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What is important about career goals?


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Grace’s Answer

In addition to what others have answered, career goals are a very helpful way to make sure you have a career that is a good fit for YOU.

There's a lot of career advice out there from people that don't know you - or that advice is based on someone else's values. While the advice they give could be great for themselves, it might be less relevant for you. For example, if someone values getting promoted quickly above anything else, but you're more focused on finding a job where you can help others, there's likely a mismatch in goals and advice.

Step 1: Identify your values
If you're not sure what your values are, that's pretty typical! I like this article, which gives lots of examples of values and concrete steps to identify yours: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm

Step 2: Based on your values, determine your career goals
Once you've identified your values, you can tie those to career goals. Here are some examples:
- Value = Stability, then finding a job at a start up probably isn't a great career goal for you. Instead, aiming to get a job at a stable, larger company probably makes more sense.
- Value = Family, then setting a career goal to find a job with good work-life balance would be a good fit.
- Value = Teamwork, then setting a career goal to find jobs that are very team-oriented would help set you up for success.

Good luck!

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Donna’s Answer

Have you ever made a New Year's Resolution? Did you keep it? If so, you are way ahead of the game. If not, this is a great example of why you should set Career Goals. Or any life achievement goals for that matter.

Do you have a job today? If so, do you see yourself at this same job in 5, 10, 25, and 50 years from now? Do you see that income supporting you with a family or just a lifestyle that you would like to live? What if there was a tragedy or you are ready to retire. Would this job provide income which would allow for savings and ample retirement income.

Setting a goal gives you a direction to work in. Don't know what you want to do, reach out to your guidance counselors or go online there are several sites with aptitude testing. This can give you a base line for the types of jobs you would be good at based on education and personality.

Choose one or two to research, then set your goals:

1. Decide something you want to do or work towards
2. Write it down carefully - Or create a vision board
3. Tell someone
a) this makes you accountable
b) provides you a sounding board to say "is this realistic"
4. Break your goal down into specifics
5. Plan your 1st step
6. Celebrate Achievement/ Recalibrate Backslides

Evaluate your circumstance, maybe there is no reason to have a career goal. Maybe you are going to take over the family business, but even with that you should have a goal. What is that business going to look like in 5, 10, 25, 50 years? How are you going to grow that business? How do you keep consumers interested in your business?


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Paul’s Answer

Hi Mbaye,

Career goals help you to focus on what you want to achieve over a number of years.
When working, it's easy to just focus on the task at hand, which means you lose sight of the bigger picture.
Career goals mean that you focus not just on what your boss wants you to do but on what you want to be doing in the next 1 - 2 years.
A company your working for may give you guidance on how to advance within that company, but they won't tell you whether that will be right for you. You need to decide that for yourself.
When setting your career goals, it's a good idea to make them SMART: Specific, Measure, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Think about where you want to be in the next 1 - 2 years and how your going to get there.
It could be a promotion at work or a new job altogether. The important thing is that it's specific to you and your personal ambitions. What kind of work makes you happy? What would you like to achieve? Answering these questions will help you set your career goals.

Some examples of career goals that I've used:
- Get promoted to manager in the next 2 years
- Work abroad next year
- Complete my masters degree while working

I hope that helps!
Best regards,

Paul




Paul recommends the following next steps:

Write down some career goals. Don't overthink them, you can always change them later. The first step is to get started.
Saved!

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Blake’s Answer

Hello,

Career goals are a check and balance of your progress in your career. Regardless of what your goal is, it will act as a guiding factor when making decisions. It will also allow you to track your success at incremental levels.

Blake

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