Career Goals is very important in every individual’s life. A career goal is a well-defined statement indicating the area of interest which an individual plans to pursue during his working life. It is very significant for every individual to clearly define their career goals so that they can chart their path rightly towards achieving it. A career goal helps an individual to work towards his desired goals in a systematic and organized manner.
A lot of people often run in circles without understanding their objectives clearly, as they are not able to decide what type of career goals they would like to embark on. Therefore, there is always a tendency to change one’s career goals from time to time. As a result, many people often fail to realize their full potential because they do not remain consistent with their short-term and long-term career goals. For those people who are looking forward to making a bright future by gaining some level of stability in their jobs, career goals are a very important aspect of their overall personality.
A career goal should be specific, relevant, attainable, and measurable. These factors are essential if one is to gauge whether they are on the right track towards achieving their set objectives. A good career plan provides for short-term and long-term goals, as required. For example, if someone wants to set up a small business for which he will recruit other individuals to help him with his objective, then he should have a set of short-term career goals like obtaining a certain revenue target, purchasing some key software, and increasing the number of employees within a specific time frame. If someone is planning to enroll for higher education, then he should have a set of long-term career goals like becoming a doctor, or pursuing higher studies in the field of arts, commerce, or computer science.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of career goals: short-term and long-term. The former are those that are defined every six months to one year, while the latter are those that are drawn out over a period of five years or more. In the case of short-term goals, it is essential to determine what is to be achieved within a specific time frame, while long-term ones need to be made with a view to achieving a particular goal over a certain span of time. Thus, it is better to have short-term and long-term goals so as to reap positive results faster.
Career goals must also be realistic, as only then they can be effective. Achieving unrealistic goals will not only create tension within an organization, but it will also lead to a sense of dejection and disorientation. Career goals and action plan should be drawn up keeping in mind certain critical factors, like current salary structure, advancement possibilities, current level of skills and expertise, competition from other professionals, and others. Once these factors are factored in, then the process of setting up the objectives and action plans can begin. It is imperative to keep the objectives and plans realistic as far as possible within the current environment.
While it is possible to draw up a short-term and long-term career goals and action plan simultaneously, it is advisable to set out the objectives first, and then move on to the plans, as setting out too many goals at once could confuse the planning process. Achieving short-term and long-term goals and actions will take considerable effort and time, especially if they are to be accomplished on a long-term scale. Therefore, keeping the objectives simple and focusing on achieving them one step at a time will ensure that the process is effective and faster.
It is also important to keep career goals realistic, as achieving unrealistic ones will have negative consequences, especially if they are related to organizational operations or finance. Setting high expectations for employees or for the company itself is not advisable, and instead the goal should be set based on realistic performance and realistic expectations from the employees. For example, a goal of achieving five star ratings for the year might be unrealistic if the only expectation is for a third or fourth star rating.
There are several resources from which desired information can be obtained in terms of career objectives and short-term goals and actions. There are sample answers to career questions available on the Internet that can be used by potential candidates as well as by company management in answering the same questions. These sample answers can be used in the pre-interview stage as a means of getting a general idea of what the interviewer wants to ask, and this also helps to prevent having ill-prepared answers when being grilled in an actual interview. A sample answer can also be used to help determine which skills and experience are best suited for fulfilling a particular career goal. These sample answers are usually prepared by companies or recruiters in order to test the candidate’s analytical and decision-making skills.