Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Anyone who has ever been in a job interview or a performance review with their manager has likely heard at least one variation of this question. And yet, many applicants and employees continue to provide dry, unsure answers due to their limited thought regarding their career goals.

Instead of providing stereotypical answers such as making more money, being better at your current job, or maybe getting a promotion, why not decide what you want to do next and start setting professional goals to help you get there?

Let’s take a look at both short-term and long-term career goals, what they are, how to set them, and some ideas to get you on track to set your own!

While most may think career goals are simply defined by the position or job they want to have, the actual goals are the steps you should take to reach that end result. This means setting both short-term and long-term milestones which will direct you down the necessary path and lead where you want to be.

These goals could be gaining a new skill, boosting your networking abilities,increasing your sales or productivity numbers, interning for a large company to gain experience, earning a degree or certification, becoming an expert in your field, jumping on a career switch, winning a prestigious award or reaching a leadership position.

You have at least ten examples of career goals now to get the gears turning and set some for yourself. Do any of these suggestions sound like something you’d like to accomplish? Or did one of them give you an idea for something else?

When it comes to your professional development goals, take some time to decide what is next on your to-do list. From there, identify the short-term and long-term steps you need to follow that will help you make it a reality. To enable you keep track, use tools such as Toogl.

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