Importance of Professional Goals for Your Career Development

Professional goals

How often do you take a step back to consider what are your long-term goals or considered what you define as ‘career success’? 

You could be at a point in your career where goals could be the perfect focus to help develop it further. Although it’s great having goals, many of us can feel that they are pointless when we don’t achieve them. This fear of not achieving something can hold us back. A key method to improving your chances of achieving your goals, is by documenting them.  

Can you believe something as simple as writing your goal down can have a profound impact on whether you succeed? 

Dr Gail Matthews, a professor of psychology at Dominican University in California did an experiment to analyse the science and art of goal making. With a focus group of 267 people, Gail divided everyone into groups of those who didn’t write their goals down and those who regularly wrote down their goals and dreams.  

Gail found a significant increase in those achieving their goals who wrote them down compared to those who don’t. In fact, Gail found you’re 42% more likely to reach your desires if you write down your goals 

Your chances of achieving your goals increase even further when you tell a friend, colleague or family member about your goal. Letting others know about your goal will hold you more accountable.   

Type of goals 

Creating SMART goals, are often more successful again as they are specific and measurable. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely. An example of a SMART goal would be: 

  • Specific: I will earn a pay increase. 
  • Measurable: I will document my progress and work with management to ensure I am meeting the goals and expectations of my job. 
  • Achievable: I will achieve this by working hard and becoming more valuable to the company. 
  • Relevant/Realistic: I will participate in development and project opportunities such as ..‘You could name projects you are aware of’  
  • Timely: I will accomplish this by June 2022. 

As you can see, the accuracy of this goal allows you to really know if you have achieved your goal or not by June 2022.  

Another example of an experiment involving writing down your goal can benefit your career. A Harvard Business Study found that 3% of their MBA graduates who had their goals written down, ended up earning ten times as much as the other 97% put together, just ten years after graduation. If this isn’t reason enough to give it a try, I don’t know what is!  

Yet, it has been found that only 3 in 100 adults write down their goals. Do you want to be in the 3%? 

Why not take 15 mins out and think about your goals, whether it’s a promotion, a larger professional network or even a new job. Start your list today.

If you’re a professional seeking new job opportunities, why not get in touch with our friendly team at or call on 028 9091 8529 


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