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10 Common career goals examples for performance review [2024]


March 3, 2024


Ella Mar


Career goals examples for performance review

Performance reviews can be a bit nerve-wracking, but they’re also a great way to observe how your employees are doing and get a grasp of how they want their careers to move forward. It’s a pivotal moment for both you and your employees, for many reasons.

Here, we’ll take you through some of the most common career goals examples for performance review, along with resources that you can use to help your team achieve them. You’ll also learn what a performance review is and why it’s an essential process at work.

What is a performance review and why is it important?

At its core, a performance review is a structured assessment process where you can sit down with your employees and discuss their work performance, accomplishments, challenges, and, most importantly, career goals.

Career goals serve as a guiding target for your employees when making decisions about their personal development, skill acquisition, and career path. These can be formatted using well-defined smart learning objectives.

Career goals examples for performance review - Definition and importance

Talking with them about their career goals lets you take a closer look at how well their individual goals align with your company’s objectives. That way, you can tailor targeted development plans that address both their personal growth and organizational needs. This also helps them understand how every effort they make influences the bigger picture.

You can even think of a performance review as an investment. It’s not just evaluating their performance; it’s also largely about investing in your team’s growth. You’ll be able to give your employees valuable insights into their strengths and areas that could use improvement.

Keep in mind that by showing acknowledgment and support, your employees will likely be more engaged and motivated at work. This leads to increased job satisfaction, higher retention rates, and enhanced productivity. That’s the ideal scenario for every company striving for success.

What are career goals?

Career goals are the objectives and ambitions that represent what employees want to achieve, such as promotions, specific job positions, or acquiring new skills. These goals can guide them in making decisions, pursuing opportunities, and developing the skills and knowledge needed for their career progression.

What is the difference between short-term and long-term career goals?

It’s important to consider both short-term and long-term aspirations when setting development goals for work. Knowing the difference between these two types can help you understand how to set goals that are effective for your employee’s professional growth. 

Here’s a short list of the differences between short-term and long-term career goals.

Short-term career goals:

  • focus on immediate objectives to be achieved within a relatively brief timeframe, usually within a year or less.
  • often involve specific tasks, projects, or skills that your employee wants to accomplish or gain shortly.
  • aim to enhance their current job performance or complete specific training programs or certifications.
  • act as stepping stones towards long-term goals.

Long-term career goals:

  • involve broader and more significant achievements that your employee aims to complete over an extended period, typically spanning several years or even a lifetime.
  • encompass higher-level aspirations, like reaching leadership positions, starting a business, or making a significant impact in a chosen field.
  • need strategic planning, continuous learning, and consistent effort over a longer time.
  • may include pursuing higher education, gaining extensive experience, or developing a specialized expertise.

10 Examples of career goals for performance review

Highlighting your team’s career goals during your performance review sessions can ignite personal growth, which allows them to enhance their skills.

To give you an idea, we’ve listed some of the most common work goals examples for evaluation, along with the best online resources you can use to support them as their manager.

1. Effective communication

Communication is everywhere, and that makes effective communication one of the standard examples of professional development goals. It’s an important soft skill that employees need to master if they want to thrive in the workplace, no matter what industry they’re in.

Career goals example for performance review - Effective communication

When communication is effective, your employees can express their thoughts and ideas in the proper tone and delivery. This will help in creating emails, reports, and documentation that effectively relay information to colleagues and clients.

It’s also useful when discussing the latest project updates or sharing insights during brainstorming sessions. They can seamlessly deliver presentations, engage their team members during meetings, and interact with their clients confidently. It paves the way for a two-way flow of ideas that keeps everyone on the same page.

Being an effective communicator means being an active listener, too. Employees can focus on what their colleagues say and understand their concerns clearly and with empathy. This plays a big role in keeping your organization in sync.

How to apply career goals for effective communication:

  • Create clear and compelling communication materials for various audiences.
  • Develop and implement a communication strategy that enhances internal communication within the organization.
  • Improve active listening skills to better understand colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.
  • Refine feedback delivery skills to guarantee that feedback is constructive, respectful, and actionable.
  • Attend and complete training to improve effective communication skills.

Related courses to effective communication:

These courses use a mobile-first microlearning approach, which enhances knowledge retention through bite-sized lesson delivery.

2. Presentation skills

Presenting is beyond delivering facts and data. It also means creating a journey that takes listeners from one point to another while keeping them engaged and interested. From the way your employees use their voice to the way they use visual aids—every little detail influences how well their message resonates with their audience.

Career goals example for performance review - Presentation skills

These skills are especially useful for employees during team meetings, client pitches, and even casual discussions. With solid presenting skills, they can successfully capture their audience’s attention and convey their ideas effectively, which can leave a long-lasting impact even after they’ve presented.

How to apply career goals in presentation:

  • Enhance visual design skills to create beautiful presentation decks.
  • Use an interactive presentation form, such as a flipbook.
  • Handle impromptu presentations to showcase expertise and adaptability.
  • Confidently deliver presentations to large audiences, both in-person and virtually.
  • Hone storytelling techniques to captivate and resonate with listeners.
  • Become a certified public speaker and deliver presentations at industry conferences.

Related courses to presentation:

3. Negotiation abilities

Negotiation in the workplace happens more often than we might think. Whether in a formal meeting room or during a quick chat by the coffee machine, this skill helps employees navigate tricky workplace dynamics.

Career goals example for performance review - Negotiation abilities

Negotiation skills allow employees to find common ground and reach agreements that benefit everyone involved. It includes being a good listener, understanding different perspectives, and creatively finding solutions that keep everyone satisfied.

Managing a team that knows when to assert and when to compromise makes it easier to handle problems. It’s a great way to reach the best possible outcome while still maintaining a positive and cooperative relationship. This applies when discussing project timelines, resource allocations, and settling differences between team members.

How to apply career goals for negotiation:

  • Learn negotiation techniques and strategies to consistently secure favorable outcomes in business deals.
  • Enhance ability to identify and prioritize key negotiation objectives.
  • Attend advanced negotiation training to confidently navigate business deals and contracts.
  • Negotiate a successful agreement with a vendor or client.

Related courses to negotiation:

4. Problem-solving

Improved problem-solving skills is another typical career goal you’d often hear during performance review sessions. Employees aspire to think outside the box and experiment with trial and error to address potential problems or dilemmas that come their way. Having great problem-solving abilities will help them identify the issue, analyze options, and devise strategies to overcome technical issues, tough decisions, or project roadblocks.

Career goals example for performance review - Problem-solving

How to apply career goals for problem-solving:

  • Enhance critical thinking abilities to identify root causes of complex challenges.
  • Develop expertise in data-driven decision-making using quantitative and qualitative insights.
  • Successfully resolve work-related issues with improved problem-solving skills.

Related courses to problem-solving:

5. Time management

Juggling emails, meetings, and projects can be tough for employees, especially without proper time management tools. In today’s fast work pace, time management skills are more useful than ever.

Career goals example for performance review - Time management

With effective time management, they’re not only managing minutes and hours, but they’re also mastering their productivity. It’s about finding the right rhythm between work, breaks, and personal life. They can balance their workload and prioritize tasks to avoid doing everything at the last minute, which, in turn, can also prevent stress and burnout.

How to apply career goals for time management:

  • Implement a time management technique to improve productivity.
  • Use a streamlined process that leads to reduced turnaround time.
  • Learn techniques to prioritize tasks based on importance and deadlines.

Related courses to time management:

6. Adaptability

Like other performance review goals examples, adaptability is an essential skill every employee should strive to possess. It matters when they deal with new technologies, shift priorities, or unexpected challenges. It’s also a toolkit that contains resilience, open-mindedness, and creativity.

Career goals example for performance review - Adaptability

Being adaptable equips your team with defense against stress and uncertainty, allowing them to navigate changes at work with confidence. With this, they’ll know how to respond when their project takes a sudden U-turn or when their office adopts a remote setting.

How to apply career goals for adaptability:

  • Embrace new technologies or tools to demonstrate adaptability to changing work environments.
  • Successfully transition to a new role or project, displaying flexibility in skill application.
  • Attend change management workshops to better handle transitions and organizational changes.

Related courses to adaptability:

7. Leadership skills

According to the path goal theory, leaders hold a direct influence over their team and how they work. Not adjusting to their team’s needs can set their projects up for failure. That’s why it’s become an important career development initiative for many employees.

Career goals example for performance review - Leadership skills

Employees with excellent leadership skills can make tough calls and steer their members toward a common goal. They know how to communicate and solve problems while being the voice that encourages others to follow and inspires them to excel. They’re also receptive to feedback and open to change, willing to listen to their members’ diverse ideas.

How to apply career goals for leadership:

  • Implement an initiative that promotes a more inclusive work environment.
  • Complete a leadership course to develop skills in team management and delegation.
  • Take on a leadership role in a cross-functional project to apply and improve leadership skills.
  • Become a mentor who guides and supports junior team members.

Related courses to leadership:

8. Collaboration

At work, employees with excellent collaboration skills are able to work side by side and create a rhythm where ideas flow and innovation becomes second nature. This skill is about listening, contributing, and building on each other’s strengths—all while leaving egos at the door. When employees know how to work together to brainstorm ideas, iron out solutions, or simply tackle the daily grind, they can turn challenges into opportunities and projects into success.

Career goals example for performance review - Collaboration

How to apply career goals for collaboration:

  • Participate in team-building activities or workshops to enhance collaborative skills.
  • Attend industry conferences or events to expand professional networks and connections.
  • Establish regular check-ins with colleagues from other teams to build cross-departmental relationships.

Related courses to collaboration:

9. Project management

Project management may not be everyone’s cup of tea; but for aspiring leaders, it’s one of the best options for career goals and development. Any endeavor that needs coordinated effort, like a product launch or a marketing campaign, can be streamlined through exceptional project management skills.

Career goals example for performance review - Project management

And aside from the more technical side of their tasks like creating Gantt charts and using complex project management tools, leaders can make sure that every piece of the project contributes to the bigger picture. They can act as the glue that holds everything together, and also masterfully guide their team from initial brainstorming to final execution. With this skill, they’ll be able to anticipate roadblocks and delegate tasks while keeping everyone motivated. 

How to apply career goals for project management:

  • Complete project management training to enhance skills in planning, execution, and monitoring.
  • Successfully lead a project from initiation to completion.

Related courses to project management:

10. Technical proficiency

Completing our list of self-performance review goals examples is technical proficiency. For some employees, enhancing their technical skills is at the top of their priority list. For employers, it’s one of the must-have skills they seek in their employees. And that’s no surprise considering how most businesses have adopted modern technology.

Career goals example for performance review - Technical proficiency

With proper knowledge of various workplace tools, employees can confidently carry out technical tasks like analyzing data for reports, creating visual content for presentations, and using search engine optimization for marketing initiatives. They’ll also be able to troubleshoot and find innovative solutions for any technical issues that can happen.

How to apply career goals for technical proficiency:

  • Complete an advanced training course to strengthen proficiency in a specific software or tool.
  • Achieve certification in relevant industry standards to strengthen technical expertise.
  • Apply newly acquired technical skills to finish a project.

Related courses to technical proficiency:

The required technical skills vary across different industries. These are just examples of courses that will enhance employees’ technical proficiency in specific roles.

You can use these courses as long as they apply to your field, but you can also explore SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s editable course library for more pre-made microlearning courses to share with your team. The platform’s in-built performance management system will even let you monitor their progress throughout the course.

Elevate your team’s career goals with the ultimate free workplace training platform! Sign up with SC Training (formerly EdApp) for free.

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Ella Mar

Ella is a content writer for SC Training (formerly EdApp), an award-winning e-learning management system designed to help companies deliver high-quality workplace training. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, or playing with her cat.

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