Developing a “Bucket List ” for Your Career

Posted April 24, 2013 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

Let’s face it, ladies, for most of us, being a female means being a list maker! Lately, “bucket lists” are all the rage. It’s a bit of a gruesome notion, really, but popular nonetheless. What list of things to do or places to see do you want to check off your list before you…..kick the bucket? Most of the things on your bucket list, though, are personal rather than professional. I’d like to visit the pyramids in Egypt and stand on the top of the Great Wall of China, of course. But in making our bucket lists, do we ever say, “And I’d like to be CEO when I do”? Probably not.

While it’s true that at the end of your life, no one’s tombstone will say “I wish I’d spent more time at work,” it’s also true that your career takes up a huge chunk of your life. That’s why we loved this article “Create Your Own Career Bucket List” from Women’s Agenda.

In fact, we’d advocate alongside the Women’s Agenda that you should have multiple career bucket lists.

Your Career Bucket Lists

  • Your bucket list for your current position – what do you want to accomplish before you move on or move up?
  • Your bucket list for your current company – what kind of a lasting impact do you want to have before you leave the company (or if you do)?
  • Your bucket list for your long-term career – where do you want to be in 5, 10, 20 years and what are the big “wins” you need to achieve to get there?
  • Your bucket list for your legacy – how do you want to be remembered? What goals do you need to achieve to get there?

A Few Ideas: What to Put On the List

Current Position

  • To close X number of sales or $X in sales before moving ahead to a management position.
  • To create great relationships with managers in X department before moving to another department.
  • To find a sponsor within the company who can help me determine the best move for me.
  • To mentor a young woman in my department.

Current Company

  • To hold at least one additional internal job that is a step above my current position.
  • Become friendly with and receive mentorship from at least two members of the senior leadership team.
  • Spearhead a company-wide women’s initiative.
  • Supervise 5 employees to gain important management experience.

Long-Term Career

  • Hold a position that allows me to travel internationally regularly.
  • Make $X per year by the time I turn 40.
  • Become a member of a nonprofit Board of Directors.


  • Mentor a new young woman each year, even after retirement.
  • Contribute $X or X amount of time to a philanthropic organization or cause.
  • Become a yoga instructor and spend time at an ashram studying meditation.

Hopefully this list helps you start your own career bucket list. What are some of the things you’ll include?


About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."