Short and long term Goals

Short-Term and Long-Term Goals: Career Goals, Difference, Examples

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Posted by aarnatiwari Sep 08, 2023

 An essential question in any HR interview is about your short-term and long-term goals. Setting short-term and long-term goals is an important aspect of career planning, as it provides direction and clarity for your professional development. However, many freshers struggle to articulate their goals effectively during job interviews.

In this article, we will provide sample responses to the common interview question, “What are your short-term and long-term goals?” These examples can help freshers understand how to structure their goals and communicate them in a compelling manner to potential employers. By using these sample responses as a guide, you can demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and enhance your chances of landing your dream job.

Table of Content

Short-Term and Long-Term Goals – Meaning

How to Set Short-Term and Long-Term Career Goals?

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Goals

List of Short-Term Goals

Short-Term Goals Examples

List of Long-Term Goals

Long-Term Goals Example

What are Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals: Sample Responses

FAQs on Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Short-Term and Long-Term Goals – Meaning

Short-term goals for freshers refer to the objectives that a recent graduate or entry-level employee aims to achieve within the first few months or years of starting a new job or career. These goals are typically focused on learning and adapting to the new job or industry, as well as developing the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the long term.

Long-term goals, on the other hand, refer to the objectives that a person aims to achieve over a longer period of time. These goals are typically more ambitious and require planning and commitment to achieve.

How to Set Short-Term and Long-Term Career Goals?

Setting short-term as well as long-term goals might be difficult, but it’s necessary if you want to succeed in your profession. Here are some pointers to get you going:

  • Make a list of your interests and abilities as a starting point. What do you excel at? What do you like to do? You may begin to focus on your goals after you have a solid knowledge of your interests and skills.
  • Be explicit about your objectives. Do not just state that you wish to ‘get a job.’ As an alternative, state that you would like to “get a job as a software engineer at Google within the next year.” It will be simpler to track your progress and maintain motivation if you are more clear about your goals.
  • Organize your career objectives into manageable steps. They will appear less intimidating and more managed as a result.
  • Track your development. This will keep you inspired and on track.
  • Regularly review your objectives. Your goals may need to be modified as your skills and interests change.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Goals

The two different sorts of objectives that people establish to direct their personal and professional lives are long-term goals and short-term goals. Short-term goals are frequently within reach in the near future, frequently within a few weeks or months. They can inspire additional action because they are prompt, detailed, and tangible in addressing needs or goals, and they give a sense of satisfaction upon completion. Long-term goals, on the other hand, are planned for the future years or even decades in advance. These objectives are more strategic and expansive, reflecting a bigger picture or ideal result.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Goals

Long-term goals provide a feeling of direction and purpose, directing important life decisions and providing efforts with a deeper meaning. Goals for the future offer a blueprint for personal and professional development, assisting people in pursuing their hopes and aspirations, whilst short-term goals serve as stepping stones, encouraging gradual progress. For effective life planning and achievement, both sorts of goals must be combined in a well-balanced manner.

List of Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals are typically achievable within a timeframe of six months to one year. They serve as stepping stones toward your long-term goals and should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Some of the relevant short-term goals could be:

  • Create a Targeted Resume: Make your resume targeted to the position you are going for by emphasizing your pertinent experiences, education, internships, and talents. Make your resume ATS-friendly.
  • Build a Professional Network: To increase your contacts, actively network with professionals in your field by going to job fairs, joining organizations on social media sites dedicated to your field, and asking for informational interviews.
  • Improve Interview Skills: Through mock interviews or interview preparation seminars, practice common interview questions, come up with succinct and convincing responses, and focus on your overall presence and confidence in the interview setting.
  • Research Companies: Learn everything you can about the businesses you are interested in, including their values, culture, and most recent advancements. You may use this to customize your application materials and show off your knowledge in interviews.
  • Polish Online Presence: Maintain a polished online presence by making sure that your LinkedIn page is up-to-date, professional, and in accordance with your career objectives. Any offensive or unprofessional information should be removed from your social media profiles.
  • Obtain Relevant Experience: Look for internships, volunteer positions, or part-time work that will provide you with practical experience in the sector you are interested in. Your abilities will be improved, and companies will find your resume more compelling as a result. Make your transferable skills more visible.
  • Develop Marketable Skills: Identify and obtain extra talents that are needed in your sector to develop marketable skills. This can entail being certified, learning specialized software, or honing your foreign language skills.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: Speak with career coaches, mentors, or experts in your industry who may offer insightful opinions, advice, and direction during the job search process.

Short-Term Goals Examples

Short-term goals are specific, achievable objectives that you can accomplish within a relatively short time frame, usually within weeks or a few months. Here are some examples of short-term goals across various areas of life:

  1. Complete a professional certification course.
  2. Attend a networking event or seminar.
  3. Lose 5kgs in the next two months.
  4. Exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week.
  5. Save Rs.5000 in the next three months.
  6. Create a monthly budget and stick to it.
  7. Read two books by the end of the month.
  8. Finish a work project by the end of the week.
  9. Pass an upcoming exam with a high grade.
  10. Organize your closet within a weekend.
  11. Volunteer at a local charity event.
  12. Reduce daily coffee consumption by half.
  13. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  14. Pay off a specific credit card debt.
  15. Spend quality time with family weekly.
  16. Practice a new instrument for 15 minutes daily.
  17. Complete a 30-day fitness challenge.
  18. Improve communication skills through practice.
  19. Quit smoking within the next month.
  20. Implement a daily meditation or mindfulness routine.

Also, check out these commonly asked interview questions:

List of Long-Term Goals

Long-term goals encompass your broader career aspirations and are typically achievable within three to five years or more. While they may evolve over time, it is essential to have a clear vision of your long-term objectives.

Some of the relevant long-term goals are:

  • Career Advancement: Establish a long-term objective for career advancement by striving for positions at higher levels with more responsibility and possibilities for leadership.
  • Professional Development: Make a commitment to continuous professional development by seeking further education, professional certifications, or specialized training to increase your knowledge and proficiency in your sector.
  • Industry Knowledge: Strive to gain industry knowledge by keeping abreast of new trends, technology, and best practices. To position oneself as a thought leader, look for chances to write for industry magazines or deliver keynote addresses at conferences.
  • Entrepreneurship: Consider creating your own business or trying out freelancing if you have an entrepreneurial drive. Make it your mission to start and expand your own prosperous business.
  • Professional Network Expansion: Develop connections with key people in your sector to keep growing your professional network. Access to untapped job markets, partnerships, and mentorship possibilities may result from this.
  • Industry Diversity: Establish a long-term objective to get varied experience inside your sector. To extend your viewpoints and skill set, look for opportunities to work in various industries, positions, or even countries.

Long-Term Goals Example

Long-term goals provide a feeling of direction and purpose, directing important life decisions and providing efforts with a deeper meaning. Some of the relevant long-term goals are:

  1.  Earn a master’s degree in your field within the next three years.
  2. Save enough money to buy a home within five years.
  3. Achieve a specific career promotion or role in the next decade.
  4. Establish a successful startup or business within five years.
  5. Pay off all outstanding student loans or debts in the next seven years.
  6. Develop a regular exercise routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle for life.
  7. Build a substantial retirement fund for financial security in retirement.
  8. Travel to at least 10 different countries over the next decade.
  9. Write and publish a book within the next two years.
  10. Learn a new language to fluency over a span of three years.
  11. Foster and maintain a close-knit, supportive circle of friends throughout life.
  12. Build a sustainable and eco-friendly home in the next five years.
  13. Achieve a specific artistic or creative milestone, such as releasing an album or painting a series.
  14. Become a recognized expert or thought leader in your industry over the next decade.
  15. Develop and maintain a healthy work-life balance throughout your career.
  16. Start a family and provide a nurturing environment for your children’s growth.
  17. Give back to the community by actively participating in charity work or volunteering.
  18. Achieve financial independence or early retirement within a specific time frame.
  19. Develop a lifelong habit of continuous learning and personal growth.
  20. Cultivate a sense of inner peace, contentment, and happiness that lasts a lifetime.

What are Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals: Sample Responses

As a fresher, you’re probably eager to start your career and make a name for yourself. But before you can do that, you need a clear idea of what you want to achieve. That’s where short-term and long-term goals come in.

Check out some of the most commonly used sample responses used by freshers during the HR interview round.

Sample Response for Fresh Graduate

As a fresh graduate entering my first full-time job, my short-term goals are relatively simple. My short-term goal is to gain hands-on experience by working with an organization that provides challenging opportunities to apply my technical skills and knowledge. I would like to work on real-world projects that enable me to develop practical problem-solving skills and learn from experienced professionals in the field. Additionally, I aim to improve my technical abilities through continued learning, attending seminars, and participating in hackathons. My long-term goal as a computer science and engineering fresher is to establish myself as a successful software developer, with a focus on developing innovative solutions to real-world problems. To achieve this goal, I plan to pursue higher studies, obtain relevant certifications, and work with reputable organizations to gain extensive industry experience.

Sample Response for Engineer

I aspire to work under experienced engineers and gain hands-on experience in areas such as CAD modeling, simulation, and testing. By collaborating with cross-functional teams and learning from mentors, I hope to become a well-rounded mechanical engineer who can deliver quality work on time and within budget. In the long term, I plan to pursue advanced degrees and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in areas such as additive manufacturing, automation, and sustainable design. My ultimate goal is to develop products and systems that improve people’s lives, protect the environment, and advance the field of mechanical engineering. 

Sample Response for MBA Graduate

As a recent MBA marketing graduate, my short-term goal is to secure a position in a leading marketing agency or organization where I can apply my skills to develop and implement successful marketing campaigns. My ultimate goal is to develop marketing strategies and campaigns that resonate with consumers, build strong brands, and drive business growth. By leveraging my creativity, strategic thinking, and interpersonal skills, I aim to become an influential marketing leader who creates value for clients, stakeholders, and society as a whole.

Sample Response for Software Developer

As a developer fresher, my short-term goal is to gain hands-on experience and develop my technical skills by working on diverse projects. I aim to collaborate with experienced professionals and learn the latest technologies and tools used in the industry. Additionally, I plan to improve my communication and teamwork skills to effectively interact with my team and deliver high-quality solutions that meet clients’ needs. In the long term, I aspire to become a senior developer or a technical lead and contribute to the growth and success of the organization. I plan to pursue advanced certifications and training programs to upgrade my technical and leadership skills.

You can also utilize Firstnaukri’s Personal Interview Question Answers tool, which is a unique and useful resource for assisting freshers with job interview preparation by generating customized answers to common interview questions based on the users’ profiles.

Related Reads:

FAQs on Short-Term and Long-Term Goals for Freshers

What are short-term and long-term goals?

Short-term goals are achievable within a relatively short timeframe, typically within a year, while long-term goals span multiple years. Short-term goals focus on immediate actions, while long-term goals encompass broader aspirations.

Why is it important to set short-term and long-term goals?

Clarity, focus, and drive are all provided by setting goals. While long-term goals offer a future vision and serve as a guide for decision-making, short-term goals aid in tracking progress and helping people stay focused.

How to set short-term and long-term goals?

Start by brainstorming a list of your skills and interests. Then, think about what you want to achieve in the short term and the long term. Be specific about your goals, and make sure they are achievable. Break down your goals into smaller steps, and track your progress. Review your goals regularly, and make adjustments as needed.

Can short-term goals contribute to achieving long-term goals?

Yes, short-term objectives serve as stepping stones toward long-term objectives. Short-term objectives are important because they provide you with a sense of success, give you momentum, and help you get closer to your long-term goals.

How to answer the question about short-term and long-term goals in a job interview?

When answering this question in a job interview, be specific about your goals. Explain how your goals are relevant to the role you’re applying for. Be enthusiastic and passionate about your goals. This will show the interviewer that you’re serious about achieving your goals and that you’re a good fit for the role.


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