Everybody aspires to have the ideal career that blends their interests and talents. But getting there can feel like a difficult task. Achieving your career goals involves meticulous planning, regardless of whether your ultimate aim is to work in the C-suite of an international organization or manage your own small firm. 

You have more control over your career than you may realize, even when you are just starting out. You can get on the right track, take charge of your career, and land the job of your dreams by setting clear and precise goals.

What is career trajectory? 

Career transitions are the changes in employment that employees make, whereas career trajectories are the potential for economic advancement in the ten years after the commencement of employment.

What are the objectives of a career? 

Your career goals are objectives that pertain to your work life. They vary from person to person and are subject to change as your job develops. 

Achieving career goals will need several steps. Let's take the example of a youngster who aspires to lead a sizable car firm as CEO. To accomplish this, they must go through a number of steps, such as the following:

  • Complete high school; 
  • seek an engineering or business management degree at a university; 
  • and obtain internship experience 
  • Acquire a position at the entry level in a nearby auto plant and progress up the ranks of the organization 

Career objectives for seasoned professionals typically fall into one of the following categories: 

  •  Developing a present career: A number of professionals wish to progress in their existing roles. They would probably need to launch a new company in the same sector, expand their professional network, obtain a promotion, or obtain certification in a new skill.
  • Changing careers: Changing careers or professions may be a goal for some people. They should receive a skills evaluation, seek out more education, and widen their networks in order to do this. 


To achieve your career goals, having both short-term and long-term career objectives is essential:

 Short-term objectives: These objectives can help you achieve your main aim. It may take a few weeks, months, or even years to accomplish short-term goals. For instance, obtaining one of the top IT certifications could be your short-term objective if you want to progress your career and become the information technology (IT) manager for your organization. 

 Long-term objectives: These need for preparation, persistence, and dedication. They frequently call for a string of accomplished short-term objectives. If your long-term objective is to become a manager, for instance, you will need to hone your leadership qualities, get experience, and prove that you can solve problems. After that, you could submit an application to be a leader.

How to establish and meet professional objectives

The following stages will assist you in identifying and achieving your career goals, regardless of your age or level of professional experience.

1. Choose your ultimate career objective. 

The first step in starting a professional life or changing careers is determining your ultimate goal. You might be beginning to look into your options, or you might have had a dream job since you were a young child. If you're in the latter group, look into careers that are appropriate for your training, experience, and skill set. 

An excellent location to begin your investigation is the internet. Additionally, make contact with individuals in fields of interest to you. Their assistance can aid in your comprehension of the hard and soft abilities and experience you require and what you can do to get there.

It's critical to have high goals when organizing your professional path. But avoid wasting time and effort on unachievable objectives. Concentrate on your strengths and the areas that make sense for you. 

2. From your ultimate career aim, work backward.

Make a list of the measures you need to do to reach your ultimate professional objective after you've identified it. One great strategy to make sure you take the appropriate actions to stay on track is to work backward. 

You can more quickly ascertain the knowledge, credentials, and experience you'll need to get there if you have a clear idea of where you want to end up. An internship overseas can be a better option than a paid entry-level employment at home, for instance, if your ideal job requires experience working abroad. 

3. Make both short- and long-term plans. 

Divide your more general goals into more focused, measurable, timely, and achievable objectives. You need to pay attention to the incremental stages that get you from one stage to the next in the near term, in addition to the big leaps that are required for advancement. 

Even though you can see every step of the professional ladder clearly, you still need to understand what it takes to really step up to the next level. Make an effort to break up each stage in your career journey into smaller, more doable chunks. Consider every detail when organizing every move. Your chances of succeeding in each aim increase with its level of detail. 

4. Write down your professional objectives.

To help you remember and keep yourself accountable for achieving your goals, put them in writing. Setting objectives in writing helps you to transform your ideas and thoughts into something tangible. Additionally, it will make it easier for you to spot obstacles or opportunities in your career goal and to think through certain parts of it.

You can stay focused by keeping a physical list of your objectives and next steps wherever you'll frequently see it. We occasionally have a tendency to become overly at ease in a situation and lose sight of our objectives. Having a written list will help you avoid getting comfortable. 

5. Give your short- and long-term goals deadlines. 

You need to monitor your professional goals development on a regular basis. A great method to keep on course is to attach a deadline to each goal. Deadlines don’t have to be rigid, but you should have a general idea of when you hope to arrive at your next career stage.

If your goals aren't met on schedule, figure out what's stopping you and how to move forward. A key component of tracking career objectives is flexibility. Not everything turns out the way we plan. Having a solid backup plan can help you be ready for any unanticipated events. 

6. Be self-assured and dedicated to advancing your profession.

One of the largest barriers to reaching both personal and professional goals is a lack of confidence. If you don't believe in yourself, there's nothing you can achieve. Having confidence in your abilities and qualities will inspire you to work harder. It will also show that you possess the necessary skills to advance. When you are confident in yourself, others will be too, including your supervisor included.

Once you have a clear vision of your ideal job path, you must be willing to take whatever necessary risks in order to achieve it. Don't let your fear of failing prevent you from pursuing employment opportunities. It's not always the end of the game or going back to square one when you fail. It can present a chance to take a different course. 

7. Expand your network of business contacts.

It matters who you know. Having the appropriate people around you can help you progress in your job. For this reason, developing your professional network is essential to reaching your career objectives. 

Networking can be done in a variety of ways, both online and off, but you should concentrate on making connections with individuals who are experienced in the kind of career you seek. Make nurturing a priority in those relationships. A business contact can be more than just a mentor or a reference; they might end up offering you your dream job.

8. Go above and above to grow in your profession. 

You have to show that you're invested in your current role if you want to progress in your career. The founder of BKR Consulting, Brenda Reynolds, says it's imperative to volunteer to perform tasks that are outside the scope of your job description. "Acquire more responsibility, particularly if it means collaborating with people in different departments and at different levels of the company," Reynolds counseled.

Professionals should volunteer to lead yearly fundraisers, assist with charitable activities, and join committees that organize employee or customer appreciation events, suggests career counselor and resume writer Debra Ann Matthews. These gatherings give you the chance to network with a variety of personnel and help you develop capital within your business. 

9. Approach your job goals with initiative. 

Jack Hill, chief customer officer of Evernorth's MDLIVE, asserts that job advancement requires accepting responsibility. Set up a meeting with your supervisor or HR manager to talk about your prospective career path, for instance, if they only bring up advancement chances during yearly performance reviews. 

According to Hill, HR should be able to tell both prospective and present workers about the career routes taken by people in like or identical roles in the past, as well as the steps those individuals took to advance in their careers. 

In addition to discussing your career objectives with HR, you ought to accomplish the following: 

  • Observe the chances around you. 
  • Search for positions higher up in the organization that would be a good fit for you. Contemplate asking your employer for a promotion. 
  • Look at the actions you should take to reach your professional objectives. 

The secret is to take control of the situation because you don't want to pass up a chance that is within your grasp


10. Consult your management about your professional objectives. 

Senior executive director of professional talent solutions at Robert Half, Michael Steinitz, counsels staff members to regularly discuss their career aspirations with their managers. 

According to Steinitz, "managers can frequently remove barriers, provide direction and advice, or adjust goals so they're more realistic and attainable." "Managers ought to inquire about their staff members' goals for their work and conduct routine progress reports." 

11. Make use of technology to help you grow in your career. 

Many employees think that improved business technologies, such as tablets, project management software, and productivity apps, will be the driving force behind their professional advancement.

"Technologies should help employees be more productive and efficient," Overline VC managing partner Sean O'Brien said. "They want to work smarter, not harder, and accomplish more with less." 

Even though some of the more significant IT requirements, like collaboration software, may fall under your employer's purview, you can look into technologies that will improve your performance at work. For instance, you can keep organized and prepared to take on your biggest work difficulties by downloading productivity and inbox-management apps to your mobile device. 

Technology can also help you establish yourself as a leader in your industry or profession. In addition to updating your online résumé and LinkedIn page, write a blog about your professional interests to position yourself as a thought leader or expert in your sector. 

Matthews stated, "You want your company to know that you are an expert in your field and go above and beyond the call of duty to help your company grow."

12. Honor your career accomplishments. 

While achieving professional success is vital, it is not the sole reason we put in the effort to accomplish our objectives. While wage increases and promotions are nice, we are frequently motivated by outside forces, such as achieving a better work-life balance or producing meaningful work that changes the world. 

It's critical to keep in mind that we are human beings, not merely machines designed for labor. One of the most important ways to recognize your efforts and inspire yourself to take the next step in your profession is to take the time to celebrate each accomplishment along the path. 

Repay them by assisting others in realizing their professional aspirations.

Once your career goals are being met, think about how you might support those who are just getting started in your industry. Let's take an example where you are a manager and you see that a bright employee is stuck in a rut. To deflect their energy, you might have an open discussion with them and offer advice. 

Providing guidance to individuals who are just starting out doesn't require much work.Find out what they intended to do and ask them about their fears for a living when they were younger, identify where their interest lies and see if there’s a need for such a position within your organization,” advised Allen Shayanfekr, CEO of Sharestates.

Fostering others' professional success can be advantageous to both you and your company: 

  • Giving back boosts employee loyalty: Assisting fellow professionals in your firm will fortify their allegiance to the business. "Workers are people with dreams, aspirations, and goals," Shayanfekr explained. "You're not only creating a better team but also fostering long-term loyalty if you can assist someone in realizing their goals and enjoying their line of work."
  • Repaying it can further your professional goals: Your job goals can be advanced by assisting others in achieving theirs, as it shows emotional intelligence. People will want to encourage and support you to reach even greater heights if you are an inspirational leader. "Aim to be a professional that not only excels in your field of competence but also combines that ability with the ability to engage and inspire others,” Reynolds urged. “Keen people skills and the often-underrated value of emotional intelligence  these are what make success inevitable. Be the type of professional others want to follow.”

Making a plan for your career 

A clear path to follow on your work journey can be found by mapping out your career goals. 

Ruutly co-founder Ryan Porter stated, "It's important for people to see the steps that are actually involved [in reaching their career goals]." "I hear students say things like, 'I want to be a snowboard instructor or a fashion designer,' a lot. These youthful career planners frequently believe things happen more faster than they actually do because of 30- to 60-minute TV broadcasts. 

Professionals in the field offered guidance on creating a career path that leads to your ideal dream position. Think about doing the following actions. 

1. Draft a vision statement for yourself. 

The first thing you should do is draft a thorough personal vision statement outlining your goals for the next several years, suggested Joyce Maroney, a former director of the labor Institute at labor management company Kronos.

Maroney said, "You need to articulate what success means to you, including the aspects of your life outside of the job, before you can chase that dream job." "You can't build a roadmap to get there unless you have a clear idea of where you want to be in the next one, five, and twenty years." 

Consider your motivations before deciding to shift careers and trying to map out a route to your new objectives before taking that first step.

“When considering a professional change, the best first question to ask is, ‘Am I running toward something or away from something?'” Maroney said. “If it’s the former, go for it. If it’s the latter, the change you need to make may just be a change in manager or company, not your current career track.”

2.  Enumerate the knowledge and expertise you require. 

You could have a list of businesses you'd like to work for or C-suite positions you'd like to hold. But in order to fulfill these goals, you have to know what abilities you have and how to hone them. You are a “doer” with experience and skills, not a “wannabe.”

Kirk Baumann, director of marketing and e-commerce at O'Reilly Hospitality Management, counseled "when mapping out your future, think about the skills and expertise necessary to pursue your dream career, rather than focusing on companies and positions." 

Co-founder of several firms Ryan Carson believes that being a “doer” is more important than obsessing over titles and accolades. "These aren't always items you should focus on while establishing a successful career map because it distracts one from focusing on the actual goal.

3. Find mentors and career guides.

 Making connections with individuals in your field of interest, particularly those occupying positions you aspire to, can be immensely beneficial to your career-planning endeavors. Find one or more mentors and inquire about their educational and professional experiences. This will enable you to investigate various avenues leading to your desired career path. According to Maroney, asking open-ended questions during networking can uncover some unseen tales behind your ideal career. “Most people like to talk about themselves,” Maroney pointed out. “These informative conversations are your opportunity to make sure that you understand the rewards and the costs of performing that role. Every job has its highs and lows.”

4. As you lay out your career, be willing to take detours. 

Your professional route isn't predetermined; you have to adjust to the obstacles and detours you face along the way.

According to Carson, "making a career plan won't guarantee you the job of your dreams." Your expectations for that ideal employment will most likely shift. Successful careers require a variety of talents, some of which are being creative whether it be an idea or a physical thing adaptable, flexible, and willing to learn new ones. 

It's never too late to make adjustments and draw lessons from missteps taken. Too many people are so terrified of choosing a career that it paralyzes them.

The good news is that you can make changes. Everybody chooses occupations and takes stops along their career paths that they aren’t excited about. The point is to make a decision and do something. Learn from that decision and what it means to your career path and then make better decisions from that point forward.”