10 Best Professional Development Goal Examples

blog thumbnail 4

These days, staying ahead of the curve is not just a goal but a necessity. As we work our way through ever-evolving industries and a very fast-paced business world overall, being able to grow and stay agile in the workplace continuously is more important than ever before.

This is where professional development goals come in.

With this perspective in mind, having a roadmap in order to have a clear vision of where your business is going is essential. Therefore, setting yourself professional development goals is at the center of a successful organization.

Whether you’re only starting out or have already advanced in your current place in your career, professional development is always on our minds. But how exactly do we go about setting and implementing them?

Let’s discover the importance and cornerstones of what professional development goals are and get you equipped to set your own!

What Should A Professional Development Goal Include?

By now we’ve all heard of SMART Goals, and for good reason! A professional goal that’s going to actually help you and your organization grow and develop in business should be in alignment with SMART Goals. But what does it stand for?

SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. So, by this logic let’s list the components your development goals should include.

Professional development goal components
  1. Specificity: The first to set a development goal for work is to be clear in its intention. Be precise about the outcome you wish to get once you achieve your goal. This way, you can set the rest of the details around exactly where you wish to reach.
  1. Measurability: What good would your development goal be if you didn’t make sure you could measure your objective and didn’t understand if you actually are on track or not? Make sure to add performance metrics and performance review competencies that apply to your goal that will help you see where you are on your journey. Quantify if possible.
  1. Achievability: Being specific and considering metrics is an amazing start but it wouldn’t help you long-term to have these features in your development goals unless they are achievable. If you were to set unrealistic goals, you might end up creating unnecessary frustration. Doing so will also improve your employee engagement.
  1. Relevancy: Make sure that your goals are in alignment with your overall career/business. If your vision of where you wish your business to be does not match where your goals will lead you, then your process will lose meaning. In the same way, your career development plans go so well with performance appraisal, your goals should match your industry.
  1. Time-boundedness: Finally, to have a good professional development goal in place, set a certain time frame to keep yourself accountable and create a sense of prioritization in the bigger picture. For example, it’s not the same saying you will improve X skill or you will improve X skill in three months. This is especially important if you wish to create an effective and clear development plan that will help you and your goals.
  1. Bonus – Long-Term vs Short-Term Goals: Breaking down your goals into long-term and short-term tasks can help you achieve your objectives faster and integrate the process into your day-to-day rather than cramming your goal into a shorter time to meet your own deadlines. This way you will have an actual professional development plan.

Professional Development Goal Examples

1. Improve Time Management

Short Term: Reduce time spent on non-essential tasks by tracking this time via time management tools and techniques, resulting in a decrease in time spent on non-essential tasks by 20% within the next three months.

Long Term: Establish a detailed time management strategy by implementing advanced tools and techniques in order to track and optimize time spent on non-essential tasks. Aim for a sustained and gradual reduction in time spent on non-essential tasks, targeting an overall 30% decrease within the next year.

2. Enhance Communication Skills

Short Term: Enhance written and verbal communication skills by actively participating in workshops every three weeks minimum, consistent practice, and seeking feedback from mentors. Strive for a 5% improvement in communication proficiency within the next two months.

Long Term: Improve both written and verbal communication by attending workshops, practicing regularly, and seeking feedback from mentors because effective communication is crucial in professional settings. Achieve a 15% improvement within the next six months.

3. Develop Leadership Abilities

Short Term: Take leadership roles in projects and successfully lead at least two projects within the next year, supporting the experience by attending leadership programs and completing the training within the same time frame simultaneously.

Long Term: Consistently pursue leadership roles in various projects, aiming to lead at least two projects per year over the next 2-3 years. Simultaneously, invest in continuous professional development by participating in leadership programs, completing advanced training, and seeking mentorship opportunities.

4. Expand Professional Network

Short Term: Attend industry-related events and regularly engage in online discussions to increase networking opportunities and take part in at least one networking event per month for the next six months.

Long Term: Be consistent in engaging in industry-related events, both physical and virtual, while actively contributing to online discussions and forums. Aim to participate in at least one networking event per month for the next 1-2 years to establish a robust professional network.

5. Acquire New Technical Skills

Short Term: Learn a specific programming language by completing a relevant online certification course and dedicate at least 5 hours a week in order to complete the course within six months.

Long Term: Dedicating at least 5 hours a week to advanced learning and aim to not only complete the initial certification course within the first six months but also deepen your understanding and expertise over the next 1-2 years through real-world applications and staying updated with the latest advancements in the programming language.

6. Improve Product Management Skills

Short Term: To enhance project planning and execution skills, take courses and apply the learnings in at least two project initiations. Complete two successful projects within the next nine months.

Long Term: Commit to continuous improvement and apply the learnings in various project scenarios, ensuring a holistic understanding, Strive to complete and successfully lead a series of progressively complex projects over the next 1-2 years, showcasing the evolution of skills and expertise in project planning and execution.

Lead your project teams through Microsoft Teams!
No sign-up required.
Teamflect Image

7. Increase Cross-functional Collaboration

Short Term: Collaborate with teams from different departments and engage in a minimum of two cross-functional projects within the next six months.

Long Term: Strive to sustain a practice of collaboration by consistently engaging with teams from various departments. Aim to actively contribute to a series of cross-functional projects over the next 1-2 years, demonstrating adaptability and proficiency.

8. Enhance Customer Service Skills

Short Term: Improve response time and problem-solving in customer interactions, achieving a 20% increase in customer satisfaction scores within the next three months.

Long Term: Commit to a culture of continuous improvement in customer interactions by consistently refining response time and problem-solving approaches. Aim for a steady increase in customer satisfaction scores over the next year, leveraging ongoing training, feedback loops, and technological developments.

9. Attain Advanced Certification

Short Term: Obtain a specific advanced certification relevant to the field by dedicating focused study time and passing the certification exam within the next six months.

Long Term: Continuously develop professionally by pursuing advanced certifications consistently over the next 1-2 years. The long-term goal is to accumulate a series of certifications, staying current with industry standards simultaneously.

10. Improve Presentation Skills

Short Term: Enhance presentation skills by taking related courses, practicing regularly, and successfully delivering three presentations within the next four months.

Long Term: Continuously focus on presentation skills development by participating in advanced courses, seeking mentorship, and practicing regularly over the next 2 years. Aim to deliver presentations across various settings and audiences, progressively increasing complexity and impact.

How To Set Professional Development Goals?

One of the easiest ways to set and keep track of your professional development goals is to use a performance management software! What better app than Teamflect?

Teamflect is an all-in-one solution to all your performance management needs, including but not limited to, setting professional development goals. Let’s take a step-by-step look and show you how you can easily set yourself professional development goals.

1. Download Teamflect inside Microsoft Teams

Head over to Microsoft Teams and open up the applications section. There you can search for Teamflect and download the app.

Teamflect inside Microsoft Teams applications.

2. Go To The Goals Module

Once you’re done you can open up Teamflect, select the goals module from the left-side navigation bar, and start creating your professional development goals either for yourself or for your team!

Teamflect goal-setting module.

Once you click “new goal”, you’ll be able to assign the goal to someone, give a title and description, and other details such as timing and other relational information. As you can see Teamflect has all your professional development goal needs that align perfectly with the SMART Goals approach!

3. Track Your Goals

Once your goals are set you can keep track of your progress inside the goals tab and adjust your process as well as you go!

Goal tracking in Teamflect.

You can even set tags to your goals according to your professional view of them. Go download Teamflect and try it out for yourselves!

Manage performance inside Microsoft Teams
No sign-up required.
Teamflect Image

Written by Deniz Imer

Deniz is a content writer at Teamflect. She is obsessed with organizational behavior studies and loves writing/thinking about how a carefully designed people strategy can transform a company.

Performance Review Goal Examples

15 Best Performance Review Goal Examples!

how to set&track yearly goals thumbnail

How To Set & Track Yearly Goals Inside Microsoft Teams in 8 Easy Steps