12 professional development goals for 2021

Close-up of a progressive employee

To all employees and managers,    

Whether you are setting goals individually or a manager who’s setting goals for the entire team, those goals must keep an eye on the personal development of everyone involved in the process.   

Building skills, working on professional development goals, and a great work-life are all part of this process. Yes, every individual will have their own set of priorities and that’s great. However, depending upon the company, the culture, and current requirements, it’s vital that you take control of yourself and what exactly you want.  

Although goals can be and should be tailored, we’ve put together a list of 12 examples that’ll help you create SMART professional goals for success in the future. 

What are professional development goals? 

Career development goals help you gain more experience and move in a definite direction in the workplace. Skills improve quickly with practice and any individual has more chances of climbing the ladder of success. The best part in the whole context of trying to develop professionally is that you get to design your own ladder. 

Goals can be individual or group ones where people collaborate for certain purposes like learning a new skill. 

Why everyone should set professional development goals 

Professional development goals matter because everyone wants to be successful. Success is a combination of things. Things like personal interests, skills, goals, etc. combine to become a meaningful set of results. For example, if you want to be the best programmer in the organization, you can volunteer to assist in building websites. Learn more, assist more, and do more.

After all, organizations love employees who are keen to learn new things every day and keep moving forward. 

Career goals even work for the promotion stage. To get promoted quickly, you need to figure out the expectations of your manager, team, and organization. Prepare a plan and then implement your set of strategies. If this requires getting a certain set of results during the quarter or year, then align your goals accordingly.  

12 ideas for setting professional development goals at workplace

Let’s do this. 

Improve ability to manage or work remotely 

While working, especially remotely, it’s important to make sure that everything is running smoothly and every team member has the support that they need. Every team needs a focal point that manages the communication part and keeps everyone on the same page. You need to be that focal point. Make sure you’re good at listening, 1 on 1’s, and using technology. All of it will help you build an open culture at the organization. It shows that people can trust you.

Learn how to give or receive feedback 

Part of successfully working in a team is about providing constructive feedback. This helps people improve when you’re the one giving feedback and will also help you improve in case you receive feedback from others. The moment you provide actionable feedback, people will improve and this will give you an identity of a trustable figure. 

Understand departments and who does what  

To be able to contribute in the best way possible, any employee needs to understand the structure of their organization and the role of every individual. When you understand how your role affects others and vice-versa, you focus more on the work that matters. For example, A content writer can sit with the product team to understand the product better. The sales team will help the same writer understand what the customer wants and that will reflect in the writing. For both improvement and better productivity, it’s always a good exercise to see what goes into each department’s daily work.  

Networking is gold 

Some people like networking, some don’t, most just do it wrong. It is not knowing a lot of people or having hundreds of connections, it is building meaningful relationships with people that benefits both parties. A strong network will enhance your profile, provide new opportunities, and save you when times are tough.  

Improve work-life balance 

If you want to enjoy work and not be miserable, then start with having a good work-life balance. What does that mean? It means your productivity is higher where you work fewer hours but get more results. It means you have a fixed schedule for work instead of working all day long like a machine. People trust you when you’re taking leave or a break. It also means that you aren’t taking your work back to your home and maintaining a balanced work-life. Creating a structure to have a balanced work-life will give more success at work and life.

Work on your weaknesses 

We all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s great to work on our strengths and build a fortress based on them, however, good things happen when we also work on our weaknesses. It starts with identifying what they are and what are the steps required to make the transition. For example, to be a better writer, a person can hand-write old ad copies. Such a great exercise. Learning is a continuous process and we all need to be part of it.

Learn a new skill 

The more we go and see new things, the more we realize how much we don’t know. Technology is rapidly evolving and taking over the world, what works today might not work tomorrow. In this era of ‘upskilling’, we need to identify the skills gap and work on them to stay ahead of everyone. Be proactive and figure out yourself where you can do more in terms of skills.    

Volunteer to learn new technology 

Everyone needs to be aligned with technology to survive these days. Learning new software or programs that’ll help you become resourceful will enhance your productivity. You can also help others in the organizations with whatever you learn. For example, if you can know how to use WordPress, you can edit and make changes yourself instead of needing to rely on others.  

Improve performance metrics 

Data has become the driving force behind our work lives. Performance is evaluated through outcome tracking and these outcomes are decided by data. Increasing your performance metrics shows efficiency and the results you are getting at work.

These results are also significant as they’re taken into serious consideration when you go for a promotion or talk about them in a job interview. 

Good courses can help you 

Upskilling can be done by enrolling in courses or training schedules that are valuable for your career. Before going for a paid course, check if it’s worth spending the money since the internet has free information for most of the things we need. 

Check the office communication tools 

All organizations use their own communication tools that suit their needs. Remove all the hurdles by familiarizing yourself with all these tools as it will help you engage with all team members effectively. Further, you can help the new joiners with these tools in case they don’t know how to use them. 

Improve presentation skills 

Post-COVID, presentation skills have become more valuable than ever. It impacts our everyday work as we spend so much time in front of the screen presenting our ideas and discussing more aspects of our work. Having a great set of presentation skills will help a person engage and communicate with others and also motivate everyone to get through challenging times. 

What else?

A goal-setting tool can help you and your team members save time and focus on driving engagement among the community. And we understand that choosing a tool can be messy. After all, every organization has a separate set of requirements.  

This challenge can be solved by a system that’s configurable and adapts quickly. Support your team better by signing up for a FREE demo of Keka now. 

Contributing Author
Anubhav

Sr. Content Writer

Anubhav is forever weird, but he’s a fun Copywriter and interview host at Keka. Anubhav figured out in college days that with COPY you can get a bunch of very-targeted people to come to your website, consume your material, and even buy. His focus is on making HR easier for professionals and anyone wanting to make a difference in the workplace. When he isn’t writing, he’s either traveling to the mountains, playing football, reading about Tigers, or doing nothing.