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What is a Long-Term Goal?

A long-term goal is something you want to do in the future. Long-term goals are important for a successful career.

A long-term goal is something you want to accomplish in the future. Long-term goals require time and planning. They are not something you can do this week or even this year. Long-term goals are usually at least several years away.

Sometimes it takes many steps to complete a long-term goal. These smaller steps can be your short-term goals.

For example, your long-term goal might be to complete all of your GED exams. This could take several years of going to school and studying. Going to class next month might be a short-term goal. Or passing an important test can be another short-term goal. Achieving these short-term goals helps you reach your long-term goal.

Long-term goals are important for a career. Careers last your whole working life. Long-term goals help you think about the education you will need. Long-term goals help you think about jobs you want in the future. Careers take time and planning. These plans will include your long-term goals.

Practice identifying long-term goals.

Directions: Look at the activities below. Which ones do you think show a long-term goal?


Practice typing on the computer today.

Become very good at using a computer.

Take a trip across the United States.

Take my children to school on time.

Earn my GED.

Practice reading the newspaper at home.

Write a resume.

Advance my career with education.

Read the employee handbook.

Gain experience and get promoted at work.
Getting promoted take time and hard work.
This is a long-term goal.
When you start a job you can read the employee handbook right away.
This is not a long-term goal.
Moving forward in your career takes planning.
This is a long-term goal.
Writing a resume is something you can start and finish quickly.
This is not a long-term goal.
You can start practice reading the newspaper at home right now.
This is not a long-term goal.
Earning your GED will take time and effort.
This is a long-term goal.
You can take your children to school on time starting today.
This is not a long-term goal.
To take a trip across the United States you need to plan and save money.
This is a long-term goal.
Getting better at using the computer takes time and work.
This is a long-term goal.
You can start practice typing right now.
This is not a long-term goal.

Next Steps:

  • Write down your long-term and long-term goals on your Career Plan.