Are you feeling stagnant in your career, standing still while everyone else is advancing? Are you confused about what your next steps look like, your aims, and what you may want to be doing in the future?

If these are familiar feelings, creating a career plan outlining several short and long-term career goals could be the perfect way to help you take control of your career and get you back on track.

Read on to find out why you should set career goals, and how you can go about creating your own.

Why should you set career goals?

As stated by Lea McLeod on The Muse, “Setting and achieving meaningful career goals provides three essential career nutrients: increased job satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and improved quality of your life.”

Knowing what you’re aiming for and your path to get there can help to reduce stress and anxiety about the future and give you simple stepping stones to map out your route to success. Having goals will also help motivate you towards the next stepping stone ahead; they’ll push you towards increased productivity and achieving more, instead of staying still.

Finally, setting career goals can help provide you with a way to hold yourself accountable – you’ll be more likely to get things done if you know what you’re aiming for and when you want to achieve it by. This is also a great skill to develop, since it’ll show your future employers that you’re able to set tasks and get things done.

How to approach setting your goals

There are four key skills, or mentalities, that you need to have in order to set your goals and achieve them. You want to be ambitious with your goals, but you don’t want to feel like you’re going to struggle to reach them.

1. Clarity

You need to understand the specifics of your career goals, instead of vague, nebulous concepts. You need to know where you want to be and what you want to be doing; imagine what your life is like in five years’ time: What job are you doing? What does it entail? Where are you working? This will help you understand exactly where you’re going and what you want.

2. Realism

You need to make sure that the future you’re envisioning is realistic. Going from an intern to CEO in a couple of years is probably unrealistic, unless you’re extremely lucky or starting your own business. Make sure the goals you set are achievable and find out what you can do to acquire the skills to make your tasks realistic.

By making your goals realistic, you’ll be able to commit to them better because they won’t seem so far out of reach.

3. Commitment

Committing to your career plan is the most important part of this process. There’s no point creating a career plan and not sticking to it and complaining that you’re not going anywhere. If you really want to succeed, you need to be prepared to put in the effort and make things happen.

4. Support

Once you’ve committed to your goals, you can implement a support network. Feedback is important since it can show you where you’re doing well and where you might need to adapt your goal to better help you achieve it. Find mentors in your chosen industry to check in with or share your goals and updates with your coaches.

Putting all these mindsets and processes into action will allow you to establish the right conditions for success – you’ll have made sure your goals are realistic, you’ll have people to check in with who will help hold you accountable and steer you towards success, you’ll be committed, and you’ll be able to see clearly where you need to go.


There are two types of goals that you can set when considering your career path: short-term goals and long-term goals.

Short-term goals often encompass anywhere from six months to three years, whereas long term goals will carry over three to five years. However, as with all things, there are exceptions and goal timings may differ.

Short-term goals you could consider for your career plan include:

  • Learning new skills to support your current job or help prepare for a new one
  • Improving your ability to lead and work in a team
  • Joining a new industry or expanding your authority in your own industry
  • Increased efficiency
  • Earn a new qualification or continue your education
  • Look for a new job
  • Network with more people in your industry

Long-term goals that you could set:

  • Work your way towards a promotion
  • Change your career (this is different to changing your job since you could be looking outside of your industry and current field)
  • Increase your happiness at work
  • Start your own business
  • Establish yourself as an expert in your field
  • Move up into a management position at your company

If you’re looking to accomplish your career goals by finding a new job or moving into the property industry, we can give you a helping hand. At Property Personnel, we work with many clients who offer a varied and exciting selection of jobs from all different areas in the property industry. Register with us and get started on your career journey today.