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Set Your Long Term Goals & Short Term Goals

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

Not everyone has clear career goals. In fact, most students can’t set career goals for themselves. However, if you hope to pursue an MBA, then it is expected that you have clear career goals. Perhaps breaking down the vision will help us set better goals for career and life.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at." ~ Bruce Lee.

As Bruce Lee stated, sometimes a goal just gets you started and gives you something to strive towards.

So, first, what do you want in your career? Where do you want to be in 5 years? Do you have a specific job role or position in mind? How much do you want to make?

Answering these questions should give you some career goals, however, if you want to set effective goals, then you can stick to the SMART method of goal setting.

Essentially, what that means is your goal has to have the following characteristics: S - Specific: You need to try to be precise about what you want to achieve, where and how. “Learn about marketing” is not really a specific goal but “Improve sales by 20% in next 6 months” could well be.

M - Measurable: You must be able to evaluate if you’ve made progress or not. Therefore, goals like “Improve social skills” are not useful because they cannot be assessed.

A - Attainable: The important part of goal setting is that the goal shouldn’t be out of reach but be enough of a challenge at the same time. Unrealistic goals will end up demotivating you whereas smaller goals (and wins) will keep you on track.

R - Relevant: Set up goals that you really want to achieve and which will end up taking you nearer your long-term goals. You may find that you’ve set a goal that you don’t really want to achieve.

T - Timing: Always have a time constraint upon your goals especially short-term goals. The deadline ought to motivate you to do your best in the time you’ve allotted. Goals without a start and end date are just dreams.

Some of your goals will have to be executed in the present and immediate future i.e. up to a year or so. These are your short-term goals. Each of these should add up in the larger picture of your career.

Long-term goals define the ideal course you would like your career to take. Some people can imagine five, ten or twenty years of how they would like their careers to go. The SMART methodology can serve one well here as well.

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