Set Personal Development Goals for Work

November 22, 2019 • Zachary Amos


When you first got your job, you were probably excited. You might have thrown a party or told your loved ones to celebrate the next step in your career. During your first day, that excitement drove you to do your best and make a place for yourself in your office, but that feeling can fade with time. So, make some personal development goals for work.

When was the last time you thought about your personal development goals? They go far beyond going to the gym or flossing every night. Everyone should have goals in mind for their career that transform them into better versions of themselves. It’s healthy to strive to reach your goals.

If you can’t decide where to start, check out these short and long-term personal development goals for work. They’ll help you build a foundation for your future and give you a plan of action. Once you have your plan in mind, you’ll watch your personal development skyrocket.

1. Consider What You Need

Everyone is at a different place in their lives. What do you need in this moment? Do you want more positivity in your heart as you drive to work in the morning or the courage to stand up and lead a meeting?

Pause to think critically about your skills and where you want to take them. You might prefer to develop a minor skill you keep in your back pocket, like how easily you make friends at work. You could also choose to start something new, like learning basic IT skills to stand out more in your office.

It helps to list out the skills you’re proud of and the skills you know you can develop more. You’ll narrow down where you have room to grow and form your list of goals around your discoveries.

2. Try Short-Term Goals

If you want to feel a sense of reward that encourages you to keep pushing forward with your personal development, try short-term goals first. They may take a week or a month to accomplish, depending on if it’s a habit you want to form or a general goal. Try some of these short-term goals to see how they begin to change your work life.

Watch Your Body Language

Your body language makes a big difference in how you interact with your coworkers. Some behaviors are conscious while others are subconscious, so make an effort to pay attention to them all. After you read about body language, you’ll know what to look for, like crossed arms or regular eye contact.

Create Work Values

When you clock in, what are the values that drive your work ethic? You might come up empty when you try to think of an answer. Spend some time creating strong work values you’re proud to stand behind to encourage your personal growth.

Reduce Your Procrastination

It’s easy to slip out of focus when you scroll through social media or check your phone out of habit. A great professional goal to make is to reduce your reoccurring procrastination by controlling your stress or anxiety. Breathing deeply in moments where you want to delay your work will help you focus on what you need to accomplish.

3. Plan Long-Term Goals

Short-term personal development goals for work give you immediate satisfaction once you see them progress, but long-term goals require patience. They could take anywhere from two to five years to accomplish. Once you’re ready, it’s smart to have long-term professional goals in mind so you know where your career will head.

Learn a New Skill

Learning new skills makes you a more valuable employee and less likely to lose your job if your workplace faces hard times. You also gain the respect of your coworkers when you’re proactive and become skilled at something the office needs.

You can always take a class at your local community college, but you can also try out a self-improvement website to grow your skills at home. It’s an easy way to fit your professional development into your work schedule without adding more stress to your daily life.

Earn a Promotion

People don’t receive promotions after a few weeks on the job. People typically need to work hard over the course of the year to show their manager they can take on more responsibility. Think about the promotion you want and outline how you’ll get there. If you’re able, talk with someone in a similar position to mentor you or give advice on how the path to your promotion might look.

Gain Management Experience

Management experience is something people can take to any job or career field. It’s worth gaining even if you don’t want to be a manager at this point in your career. Take on responsibilities like leading group projects or meetings to step into the world of leadership and talk with your boss about how you can get similar management roles. Over time, you’ll have enough experience to become a manager and get a pay raise.

Personal Development Goals for Work

Whatever goals you decide to set for yourself, don’t let yourself become discouraged. Make a goal board so you have a visual reminder of what you’re trying to achieve every day. As time goes on, you’ll check off each of your goals and reap the benefits of each in your professional life.