Have you set out your career goal yet? Setting your career goal is the first step towards achieving success in the field you wish to excel. So what is meant by career goal?
It’s not just a statement that you flaunt in your resume but an assertion that explains the profession you intend to pursue. Defining a career goal is significant for every aspiring individual as a written out statement can enable you to work out realistic action plans.
Whether you are a student or a professional, the following factors that attribute to defining your career goal must be focused upon. These include the classes and the extra-curricular activities you must focus on and the research or internships that you consider.
Know Where You Are Heading
It all begins with identifying your career goal. Take adequate time to understand what motivates you as self-assessment will go a long way. It’s a general tendency to only focus on hard skills when setting a career goal.
When you plan for the future, aside from these skills, you must pay close attention to a few more things. These include your values, interest and personality as these factors are essential in making your plan workable and sustainable.
Unrealistic goals will not lead you anywhere and that’s where working out individual goals can help. The key is to tread the graph step-by-step. Abstain from setting a goal that could take years to achieve.
A short term goal can be inspiring and easily achievable. However, do challenge yourself a little bit by setting a few objectives that are out of your comfort zone. Once you can achieve these, you can set yourself a higher goal.
It’s important to distinguish between short-term and long-term career goals. When beginning, assign short-term goals that can be achieved within six months.
Once everything moves as scheduled, you can consider adding more objectives. Depending on what you aim to achieve over the following 2-3 years, you can add it to your career chart.
How to Set Career Goals
As experts suggest, there are a few things an individual should consider when trying to map out his/her goal.
First, it is important to be specific. Instead of focusing on the abstract idea of being successful, define your goal. Milestone achievements can make a big difference and push you towards a bigger goal.
Secondly, have rational and measurable career goals. This can be done by setting a time frame. Once you attain the first set of goals within a specific time frame, you’ll have a clear idea on how to take it further.
A career goal should be attainable. This means that you should ascertain that at least 50% or more of the tasks you aim at should be completed. Of course, you can’t have an irrelevant goal and thus make sure that it is as important and meaningful to you.
Prioritize time when setting a career goal. When you commit to a specific time frame, you must keep a watch on the pace at which you should be moving. This will help you complete your tasks so that you can arrive at the goal at the earliest.
Have an action plan and stick to the timelines and you will find yourself more organized in your approach. When an action is tied to a goal, every activity will lead to action. This will take you a step closer to the goal, making the process a lot smoother.
Follow These Steps to Achieve Your Career Goals
This might sound like an old school technique but is one of the most effective strategies to date. When you define your goals in words, it becomes clear increasing chances of working towards the pronounced objectives.
Share Your Plan with Your Manager or Guide
When you spell out your goals, it becomes easy to share it with your friends, teammates or senior. Viewed optimistically, sharing your plan throws a challenge at you and that’s exactly the purpose of doing this.
By sharing your goal with friends or colleagues you might just work harder to achieve it. It works like a motivating factor to prove your worth.
Let’s say you have a plan in mind and listed out the options or steps you need to perform for accomplishing it. However, sometimes despite this, you’ll see that the order is missing.
Should this bother you? Yes, prioritizing is an indispensable step, especially when you are setting a goal. Ask yourself a few questions such as what are your skills? Does your skill set match with what you want to achieve? How important or relevant the goal is? What are the prospects and whether and how it will benefit you in the long-term? These questions will enable you to prioritize your tasks.
Experts point out that visualizing your success can often work in your favour. The more you see yourself in the position you want to reach, the faster you progress towards it. Also, make comparisons.
Check out the career options available within and across the industry and compare them against your core skills, soft-skills, values and interests. Internships, volunteering or even shadowing work well in providing a glimpse of what your dream role would demand.
Aside from your personal preferences, consider the current factors. For instance, if there’s a demand for the job role you visualize yourself in? What are the required qualifications and credential required? In case the current demand is low, would you consider taking a risk? Would it require additional training?
You can seek advice from colleagues, family members or friends with experience in the field. Always check the opportunities and threats before arriving at a final plan. Once you’ve done the research, identified multiple options, reflected on your comfort level, it’s time to focus on applying for a suitable job.
The various things you do to achieve a specific goal is directly proportionate to the likelihood of your success. When you do a certain thing a certain number of times, chances are you hit the nail. Similarly, when you plan your education and combine your natural talents and abilities along with hard work, it pushes you towards your goal.