Image of professionals discussing career goals

“I want to become a manager or business leader”

Moving into a leadership role is one of the most straightforward career goals. And it’s as big of a priority for businesses as it is for employees: Only 13% of companies say they do an excellent job of developing leaders at all levels. LinkedIn Learning offers a wide range of leadership training courses and resources to help you bolster your leadership pipeline.

Recommend learning path: Become a Manager

"I want to make more money"

The 2023 Workplace Learning Report found that Compensation & Benefits was the No. 1 factor for employees when considering a new job, so it’s fair to say growth of earnings is a key focus for keeping them with your company once hired. This career goal often overlaps with advancing into leadership roles, but not always; work with employees to identify how they can become more specialized and impactful in their role, even if that doesn’t mean managing others.

Recommended learning course: Asking for a Raise

“I want to diversify my work experience”

One enduring byproduct of the Great Reshuffle is that employees don’t want to feel stuck in place. Many are interested in experiencing different roles and experiences on the job. Providing internal mobility opportunities and mapping out clear pathways will help prevent your talent from looking elsewhere to find new experiences.

Recommended blog post: Internal Mobility for Employees: How to Make a Move Inside Your Company

“I want to achieve greater work/life balance”

In the reshaped world of work, striking a harmonious balance between personal life and work life is vital for maintaining worker engagement and preventing burnout. This means helping employees – remote or in-office – develop strategies for creating work/life boundaries, prioritizing personal wellness, and avoiding the pitfall of being "too available."

Recommended learning course: Balancing Work and Life

Define employee career goals

Treat this as a brainstorming stage and invite the employee to share an in-depth perspective on their vision for career advancement and where they’d like to end up. As Dorie Clark shares in the course Defining and Achieving Professional Goals, it’s important to center these talks on what is important to the employee. “Getting clear on what matters to you and understanding where you need to spend your time in order to operationalize those values is the first step in setting and achieving effective goals.”

Categorize career goals

Careercake recommends taking the goals you’ve brainstormed and categorizing them into three groups:

  1. Currently working on

  2. Working towards in the medium term

  3. Working towards in the long term

This approach will help prevent the employee from feeling overwhelmed by pursuing several goals at once, while still maintaining a big-picture roadmap that accounts for their most ambitious stretch goals.


Refine career goals

Here you can narrow the career goals you’ve loosely brainstormed and categorized into a set number of more specific, achievable outcomes. Create benchmarks along the way, which could correspond to course completions, demonstrating new skills, taking on new tasks, or otherwise.

Plan for successful career goal completion

Work with individual employees to develop customized plans for achieving their career goals. This can be done scalably with modern online learning software. Aim to make your career goal benchmarks as vivid and measurable as possible.


Help employees reach career goals

Plenty of companies talk the talk when it comes to supporting employee development. Leaders are distinguished by providing the support needed for success, and seeing it through. Online learning platforms let you operationalize the above framework in a way that aligns with the needs and preferences of modern professionals.