How To Create A Career Goals Worksheet (With Template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Professionals set career goals to track their progress as they advance in their careers. Career goals worksheets help you record your professional goals and the steps you can take to achieve them. Creating your own worksheets can keep you focused on your objectives, track your progress and help stay organised. In this article, we understand what a career goal worksheet is, learn its importance, find out how to create one and review a template that you can use to write yours.

What is a career goals worksheet?

A career goals worksheet is a document that lets you outline your objective, prepare a list of actions you can take to reach that goal and identify the resources you may require along with challenges you may face. Worksheets can help you keep track of your progress, review your accomplishments and stay focused and motivated in reaching your goals. In addition, they keep you organised by grouping all requirements together with their priorities and timelines, so you do not have to go through numerous documents.

Related: How To Build A Career: A Complete Guide In 8 Steps

Why is it important to record your career goals?

Career goal worksheets are helpful for keeping track of your career objectives as they enable you to stay focused on your ambitions and motivate you to reach them. By identifying your long and short-term goals, you can assess your progress towards them. Writing down your goals and reviewing them on a regular basis can aid in prioritising your actions and tasks accordingly.

Examples of goal-setting worksheets

Here are some examples of goal-setting worksheets you can refer to:

Goal execution worksheet

Once you identify your goals, you can use the goal execution worksheet to devise an action plan. This document addresses different objectives while considering the people and resources associated with this task. You can use the worksheet to outline multiple goals and how you plan to achieve them.

Include valuable information, such as the list of resources you may need, the contact information of professionals who can help with the task and the budget allocation for each of them. In addition, it may be useful to provide a tentative estimate of the duration of each task, including the start and end dates. In this way, you can get a clear sense of your goal and track its progress.

Related: How To Determine What To Do With Your Life

SMART goals worksheet

The SMART method focuses on being specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. By using the SMART goals worksheet, you can specify a goal, identify the measures, determine whether it is achievable, establish whether the goal is relevant and beneficial to your career and track the progress within a specific timeframe.

This encourages you to focus on a single goal and identify its importance and potential issues you may encounter when working towards it. Outline the steps to achieve this goal, along with a deadline to make sure your progress is on track. You can specify who is responsible for completing each step and their completion dates to monitor the progress and determine how close you are to achieving your goal. SMART goals worksheets are usually detailed and may contain multiple sub-tasks and information relevant to each of them.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition And Examples

Simple goal setting worksheet

You can define your goal in a few sentences, choose a deadline and devise a strategy to achieve it using a simple goal-setting worksheet. This worksheet also allows you to identify potential challenges you may encounter throughout the process and prepare accordingly. It can also include details about people or resources that may help you reach your objectives, allowing you to assess the resources available before you begin. These worksheets are usually simple and concise in format.

How to create a career goals worksheet

The steps you can take to create a career goals worksheet are as follows:

1. Identify your career goals

The first step to creating a worksheet is identifying the goals you want to achieve and why they are important to you. Defining each of these goals gives you better clarity and direction. Consider the changes you wish to see in your professional career and how you could bring them about. You can evaluate factors like the work environment, management, responsibilities, work-life balance, salary and other benefits. This information can help you set realistic and attainable goals.

For example, you may want to join a company that offers complete remote work options along with good compensation and perks, so that you can spend more time with your family and pursue your hobbies, something you are unable to do at your current job. In this case, you might consider researching companies in your field that offer these benefits and start preparing for interviews. You can include details such as a list of such companies, their recruitment process, interview questions and professional connections who work there.

2. Focus on networking

Attending workshops and seminars is a great way to meet other professionals and industry experts in your field. By interacting with them, you can learn about the current trends and the ongoing research in the field, identify the top companies to work for and get clarity on any doubts that you may have. By consulting professionals, you can learn whether you possess the skills, experience and resources necessary for attaining your goals. Developing these connections may also lead to you finding employment or receiving recommendations for jobs in the future.

Suppose you are a data scientist looking for a new position and after consulting with professionals, you learn that several companies are looking for candidates with experience in deployment and packaging software. Next, you can make a list of resources and courses that could help you accomplish your goal, including a timeline to ensure you stay on track.

3. Create a document

Upon identifying your career goals and consulting with professionals, you can use a career goals worksheet to outline your professional goals and how you can get there. Include short-term and long-term objectives and a tentative timeline. Make sure that the document reflects your interests, field of interest and desired results. Be sure to include all of this information in the worksheet so that you are well prepared. Using worksheets for career goals can help you identify different types of training and certification, learn new skills and explore different career options.

4. Make a list of skills you wish to improve

It is important to include skill development in your career goals worksheet to achieve your professional goals. This can include various soft skills, hard skills and industry-specific skills. You can include this information in the worksheet and develop an action plan to enhance your abilities. Additionally, you might want to list resources, such as certification courses and training material, that can assist you. It is also beneficial to include a list of professionals that you can interact with, get constructive feedback and identify areas of improvement.

Related: How To Develop Your Skill Set: A Complete Guide

5. Refer to the worksheet periodically

Be sure to check your worksheet regularly to evaluate your progress and make any necessary changes. When you have achieved a goal, you can mark it as completed to acknowledge your achievement and motivate you to work harder. You can also update resource allocations, add new goals or alter timelines according to your needs.

Related: How To Answer The Interview Question: “What Are Your Career Goals?” (With Examples)

Career goals worksheet template

Using the following template, you can create your own career goals worksheet:

[Your name]

[Your profession]

Goal

[Clearly define your career objective and explain how and why it can be beneficial.]

List of steps to accomplish the goal

1. [A task that you or your team member can perform]

2. [A task that you or your team member can perform]

3. [A task that you or your team member can perform]

Some challenges you might face

1. [Challenges or issues you may encounter and how you can prepare for or avoid them.]

2. [Challenges or issues you may encounter and how you can prepare for or avoid them.]

3. [Challenges or issues you may encounter and how you can prepare for or avoid them.]

Resources that may be helpful to you

1. [Identify the person, organisation or tool that can help you accomplish your goal.]

2. [Identify the person, organisation or tool that can help you accomplish your goal.]

3. [Identify the person, organisation or tool that can help you accomplish your goal.]

Timeline

[Start date] [End date]

[Describe the results that indicate the completion of your goal]

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