No matter where you are in your career, professional development should always be on your mind. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Do you have goals in mind to help you reach where you want to be? If you said yes then you are on the right track with your professional development, but there is still more that you can do. If you said no, then you should start thinking about what you can do to help your career along. One of the best things that you can do for your professional development is to create a goal-focused plan. In this blog, we will go over how to set up your own development goals.  

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What are Professional Development Goals? 

Professional development goals are milestones that you set for yourself that focus on improving your career. These goals will focus on things like increasing your knowledge and capabilities in your workplace. Professional development goals will vary from person to person depending on industry and career aspirations. Goals can be as big as obtaining a new degree or certification or moving up in your workplace, to as small as getting more experience in a different area of your company. We recommend choosing items that fit with where you want to be in the future. 

Steps to Creating Your Development Goals 

  1. Figure out what your end goal is. 
  • Looking at the bigger picture can help you work backwards while creating your smaller goals that will help you achieve your end goal. 
  1. Look back at past performance reviews for reference. 
  • If your company has performance reviews it might be helpful for you to look back at what your managers or employers have said that you can improve on. Meeting the expectations of your employer is one of the best ways to develop your professional career. 
  1. Use SMART goals. 
  • SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Making sure your goals follow these requirements helps to ensure that you can complete your goals. Goals that aren’t SMART often end up unfinished. 
  1. Break down your larger goals into smaller tasks. 
  • Large goals can seem overwhelming and often discourage the person from finishing their goal while smaller goals help make the task more doable in the person’s mind. 
  1. Review your progress often. 
  • Keep on top of your development goals by reviewing them often. If you review your progress often you can make sure you are not falling behind. 

Examples of Professional Development Goals 

  • Complete a training course for your field by the end of the month. 
  • Learn the new software that the company will be using starting next year. 
  • Improve your public speaking/presentation skills before the next company meeting. 

Next Steps 

Once you have outlined your development goals then it is time to start working towards them. Set aside time each day or week to spend on your goals. Having this time scheduled to work on them will help you complete your goals on time and avoid distractions. Work with your employer or HR department to see what other improvements can be made with your professional development.  

Want to learn more about professional development and goal setting? Contact HR Collaboration Group today!