How to Stay Focused on Your Career Goals Without Burning Out

July 5, 2022


It doesn’t matter if you’re at your dream job, or you’re doing work you love every single day, or you can see your most significant career ambitions just over the horizon. Unfortunately, you can and will be subject to burnout if you’re working (and if you’re not!). 

Chipping away at your aspirations and never taking a break can lead to chronic stress, one of the most prominent causes of burnout.

Sometimes, you might even feel so burnt out that you wonder if you want the same goals anymore. You might find yourself resenting your job or your industry. Read ASAP's blog post here to learn how to stay in love with your job and chronic combat stress!

Breaking your goals and plans down into bite-size pieces that are easier to manage and allowing yourself time for yourself while you work towards your final goal are ways you can defend yourself against burnout.

Keep Your Career Goals in the Back of Your Mind

While it’s essential to have something to work towards, it’s important to remember that thinking about career goals all of the time isn’t always beneficial.

“If I don’t get this spreadsheet done, I’ll never make CEO!”

“I have to finish the chapter of my book this weekend, or I’m never going to get it published!”

“I would love to take this job, but it’s not on my immediate career track. Therefore, I can only take jobs and tasks that will lead me to my goals!”

Have you ever had thoughts like these before?

Sometimes, you might find that framing everything around your career end goals keeps you motivated and inspired to do the “grunt work” right now. 

But what if you DIDN’T get that spreadsheet done that day? What if you got sick that weekend and couldn’t work on your chapter? 

When you frame everything you do as a direct pipeline to your eventual career success, the deadlines you miss, jobs you don’t get, and small failures can be devastating. 

Putting so much pressure on yourself causes a lot of stress, and that stress will lead to burnout. Instead, spread your long-term or short-term goals and take things one step at a time. You’ll feel better about it. 

Long-Term Career Goals

It’s essential to be realistic. There’s a reason they’re called “long-term” goals, and it’s probably because, unless you win the lottery or get lucky, they’re not going to happen tomorrow. 

Whether you want to be a CEO, a business owner, a thought leader in your industry, or just want to make a lot of money, we must know our current limits. 

The future is a long way away, and the now is where you need to take care of yourself. It’s easy to think, “if I work twenty hours of overtime every week, I’ll be able to afford XYZ by the time I’m ABC.” 

But if that constant stress burns you out, not only might that slow down your work and deliver less-than-stellar results, but you might be putting your mental and physical health at risk.

A great way to combat burnout is by learning new skills or improving them with training programs, conferences, or seminars. Not only will this training look great on resumes and help you down the road, but you might also find inspiration where you least expect it!

Short-Term Career Goals

Breaking down your larger goals into chewable pieces that you can easily envision is a great way to stay focused and motivated while decreasing stress. 

Short-term goals can lead up to a larger goal, or they can be the ambitions you want to accomplish. Having victories of any shape and size is beneficial for staying passionate about your job and confident in yourself. 

With shorter-term goals like “Get promoted this year,” “Learn to build a website,” etc., not only will you have more victories to celebrate, you’ll be able to look back on your progress and see how far you’ve come.

ASAP is the leading provider of education and training for professionals looking to advance, build, or start their careers by obtaining various certifications. To browse through our resources, meet with a training advisor, or become a member, visit

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