5. Write SMART Long-Term Career Goals
When you initially start the process of clarifying your long-term career goals, you may find it hard not to be vague. For example, you may say that your goal is “to work in a job that I enjoy.” It’s a good starting point, but it lacks impact because it’s imprecise.
How can you put that goal into action? Simple. Be more specific with your intent. For example, “I want to earn money by programming computer games.” Good, but can you be even more precise? “My goal is to, before next January 1, be in a position in which I earn a minimum of $125,000 annually as a programmer in the computer games industry and in a company that will allow me to work remotely.” This is an example of a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
You will be more successful in achieving your long-term career goals if you write them down and review them regularly. And besides just making them seem real and giving you a roadmap to follow, the benefit of writing out your career goals will be increased feelings of clarity.
6. Explore and Experiment
It can be difficult to set clear long-term career goals, especially when those include a major career change, simply because you aren’t sure what you’re about to get yourself into. In situations such as this, you can gain clarity through exploration and experimentation.
Sometimes it must happen in stages, and that’s okay!
For example, you are unfulfilled in your current job. Despite knowing this, what you don’t know is what you’d enjoy. Try taking some classes in an area of interest to you. Volunteer. Complete an internship. Do something different. Explore what you might like. It might not be perfect, but you’re moving and making changes.
Remember, clarity doesn’t magically come to you. It’s up to you to create it yourself.