The terms "career goals" and "career objectives" are synonymous, and refer to the goals a person chooses to set for his or her career. "Career Management" is the process by which those goals are achieved.

Career goals/objectives can be both short term and long term. For example, if a person is in sales, a short-term objective could be to increase the number of sales (s)he performs by 10 units per month. A longer term objective might include going back to school to earn a bachelor's or graduate degree to obtain a job as a sales manager or sales executive.

The first step in career management, not surprisingly, is career planning, where an individual takes the time to survey his life and career on a regular basis to see whether his or her job is obtaining the desired results and sets career goals and objectives.

It is helpful, when setting career goals and objectives, to set short-term (a matter of months or quarters), mid-term (1 - 5 years) and long-term (7 years or higher) goals. Doing so allows the individual to focus both on quickly achievable simple goals that provide a sense of accomplishment while also taking a longer view toward his or her career.

The second step to career management is to plan ways in which each set of goals/objectives can be met, and then select the best way to work towards those goals from the alternatives.

If a person is having difficulty with the first round of career management, or is facing a major career change that requires more extensive planning than it might otherwise, a licensed career counselor may be able to aid the career management process and help set practical, actionable career goals with you.