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how do i set career goals for myself

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sumathi’s Answer

First try to analyze your area of interest and try to start exploring more on your interested career.
The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime.
Setting lifetime goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your decision making.
Be SMART in choosing your goal.
S – Specific (or Significant).
M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.

sumathi recommends the following next steps:

Start to learn certifications courses based on your interest and try to get more practical knowledge in those areas.
Goals cannot be achieved in a single day. Just focus on your interest and keep grooming yourself to get expertise in your areas of interest

Great reminders for anyone Sumathi! Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals is always a great thing to do, no matter what it is you are trying to accomplish. Best regards, Melisa Melisa Cameron

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Rick’s Answer

I would be remiss if I didnt start by saying - do not panic if you ever feel that the path thought you wanted to go down isn't the one you'd like to continue down. It's perfectly normal, especially in the beginning of your career, to have seconds thoughts. That's likely due to being exposed to other career paths when you get into "the real world." As far as what goals to set yourself, there's the tangibles and intangibles:

- What the KPIs are you measured against and how are you progressing in meeting them?
- What's a soft skill that you need to be better at, like being comfortable presenting, or relationship building?
- Envision where you see yourself in 5 years, and what are the positive and negatives that you should prep for along that way? Both will happen.

Every day is a learning experience, and be sure that you're continuing to do that and not become stagnant. Don't let the highs get to high, and don't let the lows get to low. Be patient with yourself, and others. Good luck!
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Harikiran’s Answer

1. Narrow down your career paths.
There are lot of career choices. Based upon your passion, you should choose your career. Then you will love your career. If you are passion about starting a business, you should research more in that area on different career paths ( like restaurant business, travel business, etc.)

2. Explore more on the subject you choose
For example, if your career choice is to start a business, you should gain more knowledge about it. There are 3 ways to get it.
a. Read more articles on how to start a business, pros and cons, what are the current trends, how pandemic changed business strategies.
b. Do internship ( if you want to start a motel business, do internship in a motel for 6 months, you will learn a lot while working there)
c. Attend business conferences and connect to the subject matter experts, start conversations and get their advices.

3. Setting career goals
For starting a business, first thing you need is capital money. So, you need to plan saving money. The sooner the better. Start saving from college days itself.
Finalize the location on where to start the business.
Find out if there are like minded people, who are willing to join you. I would strongly recommend to find out partners as it would be difficult to do it all yourself.
Commitment to your business. This is very much important because I see many businesses failing without a proper planning. They will run for couple of months and go out of business.
Even though if your business doesn't do well in the starting, keep on working and for sure you would succeed one day.

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Stacey’s Answer

When you are setting career goals for yourself it is good to think about where you want to be in the long run (next few years). Once you have that vision down you need to plan short term goals that will help you get to the long term goals. Make sure the goals are realistic and measurable.
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Zoriana’s Answer

Hey there! Based on my own experience, I would recommend to setup professional and personal goals. With regards to professional goals, easiest way is to link your goals to your current responsibilities (short-term goals) and to your future professional aspiration (long-term goals). Speaking about personal goals, there are bunch of skills that you need for different industry/position/stage of career. However, the most common are presentation skills and public speaking, negotiation etc. Also I think it's important to understand what you want from your career and where you want to be in a few years. Identifying your future role, define gaps that you should fill and set the goals how to enhance your skills! Good luck!
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Mary’s Answer

First you need to ask yourself what you want out of your career, for example what keeps you motivated (earn a lot of money or helping the community), what are you interested in, etc. Start making short term and long term goal lists based upon what you want to do within your career. Once you figure out what you want out of your career then you can decide the best course of action. Maybe take a couple of career aptitude tests like Meyers Briggs to help you narrow down your goals. Also figuring out what locations you want to be involved in and if learning a new language maybe something you need to learn or if your goal is to move to a certain region/city so figuring out what careers are in available in those cities and setting goals to learn about how to work in those careers.
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Melisa’s Answer


Hello and thanks again for asking great questions on CareerVillage. I love Sumathi's reminder to set S.M.A.R.T. Goals, which is helpful no matter what you are hoping to accomplish.

I also find it helps to be consistent in my overall habits when it comes to working, setting and reaching my goals.
1. Be reliable. Show up to do the work, deliver on your commitments and even go above and beyond to deliver results in your work.
2. Be a strong collaborator. Contribute to your team and the company you represent. Pay attention and learn from others.
3. Grow your connections. Increase your network of individuals, mentors and advocates. Mentors can also help you reach goals.
4. Experience and Education. Be a life-long learner. Continue to look for new ways to increase your education and improve your skills.
5. Never stop learning and reach out to others for help and feedback.

For me, being consistent also helps me keep the discipline and drive that I need to attain my career goals.

I keep helpful lists or journals to write down and reflect on what I've accomplished and what I want to work on next. One of the best parts of journaling for me is looking back at a goal I've written down and knowing it was accomplished.

Best wishes in your future goals!

Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Check out this article on setting personal development goals,if%20the%20path%20you%20are%20on%20is%20worthwhile.
Other helpful career advice on Indeed
If you are interested, here's more resources and info on careers and internships at AT&T