10 Professional Work Goals to Advance Your Career in 2022


In this post, we discuss how to set up successful goals and list 10 professional work goals to advance your career.

Professional objectives are crucial if you want to succeed. You must be conscious of the fact that your objective needs to be both attainable and realistic. In the text provided, some of the professional goals you can set to advance your knowledge and skills in your field are discussed. You can pursue a variety of other professional objectives to advance both your career and yourself.

What comes to mind first when making travel plans? In addition to fast food and gas mileage, road trips typically begin with the destination. Having a destination in mind before you start your car is helpful, after all.

Your career path follows the same logic. When you are clear about your objectives, you have a direction and a path to follow, which makes it simpler to advance at work. Professional development goals are crucial because they give you the chance to consciously choose what you want and how you’ll get there.

What Are Professional Goals?

Your career objectives should be measurable and specific. They frequently involve a mix of short- and long-term objectives, such as taking a course this month and becoming a manager in the next two years.

Short-term goals divide the work into more manageable and immediate steps, while long-term career goals serve as a north star to work toward.

Why Are Goals So Important?

We are taught the value of setting personal goals from a young age. The following is a list of the key factors that make doing this important for professional development.

1. They’re Measurable

Setting goals can help you measure or assess your growth. One method to monitor how you’re doing and where you might need to improve is the SMART goal method, which is covered in more detail below. Without measurement, you can’t tell if your goals are being met or exceeded. You can determine when your goals need to be broken down into smaller steps to make them more manageable if they are measurable.

2. They Provide Vision

What do you hope to discover? In a month or a year, where do you want to be? Setting goals is a great way to develop your mentality both personally and professionally, as well as your physical capabilities.

3. They Provide Clarity

Nearly everyone has a list of daily, weekly, and monthly objectives. But because of the chaos of life, it’s easy to forget or disregard your objectives. Try writing your goals down on a whiteboard or online platform to help you stay focused on what you want to accomplish.

4. They Help You Stand Out

Dreams can be realized if you have goals. People will take notice of that because it goes beyond just fulfilling the absolute minimum obligations. Moreover, you’ll feel more assured once you achieve your objectives.

How to Set SMART Professional Work Goals


SMART goals are the way to go when it comes to setting work goals. The letters SMART stand for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Before we go any further, let’s take an in-depth look at each of those elements:

  • Specific – A SMART goal has a specific objective rather than being ambiguous. For instance, consider the two following statements: “I’m returning to school.” “I’m going to graduate from Portland State University with a certificate in social media marketing this spring.” As you can see, even though each of these statements identifies goals, the second statement is very specific whereas the first one is hardly defined at all. For instance, what does “going back to school” mean–taking one class at a local community college, earning a Do you want a master’s degree or something else entirely? The specifics of a SMART goal are stated.
  • Measurable – SMART objectives are measurable, making it simple to assess whether they have been attained. Consider the objective of going back to school to obtain a Social Media Marketing certificate. It’s easy to tell if this goal has been accomplished because either you received a certificate or not. Not all objectives, though, are as easily quantifiable. Imagine that you want to hone your public speaking abilities. How do you recognize when your goal has been met? It’s challenging to quantify this. When faced with a goal that is challenging to measure, we advise finding a way to modify the goal so that it can be accurately assessed. For instance, you might set a goal to speak at a Toastmasters event twice a month for the next six months if you want to improve as a public speaker. Your public speaking abilities are sure to get better with regular practice, and since your Toastmasters attendance is measurable, you can easily tell if you’ve succeeded.
  • Achievable – When you work hard to achieve a lofty, unreachable goal but still fall short, you’ll only become frustrated. Even worse, if you don’t succeed at something that wasn’t really possible, you might lose confidence or become demoralized. Because they are always grounded in reality, SMART goals are always attainable, despite the fact that they may be ambitious. For instance, it’s extremely unlikely that someone who works in the mailroom today will be promoted to CEO within the upcoming 12 months. But it is a reasonable and attainable goal to aim for leading the mailroom during that time.
  • Relevant – It’s possible that you have several professional work goals competing for your attention. There are only so many hours in the day, so you must exercise caution by making sure your professional work goals are pertinent to your larger career aspirations. Let’s take the example of deciding to learn Chinese as a goal. If you’re a financial analyst for a large company, that might be pertinent to your career goals, but if you’re a nurse, it probably won’t be. So, when creating your professional work goals, think about where you want to be in 5 years and what you need to do to get there. Then, choose career objectives that are pertinent to where you are now and compatible with your ideal professional future.
  • Time-Bound – A SMART goal is time-bound, which means you’ve given yourself a deadline for completing it. This is crucial because having a deadline will keep you motivated and help you advance steadily. For instance, take the following two examples:
    • My goal is to publish a book.
    • I want to finish the first draft of my memoir in six months.
    The first statement, as you can see, doesn’t exactly ignite your passion. A year, five years, or some time in the future may pass before the theoretical book is finished. The second statement, on the other hand, specifies a timeline for when the book will be written, making it simpler to determine which tasks must be completed (and when) in order to achieve that goal. For instance, you might say to yourself, “I have six months to finish the first draft, which means I need to write two chapters each month. I’ll set aside two hours per day, five days per week, to work on my book in order to achieve that.” This degree of clarity significantly increases your chances of achieving your goal, as you might expect.

Now that you are familiar with SMART goals, let’s look at some strategies for achieving your goals.

What You Need to Know About Goal Setting to Be Successful

92% of people don’t succeed in achieving their goals, according to science. What distinguishes the 8% of people who are successful? In contrast to their less accomplished peers, they frequently have specific goal-setting behaviors.

For instance, research shows that you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you do the following 5 things:

  1. Write Your Goals Down – Writing goals down, as opposed to letting them merely jumble around in your head, has a special power. In fact, one study found that simply writing down a goal increases the likelihood that you’ll accomplish it by 42%. So, be sure to put them in writing when creating your professional work goals. This will not only strengthen your commitment but also compel you to become crystal clear about your goals.
  2. Realistically Evaluate Your Goals – People frequently give up on their goals because they don’t give enough thought to what it will take to achieve them. Sadly, there may be times along the way when it seems like you aren’t making any progress toward your big goals. For instance, let’s say your big goal is to speak Italian fluently. If you work on a Duolingo lesson every day for 30 days, you might get discouraged when you realize that, at most, you can only say hello to a complete stranger in the language. The steps necessary to accomplish your goal must therefore be realistically understood, as must the time it will probably take for each step. Rome was not constructed overnight, as the saying goes. Make a decision about whether your goal is worthwhile after doing your research. Create milestones for the accomplishment of your goal if you still believe it is possible. These milestones will help you see that you’re making progress–even if your overall, “big” goal is still a ways off.
  3. Find Your Inner Grit – Grit is important when it comes to achieving goals. According to Angela Duckworth, researcher and author of the New York Times bestseller Grit, grit can be defined as a blend of passion and perseverance to achieve a long-term goal. Having a passion for your goal is crucial because grit is the capacity to consistently practice over time until achieving a goal, even when challenges arise. After all, you are less likely to persevere when challenges arise if you are not enthusiastic about your goal. How can you use this knowledge to your advantage when establishing your professional work objectives? One way is to acknowledge that feeling enthusiastic about the goal you’re considering is a positive step; the more enthusiastic you feel about your goal, the higher your chances of success. Additionally, keep in mind that reaching your goals depends critically on consistent practice (even in the face of obstacles). Establish a weekly time commitment to your goal of a certain number of hours, and stick with it even if you encounter obstacles. If you’ve had trouble in the past with perseverance, think about working one-on-one with a career coach who will hold you accountable.
  4. Don’t Go Overboard – When setting goals, some ambitious people go overboard and attempt to accomplish too many things at once. As a result, they have little time to devote to achieving their most crucial objectives. This can hinder your progress and exacerbate your frustration, which increases the likelihood that you’ll give up on your objectives altogether. It’s wise to only set 3–4 goals per year because of this. Even though you probably have a long list of goals for every area of your life, setting realistic goals will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  5. Establish a Supportive Environment – It’s common to need to change your habits in order to accomplish a goal, and interestingly, research indicates that a lot depends on our environment as to how successfully we can do this. Let’s say you want to floss your teeth more frequently. You are more likely to remember to floss if you set up a visual cue, such as leaving your floss next to your toothbrush. Or, mention your desire to lose weight. You greatly reduce your likelihood of overeating if you keep junk food out of your home. Even though those are health-related objectives, a positive work environment can also support your professional aspirations. Keep a new management book prominently displayed on your coffee table, for instance, if you want to read one every week. Alternatively, if you want to increase your productivity, set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” and keep your email closed while you’re working. Instead, only check your phone and email three times a day—once when you first arrive at work, once at lunch, and once in the last hour of the day. By implementing small changes like these, you’re fostering the achievement of goals and removing the need for solely relying on willpower, which will make it simpler for you to make steady progress in the direction of your goals.

10 Examples of Professional Work Goals

We will talk about a few of the most significant and effective professional objectives that will enable you to advance professionally. To keep moving forward in the career path you have chosen for yourself, you must choose the professional objectives that meet your needs and proficiency level. Maintaining a balance between your professional and personal lives is also crucial.

1. Start Learning a New Skill.

Continuing your education is crucial for your professional development. There is always a way to be saved by what you know. For this reason, you should constantly develop new skills as part of your professional development. You’ll gain knowledge about your industry and profession as a result.

You will be able to do a lot of things, which will be advantageous for your professional life. By developing new skills, you will not only be educating yourself but also advancing your career. When it comes to 10 Examples of Professional Goals for Work, it is critical to concentrate on this.

2. Taking a New Course Can Be a Good Goal

Within every profession, new courses are constantly being introduced. These courses are for the benefit of the employees, so you should take them. It will not only increase your knowledge but also make you more productive and eligible for different posts

. It could be an additional credit on your resume that most employers would value. You should always take advantage of new opportunities to advance in your field.

3. Learn How to Deal With Differences

Within every organization, there are a variety of people. You must maintain impartial relations with them. Learning how to maintain harmony with all of your coworkers and other employees is the most crucial skill that can advance you in your professional field. It will improve your social interactions and give you the chance to work on a team that is vital to the development of the community.

If you have contacts and constructive relationships at work, you can succeed in your field.

4. Learn to Say NO

Saying no to tasks you don’t want to complete or that aren’t your responsibility is crucial. Professional development depends on your ability to say “no.” Avoid letting others profit from your dedication and hard work. To improve the quality of your work, you should concentrate. You go above and beyond to help someone who is trying to make it. It’s critical to set up clear boundaries with them.

5. Start Owning Your Mistakes.

Starting to take responsibility for your errors is extremely healthy. Everybody occasionally makes mistakes. However, you shouldn’t be defending and justifying your errors. Accepting your mistakes wholeheartedly and taking lessons from them is the best thing you can do.

Acknowledge your errors and assure your boss that you will soon make the necessary corrections to prevent future occurrences. Although it is free, it can help you learn more and advance in your position within the company.

6. Practice Work-life Balance

It is crucial to remain committed to your professional work, which cannot be disputed. You must, however, keep up with your personal life and your relationships. You must maintain a work-life balance if you want to advance professionally and without stress.

The time that is left over should be for you and your loved ones, with a designated period of time set aside for work.

7. Meet the Deadlines

if you promised to perform a task within a certain time. Your completion of it by a certain time is crucial. Meeting deadlines is crucial because it will reflect favorably on you to your employer. Additionally, it will keep you a professional throughout the entire company. You should strive to complete the tasks by the deadlines.

8. Improve Your Presentation and Communication Skills

Because you’ll be presenting ideas in front of the entire office constantly in your professional life, you need to get better at presentations. Additionally, you should be good at communicating because doing so will make you popular and make a great first impression on anyone you meet inside the company.

9. Start Researching and Make a Goal to Be Good Researcher

You can expand your knowledge by conducting research on new subjects and fields. You should start researching worthwhile subjects if you want to gain more knowledge that will benefit your professional work. If your business has a competitor, you can do research on it to enhance your goods and services.

Because you will be aware of the weaknesses and advantages of the rivals, you will be helping your company. You can also speak about your fresh ideas in front of the entire panel because doing so will help the business recognize and value you. This is a crucial point to remember when looking at 10 Examples of Professional Goals for the Workplace.

10. Taking a Brain Break When Needed Should Be in Your Focus.

It is very important to relax for a while and spend some “me time.” When completing the tasks of their professional lives, most people forget about their comfort and peace. Your mental and physical health shouldn’t be impacted by your work.

To be effective in your professional work, this is one of the crucial things you must set as a goal. Only when you’re calm and relaxed can you be productive. It is up to you to put your own physical and mental health first.

Professional Goals in Real Life

At Asana, we firmly believe that setting goals can help us become our best selves and become more productive. Here are three examples of Asanas who have used professional goals to advance their professional and personal development.

Changing Roles Within An Organization

“To move from a risk management position at a tech company to the legal industry was one of my professional goals. I initially believed I might have to leave technology and work for a law firm, but after consulting with paralegals and lawyers in my network, I realized I could make the switch without leaving my current employer.

In order to work with our internal legal team and gain a better understanding of their operations, I started volunteering for projects. I kept a close eye on open positions in the legal department, and eventually two positions that seemed like a good fit for my skill set opened up. I filled out applications for both positions, listed my transferrable skills in the application, and made a point of mentioning those skills in my interviews. Both roles were offered to me, and I chose one to accept. Since then, I have been in legal.” —Charlotte Manning, Legal Operations at Asana

Seeking New Challenges Within a Role

“The development of Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index ranks among my most significant professional accomplishments. What initially started out as a more modest objective to produce a timely piece of thought leadership quickly expanded into our landmark industry report and one of our most visible annual campaigns. I’ve been able to develop my skill set in full-funnel campaigns and storytelling for internal and external audiences, as well as work cross-functionally across our entire organization.” —Erin Cheng, Head of Public Relations and Analyst Relations at Asana

Pursuing a New Degree

“I once attended a meeting where every leader in attendance had a master’s or PhD when I worked at a science museum. I therefore started my search for and application process for master’s programs that same month. With 20+ years of work experience under my belt, I finally felt prepared to take on this new challenge after imposter syndrome previously prevented me from continuing my education beyond my BA. I also had the honor of delivering the commencement address at my USF graduation in May, when I received a Master’s in Organizational Development.

Not so much achieving my goal as it was the pursuit of it that was so profoundly transformative. I learned a lot about who I am and what I’m capable of by taking on a difficult challenge. I had the gall to fantasize about a career where my sole focus would be on work related to diversity, inclusion, and belonging while I was enrolled in the program. And before my program was over, I was doing just that at Asana!” —Liliana Blanco, Inclusion & Belonging Program Manager at Asana

Tips to Keep Your Goals on Track

Setting professional goals is an essential first step, but it’s also crucial to follow through.

[inlinOnce you’ve set your professional goals, try these three tips to stick with them.

Create Short-term Goals

This is most beneficial if your long-term objectives are more expansive. For example, the long-term goal “Set clear boundaries between your work and home life this year” isn’t very specific or quantifiable. In this case, it’s a good idea to set more quantifiable short-term goals to support what “clear boundaries” mean to you, such as “Sign off at 5:30 p.m. each day this week.” Your workload will seem less overwhelming and you’ll be less prone to procrastination if you set these smaller goals.

Schedule Regular Check-ins

Make a plan for how frequently you’ll check in to see how you’re progressing toward each milestone before you set your goals and then completely forget about them. To track your progress, set aside time at the end of each week, for instance, if your goal is to write 10 blog posts this month. Setting up a regular check-in cadence beforehand aids in your accountability and prevents procrastination.

Use Goal Tracking Software

With a connection to your regular work, goals are more effective. So that you can quickly understand the significance of your daily work, Asana links tasks and projects to the goals they support. Asana’s goal tracking software allows you to set a due date and set up automated reminders to check in on your goal progress. For instance, you could schedule a reminder for the end of each week to ask you to check in on your monthly goal progress. In order to divide the work into more manageable portions, you can set sub-goals within each goal.

Summary: Grow With Intention

Your career can advance if you set professional development goals. Setting goals aids in determining your direction and the purpose of your work, as well as the steps necessary to get there. This article explains how to set work-related goals that are important to you and provides examples of actual goals set by Asana staff members.