Professional Goals

Last Updated: April 28, 2024

Professional Goals

Are you getting tired of your life behind an office desk? Or do you feel like you aren’t heading anywhere with your career? Well, now’s the time to do something about it. It’s going to be a crazy adventure, but it’s also going to be a fulfilling one.

Regardless of where you are in life, having a goal is an essential part of living. But it’s not enough to live a life of wishful thinkings and hopeless daydreams, as you can only attain something if you fight hard for it. Apart from having life goals, you also need to have professional goals that shape your character as a working professional. While we all have our personal outlooks in our respective fields, the goals we possess still share a common purpose. It’s not about climbing what society has shaped for us, but it’s about building our own ladder to reach the top of our careers.

Professional Goals for a Better You

Goal-setting plays an important role in your work life. It’s about taking baby steps towards becoming the best version of yourself as a professional. While you can never expect yourself to reach the top of the pyramid overnight, you need to allow yourself to progress slowly but effectively. This involves a gradual process of developing your professional knowledge and skills, strengthening professional relationships, and building effective working practices.

Although your goals are shaped by your personal ambitions and needs, we’ve put together a simple list of smart goals to help push you towards success:

1. Expand professional knowledge and training.

Learning never stops, even after you’ve earned your degree. As a working professional, there are many ways to expand your knowledge, such as enrolling in various courses, attending workshops and training programs, getting certificates, and a lot more. These certificates can be of great help in your career, as it serves as clear “evidence” of your capabilities and knowledge on a certain matter. It’s important for an individual to continuously learn new skills and practices in order to grow in the said field. However, one should not feel the need to undergo a formal process just to learn, as you could always set a few personal development goals to improve yourself in every aspect.

2. Improve work performance.

There are different factors that can affect your work ethics, so you need to learn how to work your way around those that have been distracting you from doing your job well. Start coming to the office early. Have a positive attitude towards your job. Work efficiently yet effectively. One of the things that can impact your performance is the way you see yourself as a professional. Having a negative mindset will only fill your mind with doubts, making you lose all motivation to complete a given task. But if you constantly believe in yourself, then you can withstand the trials that come your way. To improve your work performance, you must continue growing as an individual.

3. Strengthen professional relationships.

Building a healthy work environment can leave a positive impact in your performance. Remember, there are different types of people in the workplace. You may not be too fond of some individuals, but you still need to learn how to set your personal differences aside. Your goal here is to treat your employees and colleagues in a professional manner. Simple greetings are good, along with respectful responses to particular scenarios. This can make your daily work experience a lot more bearable and rewarding.

4. Better presentation skills.

Being a wallflower may seem like the best way to survive each day, but sometimes, you need to allow yourself to stand out. In the corporate world, you’re likely to deal with various people in the industry, be a part of multiple meetings, and get appointed to do certain tasks. These activities may require interpersonal communication, allowing your presentation skills to be put to the test. This is why it’s important for you to improve your skills for any public presentations. You may be required to present something in front of clients, investors, or even your own boss. To spare yourself from humiliation, take the time to practice in front of a mirror. Once you possess good presentation skills, then you can openly communicate with your audience and keep them thoroughly engaged throughout the presentation.

5. Increase earnings.

Tired of earning minimum wage? Or are you working more but earning less than what you deserve?

Unfortunately, a significant percentage of the working society is composed of underpaid individuals. There are a number of companies that take advantage of the high demand for jobs that they no longer seem to be treating their employees as fairly. If you’re a part of this minority, then maybe it’s time to switch employers. It won’t be easy, but you may just be lucky enough to get a good upgrade elsewhere. If you enjoy where you’re at yet you’re still receiving the same paycheck from when you started five years ago, then this is something you could talk about with your employer. Remember, good things happen to those who strive harder than the others.

6. Attain a higher job role.

Never settle. Many people possess the ultimate goal of becoming a successful leader. They often set leadership goals for them to follow as well. But it’s not the power nor the status that truly drives them rather, it is the opportunity to turn a career or organization into something better. However, this is not something that can be handed to you so easily. In most cases, for you to reach the top, you need to know what it’s like to start from the bottom. This requires hard work, patience, perseverance, and commitment to acquire. Experience and skills are just some of the things a good leader must have, as you also need to possess the right attitude and values to successfully lead a group.

7. Gain new experiences.

You can only truly grow in your career if you learn how to step out of your comfort zone. Volunteer for special programs in your community or at work. Talk to the people you have never spoken to before. Explore the field you are in. Learn from the mistakes you made and see them as lessons to live by. Living life differently will allow you to gain new experiences. These moments will tailor you into a becoming a better individual along the way.

8. To work for a dream company.

Have you ever wanted to work at a specific company so much, but have felt too intimidated and inexperienced to actually give it a shot?

The job you’ve always wanted and the company you’ve been dreaming to work for should be enough to inspire you to work harder. Including this in your list of career goals gives you the motivation to strive in the profession you are in. Even if you weren’t accepted the first time doesn’t mean you won’t be a suitable candidate for the next. Work on improving yourself first, then the rest will come after. Consider this as a challenge to take on, despite the struggles that may come your way.

9. Own a business.

Starting a business is one way to take the leap of faith in your profession. For most people, owning a business is an investment goal that’s difficult to achieve, yet still possible if you believe. Apart from having the money to invest with and a good business plan to start, you must have the right vision and mission as well. A business is not something that could grow on its own, as every entrepreneur should stay dedicated and committed to seeing his or her business prosper in the industry. It would also be best to start a business that revolves around your passion. For instance, if you’ve worked as a civil engineer for a good half of your career, then maybe you would want to venture towards starting a business that specializes in the said field. But remember, being an entrepreneur is far from simple. You need to prepare yourself to make huge sacrifices in the long run.

Smart Tips to Achieve Your Goals

What do you want to achieve in a year? How about a decade from now? When you set goals, you have a path for your journey. This gives you an idea of where you want to be in the near future, which can then tailor the decisions you make in the present. To guide you through this process, here are some tips on how you can accomplish your goals:

  • Make a career plan. If you want to be satisfied with what you do, you need to identify your short-term goals and long-term goals first. These activities will help you determine your career plan. But don’t try and keep all these thoughts stuck in your head. Writing your goals makes it all the more “real”. This gives you the drive to keep pushing forward even when things get tough.
  • Create a road map. Once you have set your plan, it’s now time to identify the necessary steps to get there. When things get a little too much to handle, it’s not unusual to lose your way. So when this happens, a roadmap will give your life direction. It serves as a reminder of why you started, along with what it takes to finish it. A few words of encouragement is enough to keep you grounded, especially when you begin to forget your purpose.
  • Set deadlines. It’s not so much that you’re trying to pressure yourself into doing something great, but a deadline will give you the motivation to start. You see, most of us live in an endless cycle of “tomorrow”. We tend to procrastinate and get sidetracked by temptations, often disregarding the goals we have set for ourselves. And if you work for something but fail to complete it on time, don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep in mind that we all live at our own pace. Just because we can’t attain something now doesn’t mean it will never come to us. As mentioned before, patience is a virtue. Failure should never be a reason to quit.
  • Reward yourself after every accomplishment. Every once in a while, you need to give yourself some credit for all the work you’ve done. Treat yourself. It doesn’t have to cost you more than your monthly budget can take, but just enough to keep you satisfied and motivated to go on. It’s also important to take a rest after you’ve accomplished something great. Never overwork your mind and body, as this will do nothing but slow you down. You need to make sure you’re physically and mentally fit enough to pursue your dreams.
  • Find a partner. Have you noticed how some people have a partner for everything? It could be a gym buddy, a bucket list best friend, or a significant other to travel the world with. Find someone who shares the same sentiments as you. Having someone around who supports what you do gives you that extra push to do better. And if you fall, you’ll have somebody there to lend you a helping hand. Remember to do the same for your partner as well.

How to Set Achievable Professional Goals

Setting a professional goal is like swimming across the other side of the pool. Though the edge is pretty visible, the difficulty of reaching it depends on your capabilities and the distance. If you are a poor swimmer, you would probably be unassertive in pursuing it or, worse, you’ll fail and drown. On the other end, when you are a great one, you might find that task easy.

This swimming pool concept applies to set your professional goal. Regarding your professional dreams, it is critical to take note of reality too. Though it is advisable to aim high, it is also important to keep your objective achievable. These steps could help you set your own professional goals while keeping in touch with actuality.

1. Commit on a specific goal.

The first thing to be considered in setting your professional goal is commitment. It is easier for you to proceed on the following steps if you invest yourself in something that you really love or in the track that you will see yourself successful and contented. Your goal should be specific and realistic. Like shooting a dart, you need a target that is visible and reachable to hit your mark. Remove any ambiguity in the process so you could have a clearer trajectory toward your goals.


  • Rather than stating, “I want to be a manager,” you may state, “I want to be the manager of Shoebox shoe store.
  • Rather than stating, “I want to be a chef,” you may state, “I want to be the head cook of Bon Appétit restaurant.”
  • Rather than stating, “I want to be a consultant,” you may state, “I want to work in We Know It All agency as a consultant.”

2. Devise a plan.

A goal will forever stay as it is unless you will start working on it. However, before acting on it, you must create a concrete plan first. Considering that achieving your professional goals will not be as easy as you think it is, thus, you need to be wise and creative enough to pursue it. Your plan should be as detailed as you can, and the same with your goal, it should be rational and realistic.


  • Lourdes Anne is an amateur tailor, and your goal is to be a designer and dressmaker of her own boutique. To achieve this, she planned to put herself in a fashion designing course and learn how to run a business as well. She also thought of saving at least 1,000 dollars to start her own small business in her town ABCD.

3. Commit to your commitment.

With all your heart, you must stand on your goal. Though there will honestly be obstacles along the way, it is important to be loyal to yourself and your objectives. Your goals will forever be an image if you keep on doing nothing. If in doubt, relate to the inspiring stories of the successful people. Moreover, you don’t have forever, so be mindful of time too.


  • Pierre Omidyar
  • Joe Coulombe
  • Steve Jobs
  • John Ferolito and Don Vultaggio
  • Matt Maloney and Mike Evans

4. Let your professional goals be written.

After a long time of reflecting toward your career goal, it is now time to put these into a sheet of paper. Simply gather a piece of paper or a journal and a pen, then write your goal completely in a tone of certainty. Therefore, rather than using “may” or “might,” you can use “will.”


  • Rather than “I may enroll myself in Culinary Arts at XYZ university to start my own restaurant business near my place,” you may state, “I will enroll myself in Culinary Arts at XYZ university to start my own restaurant business near my place.”
  • Rather than “I may write 30 articles this week to reach my quota,” you may state, “I will write 30 articles this week to reach my quota.”

Goal-setting is a clever technique that successful individuals practice to progress in their respective fields. As professionals, having a goal allows us to come to work each day with a clear purpose in mind. Instead of perceiving your career as a never-ending cycle of pointless grinding needed to survive, a goal gives us a reason to dream bigger. Keep in mind, it’s a long journey of ups and downs. You have to take it one step at a time, and slowly but surely, you’ll see yourself becoming a career-driven professional with a mind and body to strive hard.

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