3 Tips for Setting Your Career Goals

By Career Savvy

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In order to achieve a successful career, you must have an idea of where you want to end up and how you’re going to get there. Whether your objectives are general or specific, as long as they aren’t conflicting, simply pinpointing your career goals is the first step to accomplishing them. Here are Career Savvy’s top tips to help you identify your aspirations.

1.Think Long-Term
Interviewers will often ask where you see yourself in the next five years or so and there’s a reason why they do this: employers like to know if you have an overall, long-term career goal because this shows ambition and focus. Therefore it’s important to start with your end goal as this will enable you to discover what you’re going to achieve to get there.

First, think of this in a broad sense and ask yourself the following questions: What am I good at? What do you enjoy? Which aspects of a job are the most important to me (job satisfaction, salary, etc.)? Your answers to these questions will enable you to determine your general career aims. For example, you may realise that you want to freelance so you can fit your career around family life, or you want to work in a particular industry, or perhaps even that you’d love to create your own business. Whatever the overall objective is, you will also need to consider the long-term plans that will help you to reach it. For instance, what job roles and experience will lead you to your end goal?

2.What Can You Do Now?
Now you know where you’re heading and what goals you need to achieve along the way, it’s time to focus on short-term goals. These are tasks that you can accomplish relatively soon that will help you to reach your long-term aspirations. To determine your broad, short-term objectives you need to think about what you need and want to achieve in three years or less. Ask yourself what skills you need to gain and knowledge you need to expand in order to achieve your long-term goals. For example, you may need to go back to university in order to gain the qualifications needed for your aspired job role. Or perhaps you need to ask for more responsibility in your current role to achieve your dream of becoming a CEO.

Now you’ve established what you need to achieve in the short-term, you can focus on completing specific tasks that will help you reach not just these targets but your long-term ones too. These tasks can include applying to a number of relevant jobs within a period of time, taking on a project at work to develop your leadership skills or attending a course to expand your skill set. Focusing on completing these more immediate tasks will keep you motivated and you’ll be able to monitor your progress towards your long-term career goals.

3.Be Realistic
Now that you have made a note of all your long-term and short-term career goals, it’s time to review your aspirations and determine whether they are actually achievable. Career Savvy always advocate following your dreams, but if your targets are unrealistic then you will set yourself up to fail and this will dishearten you as you try to progress in your career. Share your ideas with family and friends in order to gain different perspectives on your ideas as these will help you to feel more confident about this important decision concerning your future.

There are a number of questions you can ask yourself in order to determine whether your goals are realistic or not:

  • Can you achieve the goals you have set in the time frame you’ve given yourself?
  • Do you need to expand your knowledge or skill set to reach your end goal? If so, are you able to learn the skills required?
  • Do the tasks on your list suit your personality and interests?
  • Do any of your goals conflict with one another?

So if you need some clarity when it comes to your career aspirations, use these tips to make sure you are setting yourself realistic goals that cover all aspects of your career. Once you have clear targets to aim for, nothing can stop you from achieving your dream job!


Image courtesy of chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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