10 Professional Goals to Set (And How To Set Them)

What is one good career goal a job seeker can set for themselves? How can a job seeker set this goal and hold themselves accountable?

To help you set good career goals and hold yourself accountable, we asked business professionals and leaders this question for their insights. From adding every relevant industry recruiter on LinkedIn to being a lifelong learner, there are several career goals you can set and accomplish.

Here are ten professional goals to set and how to set them:

  • Add Every Relevant Industry Recruiter on LinkedIn
  • Become a Respected Source of Knowledge
  • Obtain a Senior Position Within 5 Years
  • Set Specific Daily Goals
  • Examine Your Social Media Presence
  • Steel Your Mindset
  • Maintain New Job for at Least 2 Years
  • Find a mentor
  • Network Regularly
  • Be a Lifelong Learner

Add Every Relevant Industry Recruiter on LinkedIn

If you are interested in a specific type of role, it is excellent to develop relationships with recruiters in that area gradually. When they disclose their names, you can add them to LinkedIn contacts to continue seeing relevant job offers. You can also email them to ask them to add you to their mailing list or candidate database. As you continue doing that, you may find out you are receiving more and more relevant offers.

Rebeca Sena, GetSpace.digital

Become a Respected Source of Knowledge

Lifelong learners often have the most career successes. Making a point to consider every opportunity to expand your knowledge on your specific business niche can make you a valuable asset for any organization in your field. Hungry learners advance the ranks because they are always looking to improve their skills and grow. You can make yourself accountable by starting small and picking out a book on your area of expertise.

Jacob Dayan, Community Tax

Obtain a Senior Position Within 5 Years

A career goal a job seeker can set for themselves would be obtaining a senior position within five years. Most people start out at entry-level and work themselves up. No matter what your industry, you may want to progress to a senior role within five years because it allows room for growth. You can hold yourself accountable by consistently working toward that goal and tracking your progress on a regular basis.

Tirzah Shirai, The Blink Bar

Set Specific Daily Goals

The importance of good time management can never be overstated. If this is something you struggle with, work on it through your job search. Set a daily number of applications to get done each day, and a time by which you want to get them done. If you have trouble meeting that daily goal, assess what you’re doing wrong, adjust, and try again the next day. You’ll get a ton of applications sent, and hone a marketable skill that will help you get and keep a job!

Ryan Shallenberger, SEKISUI

Examine Your Social Media Presence

Most potential employers now will review your social media activity, and some will go further and check out other channels to see if they can form a more comprehensive picture of you as a job candidate. Examine how you present yourself on social media and online discussion platforms, ensure anything they may discover presents you in the best possible light. Finally, review your privacy settings!

Stewart McGrenary, Freedom Mobiles

Steel Your Mindset

I recently made a career transition after being a stay-at-home mom and then a teacher for several years. Before the school year started, I gave my notice and enrolled in school full-time. I had set a goal to finish school in two years and start a new career that could be done remotely. All that change can be scary!

If you’re contemplating a career transition, something that helped me the most was to steel my mindset. Many things changed over the two years I was in school financially, personally, and professionally. But I knew they were merely steps toward a big goal. One mantra that kept me going was, “This is just a season.”

And it’s true! I had semesters that were brutal, one Christmas where I had to start work at six in the morning, and countless family and friend events that I missed. But…it was all just a season. I’m now in a new season where I’m learning the ins and outs of a new remote role after graduating and once I master it, I’ll find myself in yet another season!

Meryl Schulte, Markitors

Maintain New Job for at Least 2 Years

One career goal a job seeker can set for themselves is to hold the job that they acquire for at least 2 years. This will help them in the long run by showing that they can be a loyal employee to the same company for an extended period of time. You want to avoid being a “job hopper” and having short stints on your resume. You can hold yourself accountable to this by finding the right job that fits your needs. Be patient when looking for a new job and avoid just taking a job just because you need it. Find the right job for you that you can settle into for the next couple years.

Jeremy Gardner, MadeMan

Find a Mentor

A solid career goal for any job seeker is to find a mentor that can share knowledge and advice for a niche industry. Applicants can send in hundreds of resumes and cover letters, but only a trusted mentor can advise what they need to do to succeed. They can recommend job boards or online courses that could be beneficial towards landing that role. In terms of holding themselves accountable, a job seeker must consistently search on LinkedIn for the perfect fit or even reach out to executives in their company. A mentor can give you the tools you need to advance in your career, and that’s a first step when setting a goal.

Corey Walters, Here

Network Regularly

A good career goal for a job seeker is to network regularly with people. This is a goal that can be done easily through online platforms and in-person. It can start with following professionals on social media platforms and reaching out to them personally on LinkedIn. You can also start conversations with people at seminars, social events, or appointments. Let them know you are looking for a job or are interested in working in their company. This may help you discover unlisted job openings or people may recommend you for future opportunities. 

Allan Jeffrey, Ultra Decking

Be a Lifelong Learner

One smart career goal for any job seeker is to be a lifelong learner. No matter what industry you’re in, it’s always wise to add new skills and capabilities to your arsenal. Whether you’re reskilling, upskilling or brushing up on your current know-how, it’s always a great idea to stay up-to-date and thus more competitive in the marketplace.

In conjunction with the New Year, now’s the perfect time to research what classes or certifications you’d like to obtain. If the motivation is there you’ll find no end to free resources to add that extra sparkle to your resume. Select one or two classes/courses (it’s important not to overwhelm yourself) and resolve to dedicate at least 30 minutes every other day (or ideally more) to learning. This is an amount of time almost everyone can carve out and you’ll be done within a few weeks at most. Then rinse and repeat, but above all else enjoy the journey and the feeling of satisfaction once you’ve completed it.

Peter Bryla, Zety

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