Official 5-Step Guide
Thinking about your future? Wondering how you’re going to get that dream job? Here are five tips that will help you figure out what you need to do to get there.

Most people have a general idea about what they want to do with their lives and where they want their careers to go. But, not everyone knows how to get there.

It’s easy to fantasize about the future: You want the big C-suite office on the top floor. You want a beautiful home, a family, maybe a dog or two, etc.
In order to achieve those goals, you have to map out the path that’ll help you get there.

Today we’re laying out our 5-step guide to defining your career goals. We’ll talk about where to start, how to plan logically, and how to set yourself up for personal and professional success.

Step #1: Define Your Dream Job

Most people know which industry they want to work in. But, you should also have a vision of the job you want to do in that industry.

What is your dream job? How far do you want to go in your professional life?

If you’re interested in medicine, do you want to be a brain surgeon? Or, is your goal to become a medical assistant? If your industry is finance, do you want to be an accountant or the CFO of a Fortune 500 company?

By thinking of how high you want to climb the ladder in your industry, you can start to hone in on your primary career goal.

When defining your main objective, consider how technology might affect your field. If you’re an aspiring bookstore owner, for example, it might not be smart to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Depending on where you live, you may want to focus on building an e-commerce empire, instead.

The best way to get a feel for what lies ahead in your industry is to talk to someone who is already successful in the field. While they won’t be able to predict the future, they’re likely to have a better understanding of the trends and how the industry is evolving.

#2 Break Your Main Goal into Small Goals

Once you’ve defined you end goal, you should make a list of incremental goals. These are smaller goals that you’ll need to achieve in order to reach your overall objective.

Think about the steps it’ll take you to achieve your dream job. Research the types of education you’ll need. What entry-level job should you be doing if you want to advance in the industry? How do you build a resume that’ll help you get in the front door?

One thing you should do is research the people who’ve achieved similar goals. Read biographies and look at LinkedIn profiles. If you can figure out how other people got into the position that you aspire to, you can use their careers as a roadmap.

Make a clear, concise list of small goals. Your list might be short (3-4 things) or long (10-12 things). It all depends on how lofty your main objective is.

Ultimately, this helps you to break your larger career down into shorter, more actionable tasks.

#3 Decide if Your Goals are Realistic

It’s okay to dream big. But, it’s important to be pragmatic about your goals.

Ask yourself:

Do I have the finances and resources to make this dream come true?

If you want to be a heart surgeon, for example, can you afford years of college and medical school? If you want to be a famous movie star, are you prepared to juggle auditions while working to pay the bills?

Remember, goals and dreams aren’t the same. Goals are actionable. You can take steps to meet them. It’s important to recognize that not every dream is an attainable goal.

It’s crucial that you’re realistic when defining your career goals. With unrealistic ambitions, you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment.

#4 Create a Timeline

With a series of small, realistic steps in mind, it’s time to create a timeline. Take a look at your list and decide how long it will take you to accomplish each one.

For example, if graduating from college is on your list, set a deadline for graduation. Then, set a deadline for when you want to land your job in your field. Set a separate deadline for any post-college education or specialized training that you’ll need to do.

Having predetermined timelines can help you stick to your objectives. Timelines make it easy to monitor your progress and keep you on track to reach the milestones needed to land that dream job.

#5 Get Ready to Take Action

Now that you’ve defined a set of realistic goals and created a timeline, you can put your plan into action.

Don’t look at your list like a vision board. Instead, treat it as a calendar. This is important if you want to follow and complete each step by a certain point in time.

You may even find it useful to convert your list into an actual calendar. By doing that, you can break your small goals into even smaller ones to keep yourself on track every single day.

Keep in mind:

It’s okay if you’re unable to reach a certain mini goal.

But, that may mean you’ll need to reevaluate your end goal. Along the way, you’ll learn new things and can adjust your plan accordingly.
The key is to keep your plan realistic and attainable at all times.


The key to defining your career goals is to figure out the steps and follow them.

Start by defining your dream job. Break that down into smaller goals, so you know what steps you’ll have to take along the way.

With a list of small steps, review your list to make sure that each one is realistic and attainable. Then create a timeline of when you want to complete each step of your plan.

Lastly, put your plan into action. Start working on each small goal one step at a time. Be patient and learn as much as possible along the way.

Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to securing that dream job.

Author Bio:

Lindsey is the community manager who comes to Siesta Key with several years of experience managing luxury communities throughout the DC metropolitan area. As a Montgomery County native, Lindsey feels as though Siesta Key is what Rockville has been missing. It is centrally located and proves that you can have plenty of space without losing style and sophistication.