How to Make a Long-Term Career Goal

Career goals give you direction in pursuing opportunities and focusing your energy and talents while at work. These goals help you to plan for both long-term and short-term gains. A thought-out career goal will take in to consideration everything from your position to your salary and the things you need to do to achieve your goal. You may work on multiple steps at the same time to speed up the time it takes to achieve your goal.


    • 1

      Identify a position, including job title and salary that you want to hold in the next five to 10 years. Although the exact title may vary from company to company and the salary may be slightly different than what you choose now, thinking specifically can help you stay focused. For example, you may want to make a vice president of marketing for a company or marketing director for a company. In some companies, this position is the same with a slightly different title.

    • 2

      List the job qualifications to achieve this position. Start by looking at this position within your current company and listing the qualifications there. Then look at jobs board or at other companies for which you want to work and list the qualities required for the job.

    • 3

      Mark off the qualities and education requirements you already have for the position you are trying to get. The remaining qualities and requirements are the ones toward which you will need to work over the next few years.

    • 4

      Create a plan to fulfill the education requirements. If you need to get a master’s degree to qualify for the job, determine how you will get it. Ask whether your current employer will help pay for any of your classes through a tuition reimbursement program. Look at local programs in your area, as well as low residency programs that will allow you to work toward your degree while you continue to work.

    • 5

      Set up milestones to reach to qualify for the position. For example, jobs in the field you have chosen may require you to have supervisory experience. You may need to move up one or two more times before you can move into your desired position. The milestones may list other positions you need to hold before you can apply for your position. List companies for which you can work that will provide that experience in addition to your own, so you will have several places to watch for openings. Cross off the completed training and education requirements and other milestones as you reach them.

    • 6

      Apply for the positions you need to move into the final position for the long-term career goal. Show commitment to your new job by working a year or two before moving to another position, unless you can get a promotion within the same company.

    • 7

      Begin searching for the career position you set as your goal as soon as you have completed everything on your list.

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