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36 Examples of Professional Goals

Professional goals are targets that an individual sets for their annual performance or longer term career advancement. Many firms require that these goals be SMART meaning that they are measurable, achievable and relevant to your job. The following are illustrative examples of professional goals.


Goals that can be directly measured in revenue such as closing more sales.
Close sales worth $20,000 in MRR.

Cost Reduction

Goals that directly map to a cost reduction.
Retire old software products to reduce license costs by $200,000 per year.


A productivity goal is a target to increase the amount of value you create in an hour of work.
Decrease time spent administering team budget by 30% by taking a class that introduces financial accounting for managers.


Throughput is the amount of work you produce in a period of time.
Clear more change requests. Measurement: increase my change request throughput to 50 story points a month.

Customer Satisfaction

Your performance from the perspective of customers.
Improve service by listening carefully to customer concerns and acting to improve things for the customer. Measurement: improve customer satisfaction for my customers to 87%.


Increase your diligence in a measurable way.
Decrease my defect rate in code delivered to testing by at least 10% by fulling focusing on coding in quiet, uninterrupted work sessions.

Work Quality

Increasing the quality of your deliverables.
Deliver quality software designs as measured by the work required to achieve stakeholder acceptance after the design is released for review. Target: gain acceptance of designs within an average of a week.

Time Management

Make better use of time.
Spend 20% more time on my core projects by prioritizing work and managing expectations.


Prioritizing work to create more value.
Prioritize sales opportunities to put more effort into proposals that have a greater chance of resulting in revenue. Measurement: improve win rate to 39%.

Managing Expectations

Managing the expectations of others such as the work that they imagine you are delivering. This represents the common reality that employees are often not free to prioritize their work independently but must deliver on obligations, both stated and assumed, to stakeholders.
Clearly define and communicate commitments to stakeholders to increase stakeholder satisfaction with my deliverables to 97%.

Setting Expectations

Setting expectations is the process of assigning work to others and communicating what is expected of the work.
Clearly communicate design standards to designers to improve client acceptance of deliverables to 80%.


Management is the practice of directing people and controlling resources.
Develop and implement a strategy to improve the resilience of production lines to reduce downtime to 0.1%.

Management Accounting

Management accounting is the practice of measuring things that managers need to know.
Measure the performance of service desk requests to identify bottlenecks and failures. Target: measure and improve turnaround time of processes by 5%.


Measuring things with metrics, often as a way to communicate your value as a professional or team.
Measure customer satisfaction with service at the front desk. Goal: report customer satisfaction to show the value of service improvement initiatives. Measurement: capture customer satisfaction data from 5-10% of customers.

Internal Controls

Developing processes, practices and technologies that control resources.
Implement a process and system for submitting change requests that creates transparency. Goal: 100% of change requests in system by Q3. Measurement: stakeholder satisfaction with change requests before/after the new process.

Financial Management

Managing budgets and financial processes such as purchasing.
Perform a reconciliation that matches software licensing costs to actual software usage. Measurement: cost savings from retiring licenses that are unused.


The process of measuring, improving and measuring again.
Improve product designs to be more competitive in the market based on feedback collected from customers and lead users. Measurements: customer ratings, revenue, time to market.

Business Analysis

Business analysis is the practice of developing new knowledge, requirements and measurements.
Sponsor a project to improve the customer service platform. Target: develop a full set of requirements by Q2 and achieve approval of budget by Q3.

Change Management

Change management is the practice of leading change that is likely to face organizational issues such as resistance to change.
Sponsor a technology project and clear issues to see it delivered. Measurement: number of story points implemented for the customer relationship management system. Target: implement at least 100 story points


Leadership is the process of influencing people to achieve common goals independently of your formal authority.
Influence the technical direction of the team by developing and pitching ideas for infrastructure improvements. Measurement: develop and pitch at least 5 proposals.


Changing peoples minds to influence their decisions and actions.
Achieve budget approvals to hire and expand the team. Target: budget approval for two new hires this year.

Relationship Building

Developing business relationships with employees, partners, customers and industry peers.
Attend industry conferences to develop contacts and leads. Goal: attend at least 3 conferences, add at least 100 contacts this year into our sales force management tool.


Developing the talents of others with techniques such as knowledge of performance.
Coach junior team members to improve their code. Measurement: feedback from junior team members.

Personal Resilience

Personal resilience is the ability to deal with situations others would find stressful without loss of professional composure and enthusiasm for your work. This is developed by taking on challenging action items to improve your ability to handle change, criticism and challenges.
Take the lead on a project to represent project team with stakeholders. Measurement: feedback from stakeholders, budget variance, schedule variance


Visibility is the degree to which people notice you in an organization or industry.
Improve my visibility in the monthly IT governance meeting. Target: give at least 3 presentations in the meeting this year.


The process of communicating information, meaning and emotion.
Better communicate the value of my design ideas to clients. Measurement: improve client acceptance of pitches to 70%.

Decision Making

Improving decision making.
Create formal decision rationales to improve decision making. Measurement: document and communicate a rationale for 3-10 decisions.

Problem Solving

Solving long running problems or improving the process of solving regular problems.
Perform a root cause analysis for information technology incidents. Measurement: identify and address root cause for 100% of severity 1 and 2 incidents.


Creativity is the process of developing non-obvious ideas of value.
Use design thinking to improve the efficiency of team meetings. Target: capture and resolve more issues, risks and action items in shorter meetings.

Business Experiments

Trying things that may fail as an experiment.
Experiment with new processes for rapidly developing systems. Target: implement and measure two new processes on an experimental basis.

Risk Management

Reducing future losses by identifying and managing risks.
Manage risks to projects to avoid issues that impact stakeholders. Target: identify and manage risks to reduce risk exposure across all the team's projects by 20%.


Developing or acquiring knowledge.
Study and pass the _________ exam to achieve ________ certification.


Developing a talent.
Improve my visual communication skills by designing and delivering visuals for communication, reporting and knowledge documentation. Measurement: feedback from stakeholders.


Gaining work experience in a particular area.
Gain experience presenting products to customers. Target: complete 5-7 product demonstrations. Measurement: feedback from sales, closed deals and revenue related to customer presentations.


Gaining recognition from management, peers, customers, partners and other stakeholders such as investors, media and communities.
Gain recognition in the industry as a leading architect. Measurement: media coverage of my projects.

Work-Life Balance

Meeting your professional goals without sacrificing your personal goals.
Prioritize, manage expectations and improve productivity to reduce overtime work. Measurement: no work on weekends, fewer overall work hours as compared to last year.


This is the complete list of articles we have written about goals.
Big Goals
Business Goals
Concrete Goals
Service Goals
Daily Goals
Efficiency Goals
Employee Goals
Future Goals
IT Goals
Leadership Goals
Learning Goals
Long Term Goals
Management Goals
Measurable Goals
Outcome Goals
Performance Goals
Personal Goals
Process Goals
Productivity Goals
Professional Goals
Quality Goals
Stretch Goals
Types of Objectives
Work Goals
Workplace Goals
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The common types of goal with examples of each.

Quality Goals

Examples of measurable quality goals.

Long Term Goals

An overview of long term goals with examples.

Meeting Goals

The common types of meeting goals with examples.

Marketing Goals

Common types of measurable marketing goals with examples.

Communication Goals

A list of measurable communication goals with examples.

Team Goals

A list of common team goals with examples.

Stretch Goals

The definition of stretch goal with examples.

Performance Goals

An overview of performance goals with concrete examples.

Performance Objectives

A definition of performance objectives with examples.

Career Objectives

How to craft effective career objectives with examples.

Goal vs Objective

The difference between goals and objectives.

Measurable Objectives

How to design measurable objectives for any goal.

Development Objectives

An overview of development objectives with examples.

Performance Feedback

A list of performance feedback examples for a variety of business scenarios.

Management Goals

A list of measurable management goals with examples.

Work Accomplishments

A list of common types of work accomplishments with examples.
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