This article will address goal setting as it specifically relates to career planning. Part of the career planning process involves setting goals. These goals, both long and short term, will be used to develop a career action plan. The career action plan describes steps you will take to reach your goals. In this case the goal is usually a particular career objective. It can be a particular occupation, a rung on the career ladder, or an earnings level.
Goals may be either short or long term. Long term goals can take about three to five years to achieve, while short term goals are reachable in one to three years. Short term goals are often a stop along the way to our long term goals.
We actually set goals regularly when we plan what we want to accomplish that day, that week, or even that month. Those are usually fairly simple goals, i.e., clean the house, finish an assignment, do laundry. You decide what you want to do and then figure out what you need to do to achieve your goal. Then you get into more complicated goals -- your plans for the future.
It's fairly simple to say that in five years you want to be a such and such. Or in two years you want to earn X amount of money. It's achieving those goals that isn't so easy. Of course the actions you take to try to accomplish your goals will play a huge role in whether you reach them. But, the way you formulate your goals is extremely important too. Next, some criteria that will help you set goals that you can successfully reach.