Defining Your Path for Professional Growth

woman board business meeting shutterstock.jpg

By Blogger & Marketing Coordinator: Josefina Romano

Many people have different definitions of what professional success and growth means to them. To some, success may mean a healthy work life balance, and to others it may mean getting a higher paying position.  The truth of the matter is there is no one-size fits all definition of success, everyone has different types of goals that they want to reach. Here is a brief step by step guide on the essentials of setting up your professional path so that you can achieve your goals.

Define what professional success means to you

The most important step to getting closer to achieving your professional goals is to define what these goals are. Take some time to understand the things that matter most to you in your career. Is it money? Free time? Great benefits? Being part of an innovative team? The things that matter most to you should help you mold the goals that you set for yourself.  You may have a big collective goal of one day owning your own business or being the director of your department, but to better grasp these massive dreams you want to achieve you need to break them down. Take your big goal and divide it into small short-term goals that will ultimately guide you to where you want to be.

Set specific goals with hard deadlines

Once you have defined your short-term goals break them down even more. What is it going to take to reach your short -term goal? Define what that means for you per day, per week and per month. Each day you should be doing tasks that will help you achieve your short-term goal. Another crucial aspect of achieving the professional growth that you seek is to have hard deadlines to abide by. Hard deadlines will help you keep yourself accountable and will help to motivate you.

Use available resources wisely

Resources are widely available to develop your career, improve your skills and attain higher education and the best part is that a lot of these resources are free! There are free online courses from top educational institutes to improve on a skill you are trying to develop, certificates that you can obtain in short periods of time and podcasts to keep your mind sharp and in tune with your industry, like these 8 Podcasts for Business Savvy Listeners recommended by Fast Company.

Learn from your setbacks

As with every major goal, you may encounter setbacks in your short-term goals. Setbacks may come in the form of delayed deadlines, obstacles in learning a new skill or even lack of motivation. Take these setbacks in with positivity and allow them to serve as lessons for how to do things differently in the future. 


It’s easy to feel accomplished and done once you have achieved a short-term goal but never forget to look at the bigger picture. Evaluate where you are every month or so and don’t be afraid to adjust your plans when needed. Being flexible with your goals can be the key to get where you want to be.

To learn more about career development opportunities visit