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How to Set Realistic Career Goals and Achieve Them?

Everyone in life would want to build an excellent career however; the majority are clueless about how to build it.

It is not an easy task since one would need to consider a lot of factors. Depending on your current personal financial health, you would need to proceed carefully with a set plan.

The plan might not be followed with a 100% accuracy. As long as you are headed in the direction of your destination, you are still on the right track.

Today, we will discuss a few steps to follow which will help you head towards achieving set career goals over time.

Before we proceed, I have one simple yet serious question. What are you doing now and how will it affect your tomorrow?

While you are thinking about the question, we will provide a few important pointers to follow.

Please ensure that you try to read everything and replicate it as much as possible from it.

Why Set Goals?

This is a simple question yet it raises a lot of red alerts when you think. Setting a goal gives you motivating and willpower to work.

Nobody else would set a goal for you, this is not school anymore – it is real life.

How to set a realistic goal? To answer this question, I’d like to talk about the word SMART. It is just a 5-letter word that holds a deep meaning.

You may or may not be aware of the abbreviation of SMART. There are two goals, first is the long-term goal and the second is the short-term goal.

SMART – Applicable for both types of goals

  • Specific – The goal you set to be a specific meaning to complete a specific task. Well defined and precise task should be set.
  • Measurable – The goal you set should be related to the career and well within its limits. Precise amounts and dates are necessary in order to measure the progress.
  • Attainable – Dream all you can, however, set goals that are achievable and within a set period of time.
  • Relevant – Your career is in your hands, appropriate and relevant goal showing the right train to the board should be your concern.
  • Time-Bound – Every goal both short term and long term should have a deadline and don’t rest until you know that things are progressing as planned.

Career Realistic Goals

Always remember that you need to have your goals written and displayed at a place where you frequently are.

You need to keep looking at the written goals in order for it to come to fruition.

Tauseef Alam from Distance Education 360, suggests following these 3 steps without going array and I can assure you that success is right around the corner.

Step 1: Career Plan

Your short-term career goals should be set within precise time limits considering all the variables.

This should help you achieve the long terms goals. Find the answer to these questions to make an effective career plan.

  • Define your long-term career goals.
  • Define short-term career goals.
  • Include both of them in your career plan

Planning is done. It is time to take action to bring the plan into effect.

Step 2: Follow the Career Plan

You know what and when you need to achieve it. It is time to work towards that goal following the set path.

The goals you set should be SMART as we discussed earlier.

Remember to ask yourself these questions in case you doubt the plan.

It will provide better clarity and you can walk towards the goal with confidence.

  • Reality check for the goals
  • What is your best skill set and how is the current market statistics with respect to careers
  • Realistic timeframes have been set, adjust them if necessary
  • Be a smart worker, not a hard worker
  • Reward yourself for every goal that is achieved
  • Who will help you if confused? Your good wishers if you share your plan and the confusion
  • Spend energy for necessary tasks only

Follow these points or questions to find answers, I can assure you that the confusion fade over time.

The more clarity you get, the better the achiever you would be.

Step 3: Review and Update

You might not be able to achieve a few goals set in a timely manner.

You need not be disappointed.

Review the reasons and variables which provided such results.

This is a valuable lesson.

Follow these points to ensure that you don’t get lost on your path.

  • Plans can be changed and will change it over time
  • Adjust everything necessary since you did not make an oath before that the plan will not be changed
  • Change is inevitable, ensure that the changes you make should be put into action immediately
  • If nothing works, change the entire plan. Don’t hesitate, this is your life and you need to lead it
  • Take a different path if you feel that you can achieve your goals by doing so
  • Regular changes in the environment will ask you change, please adjust yourself or you will not survive

The final step is done and you achieved all your goals. Think again, a career is a lifelong journey. Repeat the steps again if necessary but, with much better clarity.


Everyone will get confused in their career once a day, it is a well-known fact. So, if you are not confused would raise a lot of red lights, to be honest.

The more confusion you face, the better you will be at your work. Ask yourself these questions once every now and then and you will know what can be done better the next time you are given a similar task at work.

This is irrespective of any career in any field.

  • What is the job about?
  • What are your skillset and responsibilities?
  • Who is your employer?
  • Who do you answer to?
  • What is teamwork and how are my teammates?
  • What are you really good at?

Every time you ask this question over time, you will find different answers.

Fascinating changes in yourself and the people around will be the proof that you are headed toward the destination that you planned.


Career is an integral part of one’s life. Many might not even know to make plans or set goals while many know about it and are prepared for it.

It is always better to have a plan in reserve than be faced with something and you have no plan to face it. With that being said, best wishes for all your bright careers!

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