Career goals are goals you have determined for yourself. They can be very short term, such as gaining a certification or promotion, or they may be long term, such as being an Executive in your dream organization or running your very own successful business. These goals can motivate you and help to spur you on when you’re trying to achieve them. Sometimes the challenges can seem daunting, but with the right mindset everything can seem much easier. So what do you do?
First, it’s important to know exactly what career goals you’re asking yourself, so you know how to approach each interview question. Some questions asked by interviewers are, “What’s your biggest goal?” “What do you think you will most like to do with your free time?” Or “What do you think will make you more effective in your job?” The bottom line is, no matter what career goals you’ve asked yourself, you should answer these questions truthfully and with confidence.
It can also be helpful to prepare a short-term goal list, such as what you want to learn more about, or what you hope to get out of your career. Even if you know these things now, they’ll still help in your preparation. A short-term goal list can give you something to discuss with your interviewers during the interview, and these topics can then serve as a guideline for your actual interview. This way you won’t get overwhelmed at the prospect of answering yet another career goals question.
After you’ve thought through your career goals and made a rough list of possible courses of action, the next step is to write them down, one at a time, so you can see where you are now, as well as where you might be after a few months or a year or two. You may find that your career goal is closer to your current goals than you originally thought! You don’t have to wait until you’re well established in your career field to set these goals down on paper. You can do it as you are working toward your new career or even right before you are about to start your new job. If you haven’t found a career yet, then this is the perfect time to get started.
Once you know what you want to achieve professionally, then you can set career goals to achieve these goals. If you’d like to move from an entry-level position into a more managerial role, then set a short-term goal of some specific accomplishments you’d like to achieve. If you’d like to climb up the corporate ladder, then set long-term career goals that will take you from the promotion stage to leadership. Either way, you need to keep your short-term and long-term goals in mind while you’re pursuing your career goals. This will keep you on track.
The best way to keep yourself motivated is to keep measuring your progress on a regular basis. Each time you reach a career goal, then you should give yourself a personal accolade. For example, if you reached your one year goal of getting your management job, then make it a special day and treat yourself to something nice to do for the day. This will get you motivated to continue on with your career goal.