Work 13 min read

How To Define Your Career Goals To Supercharge Your Career

by Mindvalley January 13, 2018

Do you long to be taken more seriously at work? Increase your income? Feel satisfied with your job?

It may sound like a pipe dream, but it is possible. But to accomplish all of that, you need to set career goals. And make them a priority.

Some people spend a lifetime working hard, investing all their time and energy into their job, hoping for a promotion or opportunities to come their way. But without a specific plan and direction, that won’t likely happen.

So, are you ready to set your career aspirations in motion?

In this article, we’ll explore the following:

  1. What are the 3 types of goals?
  2. What are the career goals?
  3. How do you describe your career goals?
  4. What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal?
  5. What are some personal career goals?
  6. 4 steps to help you set your next career objective

Ready? Let’s get started.

What Are The 3 Types Of Goals?

What are some goals that you have set for yourself in the past?

Maybe you wanted to get into college, get a 9-5 job, get married, or have kids. These are goals that society believes you should have.

Vishen Lakhiani, CEO and founder of Mindvalley, defines this as society’s culturescape.

But we don’t often stop to question whether or not our culture’s values align with our values.

So, ask yourself the following:

  • What do you want to experience in life?
  • How do you want to grow and develop?
  • In which way do you want to contribute to the world?

You can start to set your goals by organizing your thoughts into different categories of goals.

These categories of goals include:

  1. Growth
  2. Experience
  3. Contribution

And that leads us to the question: what are your career goals?

How do they fit into your value system? Which of the goal categories do they encompass?

career aspirations

What Are Career Goals?

Professional goals, or career goals, are goals that are related to your work or profession.

Why set a career goal? Because too many of us get stuck. We feel bored. Apathetic. Lose interest. We feel overwhelmed or bogged down.

We want to move forward but don’t know how.

And that’s how setting short and long-term professional goals can help you get the gears in motion.

Success in your career won’t happen overnight, regardless of how good a job you’re doing.

It also requires new skills, forming relationships, finding work/life balance, increasing your productivity, and forming great personal habits.

It’s all connected and the big picture — of where you want to be in your career 10 years from now. 

And it all begins with setting a goal.

How Do You Describe Your Career Goals?

Now that you are beginning to get a feel for what you really desire, let’s dive into crafting the ideal goal statement.

What Is A Career Goal Statement?

Your goal statement should embody what you truly want to achieve. The more passionate you are about something, the more committed you will be.

Have an epic career goal statement come to mind yet?


Now, let’s strengthen it by utilizing the S.M.A.R.T. goal technique.

What Is A SMART goal?

The S.M.A.R.T. goal technique is employed by thousands of executives across the world.

And if you really want to set a professional goal that will stick, you’ll need to follow this model:

career goal

1. Specific

Your goal should be clear and simple. Make sure it answers the 5 “W” questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why is this goal important?
  • Who is involved?
  • Where is it located?
  • Which resources are involved?

2. Measurable

Making sure your goal is measurable gives you the opportunity to track your progress. This keeps you focused and holds you accountable.

3. Achievable

An effective goal is attainable and realistic. It should push you to grow but still remain possible.

4. Relevant

This helps to determine that your goal is actually worthwhile and fits well into your vision.

5. Time-Bound

Set a deadline for when you want to achieve this goal. Then step back and ask yourself if this is something you can reasonably accomplish in that time.

How to Define Your Career Goals

What Are Some Personal Career Goals?

To give you a better idea of how to structure your own professional goals, let’s explore some mission-driven career goals examples.

Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley, Author of Mindvalley’s Becoming Limitless program, emphasizes that the most extraordinary people in the world today have mission-driven careers.

Think about how you would like to make the world a better place.

What impact do you want to have? What will be your legacy?

For example, Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful people on the planet, wrote her personal and career goal as follows:

To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.

Need more inspiration? Here are some sample personal career goals to get the ball rolling:

  • Have a special project to oversee.
  • Earn a salary raise.
  • Have a change in title.
  • Change locations.
  • Network outside your field.
  • Build stronger friendships with coworkers.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Communicate more effectively.
  • Try a new position or role.
  • Explore a new field.

What Are Your Long Term Career Goals?

The above examples contain both short and long-term career goals. But truth be told, it’s often the long-term goals that help us frame our forward momentum.

So, what long-term career goals do you envision for your future?

Where would you like to be in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?

What kind of a legacy do you want to leave in your wake?

Multiple studies suggest that goal setting is the key to mental health and a happier life.

It can help you sleep better at night, feel good about yourself, do work that matters, and appreciate what you have more. 

As research states: ambition makes you happy.

So, what are your ambitions?

professional goals

4 Steps To Help You Set Your Next Career Objective

Are you ready to define your next professional goal?

Here are 4 steps to setting your next career objective.

1. Answer These Questions

Before you set your goal, consider the following:

  • Are you in the right field?
  • Are you passionate about what you do?
  • What is currently preventing you from excelling at work?
  • Are you fulfilling your potential?
  • What parts of your current job do you enjoy?
  • Which things do you find unpleasant?
  • What would you change about your current work process?
  • Are you ready to hustle for a year or more until you reach the next level?
  • Are you ready to handle more responsibilities and be busier once you do?

If you haven’t asked yourself these questions before, it might feel a bit uncomfortable.

But it’s absolutely worth facing some difficult truths, as that’s how transformations begin.

And your career is no exception.

2. Get Ready To Give

While we’d like to tell you that you can have it all, the truth is: you can’t. It’s just not possible to have it all.

Even the stars and celebs and super-parents that seem like they have it all? They don’t.

Once you reach the next level of your career, for instance, you’ll need to give up some other things that you previously enjoyed.

It might be sleeping in on Saturday mornings. Or it might be coming home and watching Netflix for a few hours before bed.

But this is a good thing!

Learning how to make sacrifices and prioritize your time? Those are skills. Marketable skills. And they will ultimately be the catalyst for powerful change in your life.

So, what are you willing to give up? Where can you trim the fat in your life? How can you make more time and energy for your dreams?

Create a list of the sacrifices you’re ready to make. Then do a little research, or talk to those already living these career goals, and see what more might be required from you once you get there.

All this will help you understand if you’re pursuing the right performance goals.

Career Goals

3. Write It Down

By writing your goals down, you’re giving your subconscious mind the opportunity to internalize the energy of the goal. And it’s only once you’ve got your subconscious on board that the magic can start to happen.

Start by writing down one long term career objective. Then, add five short term ones that will help you get there.

This makes the process much more approachable, as each subgoal brings you one step closer to where you want to be.

4. Take Action

You’ve asked yourself the important questions. You’ve envisioned your future. You’re ready to make sacrifices. You’ve written down your action plan.

So, guess what’s next?

That’s right: it’s time to take action.

The best way to keep your career aspirations in motion is to build on the momentum.

So, start with one small, subgoal. And once that’s accomplished, check it off your list and prepare for the next.

Don’t slow down or second guess yourself. Build on the forward energy you’ve created by brainstorming and plotting out your next set of moves.

Step by step, day by day, you’ll be actively moving in the direction of your dreams.

Gain Instant Clarity On What You Really Want In Life – And Have It All

There’s a reason that so many brilliantly talented, naturally creative, intelligent and capable people never reach their potential, and it is, quite simply, a lack of direction.

Even if you have a vague goal in mind, you still need a plan, a process to get you there.

You can have the most expensive, fastest car in the world, but if you set off without a clear idea of where you’re going, then the rusty old Beatle with a map and compass will beat you there every time.

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Step Into The New Year With A Crystal-Clear Vision For Your Ultimate Life

So, what career aspirations do you have? Share your career goal dreams below!

by Mindvalley
Mindvalley is creating a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages. Powered by community. Fueled by fun. We are dedicated to ensuring that humans live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives by plugging in the gaps that conventional education failed to teach us. We do this by organising real-world events around the world and producing world-class quality programmes in several areas of transformation, including mind, body, and performance.

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