenhower Matrix
  • Put together a strategic plan
  • Automate the creation of your daily/weekly/monthly report
  • Build a stronger working relationship with a colleague
  • Set up meetings with the top leaders in your organization
  • Conduct a personal SWOT analysis
  • Celebrate wins as a team during weekly team meetings
  • Research industry trends
  • Organize your physical and digital workspace
  • Identify your preferred language of appreciation in the workplace
  • Conduct informational interviews with people in your desired field/role
  • Practice asking teammates for help when overwhelmed
  • Run better staff meetings where everyone shows up and participates 
  • Start a personal passion project
  • Address and resolve a long-standing conflict with a colleague
  • Schedule a vacation day and ensure you take it off
  • Add X new LinkedIn connections to your network
  • Increase social media follower count or level of engagement
  • Practice public speaking
  • Respond to every email within 24 hours
  • Publish a blog post or article on a professional website
  • Conduct a skills gap analysis 
  • Practice saying “no” 
  • Have a career conversation with your boss
  • Go on a sales call or client meeting solo
  • Take a leadership assessment
  • Eat one “frog” per week
  • Ask your boss for additional responsibilities
  • Have lunch with a colleague from another department
  • Identify your top 10 areas of improvement
  • Set boundaries with your boss/teammates/colleagues/clients
  • Connect with a career role model and set up a meeting with them


What Is a Long-Term Career Goal?

Long-term career goals are defined as significant and enduring aspirations you set for your professional life, typically spanning multiple years or even decades. They are not easy, nor are they quick to achieve. Their complex and transformative nature demands strategic planning, ongoing dedication, and consistent effort from you over an extended period of time. By establishing your long-term career goals, you are casting a clear and comprehensive vision for yourself of who you want to be as a professional and what you want to achieve over the course of your career.


Long-Term Career Goals Examples

Long-term career goals vary greatly from person to person as they depend on your personal interests, skills, and aspirations, as well as your personal values. They can take a long time to solidify and an even longer time to achieve, so don’t rush this part of the process. Consider these long-term career goals examples and use them as a starting point for you to create your own.

Long-Term Career Goals Examples - Niagara Institute

  • Change careers
  • Earn a degree
  • Move into a leadership position
  • Get promoted
  • Win a prestigious industry award
  • Become your own boss
  • Make a yearly salary of X
  • Get a job at X
  • Publish a book
  • Retire by X years old
  • Start a business
  • Work in a different country
  • Be recognized as a thought leader/expert in your industry
  • Overcome your fear of public speaking
  • Earn the title of X
  • Obtain a professional certification
  • Establish a foundation/charitable organization
  • Develop an innovative product or technology
  • Lead a major research project
  • Pass X test/examination
  • Become an Executive
  • Secure a position on a board of directors
  • Develop strong leadership skills
  • Mentor a young, up-and-coming professional
  • Reach X years of service at X
  • Achieve work-life balance
  • Take a sabbatical
  • Publish research
  • Start a side hustle
  • Become a consultant
  • Transition from a for-profit to a nonprofit organization
  • Lead a team of X+ people
  • Establish a personal brand of X
  • Become fluent in another language
  • Intern at X
  • Be featured as a speaker at a major industry conference
  • Lead a successful corporate turnaround or restructuring
  • Master a new technology or industry trend
  • Get a professional coaching certification
  • Become a leader at a prominent professional association
  • Work in a role that involves extensive travel
  • Create a legacy of mentorship by fostering the careers of others

Career Plan Workbook: The First Step in Taking Control of Your Career

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