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What Are Your Career Goals? Tips for Setting Your Goals

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Setting career goals is important to anyone determined to build a career. Just like setting a goal post, the aim of setting a goal post is to know exactly where to put or shoot the ball in. So also is setting a career goal to help provide a clear target to work towards and insights on where to focus more efforts and resources towards achieving a specific outcome.

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Setting career goals may sound complicated especially if you’re not sure where to begin. In this article, we will be enlightening you on career goals, what they are, and how to set them for yourself to achieve a better version of yourself in your career chase. 

What Are Career Goals?

Career goals are targets, or can be referred to as the specific objectives and aspirations that an individual sets for their professional development and growth over a certain period.

Setting career goals can be short-term or long-term and may also include learning new skills, specializing in a particular field, achieving certain job positions or roles, and earning higher salaries or benefits. 

The whole idea of setting career goals is to help you simplify or create a roadmap and a career path toward achieving your goals, helping to measure progress, and improving performance.

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Steps To Setting Career Goals

Know what interests you and know your values

The first step to achieving your goals is self-assessment and identifying your career path and what interests you the most.

Self-assessment includes reviewing your academic or work history and knowing the skills and requirements that will enable you to achieve success in your career path. Making sure your academic level will not be an obstacle in the future is one thing you should also consider while setting career goals. Identifying your flaws early gives you the upper hand, and the chance to quickly fix the loopholes that might become a problem to you building your career in the future or long term run.

To illustrate the concept, if a 20-year-old boy wants to become the CEO of an engineering company, he must then go through several stages and process, like passing his 12th-grade exams, enrolling in a 4-year engineering course before moving to work in a multinational company for at least two years. Next, he wanted to advance and enroll in a management course so he advanced his studies as a good idea to boost experience, skills, and then chances of getting the CEO position in his current career chase.

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Determine your short-term and long-term goals 

Once you have a better understanding of your values and interests, you can start to determine your short-term and short-term career goals as shown in the above illustration. Short-term goals are goals that should be achievable within the next year or two, while long-term goals are more ambitious and take several years to achieve (Like Becoming A CEO). An example of a short-term goal might be to complete a certification program in your field, while a long-term goal might be to become the head department manager in an organization.

Make your goals specific and measurable

To achieve your career goals, and ensure that your goals are effective, you will need to be more specific when determining your next step, for example, “improve my skills,” this type of plan is not certain and might not yield results as it is not measurable. For example, “Complete a training program in designing by the end of the year.” This helps you focus on a specific outcome, making it easier to track your progress.

Create a plan of action

Once you’ve set your career goals, create a plan to execute them to help you achieve them. This might involve taking specific courses or certifications, attending networking events, or building your online presence. Break your plan into smaller steps, making it easier to stay focused and motivated.

Always stay flexible

While having clear career goals is important, it’s also very necessary to stay flexible. As you progress in your career, you may discover new opportunities or find that your interests and values have changed with time. This is why you should be open to adjusting your goals as needed, allowing you to stay on track toward achieving professional success in your career.

In conclusion, setting career goals is an important step toward achieving professional success. By reflecting on your values and interests, determining your short-term and long-term goals, making your goals specific and measurable, creating a plan of action, and staying flexible, you can establish a clear vision for your future and stay motivated along the way.

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