Stephanie Nieves
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Fan of all things Rihanna- and Ru Paul-related.
  • A short-term career goal is a desired outcome that can be accomplished in a short period of time. 
  • Short-term goals that are directly related to your career include setting up an informational interview, registering for an online course and catching up with industry news.
  • Short-term goals that can improve your personal life in addition to your career include finding organizational hacks, starting a side hustle and reading self-help books.

Ready to take control of your job search? Make a FGB profile.


What is a short-term goal?

A short-term career goal is an end result that can be reached in the near future. Short-term goals vary in the time it'll take to accomplish them, but the ballpark is usually between one week to a few months. 

Short-term goals are also sometimes part of a bigger plan; if you have a mid- or long-term career goal in mind, your short-term goals can help you reach them one step at a time.

What are career goals?

In general, career goals are targets you want to reach as you advance your career. They can be centered on personal development, like improving your public speaking skills, or career milestones like earning a senior-level promotion.

What is an example of a short term goal?

It may feel particularly challenging to set short-term goals as we work from home, but there are plenty of ways you can still invest in your career at this time besides checking off your to-do list. Below are 9 short-term goals you can make right now and reach by the end of this week!

1. Set up an informational interview with someone you admire.

If there's someone you can learn from at your company, or even just someone you want to get to know better, now's an excellent time to set up a virtual meeting with them. A quick calendar check and video call take way less time to organize than an elaborate coffee date which can sometimes feel too formal, anyway. If you're looking for a great conversation starter, a simple "How's working from home going for you?" can do the trick.

2. Read a self-help book related to finances, relationships, personal empowerment, etc.

What a better time to actually read the book on your shelf than now? You can dedicate 30-minutes a day (or even just 10!) to reading and self-improving as you go. Some great reads include Robert T. Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" or Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," but really, any inspirational book can be a great read for a time like now.

3. Watch a TEDTalk.

For free on their site, you can catch a TEDTalk related to any subject of interest to you. Learn why sleeping matters now more than ever by sleep scientist Matt Walker, or how to make pandemic optional — not inevitable, by science journalist Sonia Shah. As with all of these short term goals, there's no pressure or pace, so feel free to watch these talks all the way through, or dedicate a simple five minutes a day to them. Anything you learn can be applied to your career, if even just your work conversations, so have fun with it.

4. Create a professional profile on Fairygodboss.

If you're currently job searching, get in front of recruiters with a professional profile on our site. With a professional profile, you can quick apply to jobs and receive real-time alerts about your application status, and you'll gain access to resources like The FGB Job Search Handbook and cheat sheets with intel on over 10 companies. Creating a profile only takes 10 minutes and once you have, you can sit back while we do the rest.

5. Sign up for a newsletter related to your industry.

We're all in this pandemic together and now is a great time to see how other companies are handling and responding to it. When you sign up to a newsletter related to your industry, you also may receive insights about the intersection between that specific industry or company and the state of the new normal we find ourselves in. We'll be talking about this for years to come, so why not join in on the conversation? 

6. Register to an online course.

You don't need to graduate from Yale to be educated by them; from "Capitalism: Success, Crisis and Reform" to "African American History: Emancipation to the Present" you can learn from thousands of online courses, videos and audio lessons from Yale and 1,500 Free Online Courses from Top Universities. Take your pick and happy learning!

7. Incentivize yourself.

Whether you're an essential worker with long shifts or pushing yourself to work productively from home, it's super important to show yourself love and appreciation every once in a while. Create even smaller short-term goals like the opportunity to online shop if you're off your laptop by 5 p.m. or your favorite takeout meal if you actually use your entire break to relax. While these goals are not directly related to your career, they help you take the necessary steps away from it to jump back in fully present and more positive.

8. Begin that side hustle you keep putting off.

You don't need to be a published author by the time we get out of this quarantine, but you can set aside a few minutes a day to brainstorm your side hustle. Start with some simple journaling or graphic organizing to draft your plan. And play around with free-writing, if your side hustle's a blog, or some hand-mixing, if you're working on a beauty product of some sort. The teeniest bit of investment can go a long way in the end.

9. Find an organization hack that works for you.

We all prefer different things when it comes to scheduling out our day; some of us love the handy dandy planner, others of us appreciate a color-coded Google Calendar, but whatever your choice, now's a good time to make one. Especially as we look into the abyss of even more work from home days and 10 a.m. ticking to 6 p.m. in just the blink of an eye, a routine can be an excellent way to organize your responsibilities without overextending yourself.

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Stephanie Nieves is the SEO & Editorial Associate on the Fairygodboss team. Her words can also be found on MediumPayScale and The Muse.