Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Setting A Career Goal

Many people have a vague or even precise idea of their career goal however, most forgo writing their goal down and identifying the necessary steps for achieving their goal. A career goal can range from pursuit of a particular occupation, position or level in an organization, to setting a specific salary target. Your career goal should determine how you focus your efforts and time, and can help guide a job search for those looking to transition from one career to another.

As a starting point, get a current pulse on your values and interests and how they match up to your skills and experience. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to take the Interest Assessment in the “Discover My Interest” section of Career Transitions.

The following are some basics things to consider in setting a career goal:

Set a clear and specific goal—you should be able to measure your goal progress, and to do so requires you use specific language (e.g. a goal to be an expert in corporate training is not clearly defined, since expert can take on several different meanings)

Establish a reasonable timeframe for reaching your goal—consider breaking a long-term goal (3-5 years) into several short-term goals that roll up into your long-term goal

Set a realistic goal—you need the ability, skills, and in some cases, the financial means to reach your goal

Create an action plan—action steps that will lead you to your goal

Modify your goal, if and when, necessary—be flexible to change your goal if circumstances change (e.g. life change) and consider your values and interests may change over time

A career goal can keep you on the path to career success. If you haven’t set a goal already or you need to consider whether your current goal still makes sense, now is the time to do so.

For more information on setting a career goal, click here.

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