“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”

So said self-help author Napoleon Hill. He was right on target, as was writer Saul Bellow when he noted that, “Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.”

Your career goals are within reach.

Professional goals may seem like pipe dreams at times, and they may certainly feel distant. But by no means are they unattainable – as long as you know what your goals are, what changes you’ll need to make to reach them, and what your short and long-term timeframes look like.

Start with a self-assessment.

A list of goals can be your guiding light throughout your career. At times when you may feel you’re veering off the path to success, they can help you stay focused and on track.

Sit down at your keyboard or pull out a good old-fashioned pen and notepad. Assess your current situation by asking yourself – and noting the answers to – these questions:

  • Am I happy in my current role and at my current company?
  • Am I getting the most out of myself in this job?
  • Can I improve my work?
  • Do I earn what I am worth?
  • Do I see the potential for growth in my current position?


As you define your goals and develop your plan for meeting them, keep the time-tested SMART method in mind: every goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

  • If a goal, or even a step toward reaching a goal, feels overwhelming by its size and scope, break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Remember: distant goals? Small steps!

What Next?

Here are a few ideas as to where your SMART goal planning may take you:

  • Expand your network. Beef up your LinkedIn and other aspects of your online presence. Attend and actively participate in conferences, workshops, and other events where you can network in person. Engage as much as possible as you continuously build your professional identity.
  • Ask for feedback from trusted sources. If you have a solid relationship with your manager, start there. Seek their input and feedback on how you could improve in your work and career. You can also turn to trusted coworkers and colleagues, including those you connect with via your networking. Even – and maybe especially if – you don’t always hear what you want to, it’s a great way to work on your weaknesses.
  • Pinpoint and develop your soft skills. These are the strengths you can seamlessly transfer from job to job or industry to industry. They include but are not limited to communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, critical thinking, and decision-making.

If you need additional insight as you define and achieve your 2023 career goals – whether that means development and growth in your current position or taking a leap and finding something new – the PrideStaff Northern Kentucky team can help. Reach out to us today so we can start working with you to map out your successful future.

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