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Career Goals

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If you want to be happy and successful in your career you need to set goals. Research shows that people who set career goals make more money and enjoy their work better than the ones who don’t. Being happy and fulfilled in your career is very important. You spend so much time in a day working that your happiness or unhappiness at work will certainly affect your daily life. If you are happy with your career, it is more than likely that you will be happy in other areas of your life too.  On the other hand if you are unhappy and unfulfilled with your career you will look at the world with tainted glasses.

A career goal helps you focus on what you want to do for a living. It will guide you into doing what you want with your life, rather than just randomly ending up in a job. When you have a clear goal for your career, you can start to focus your time and energy to achieve that goal and avoid wasting your time and energy on activities that will take you further away from your goal. For instance, if you know your long term goal is to be a world class speaker or a trainer, a sensible career path would be for you to work in an organization that that can hone your public speaking skills or work for a world class speaker so you can learn from him or her. It does not make sense for you to work in a travel agency pushing papers even if it pays much better. You need to look at the big picture and think long term. Without setting a career goal you might be tempted to jump from one job to another without consciously thinking of how it will affect your long term career goal.

Choosing the right career goal requires a lot of soul searching. You should spend some time to make sure that you are crystal clear about what you want in your working life. At the end of the day your career goal should be one that you truly want and not what others want for you. This is important because you will not be truly happy and fulfilled if you are doing it just to please a loved one. Most importantly you should have a compelling reason why you must achieve this career goal. The more compelling the reason is, the better your chance of achieving that goal.

Usually a career goal is based on your skills, education, experience, interests and job trends. Here are some guidelines on what you should consider when choosing the right career goal for you:

  • Identify your Life Purpose
  • Determine your talent, skills and abilities.

     These may come from your education, work or life experience.

  • Consider your interest and passion.

What is something you would do happily even if you are not getting paid for it?

  • Identify values that drive you.

It is important to recognize your driving values because they have a lot of influence on what provides the most motivation and gratification in a job. Some of the most common values that drive people are:

     - Love

     - Money

     - Health and fitness

     - Fun

     - Growth

     - Contribution

     - Security

     - Power

     - Freedom

          - Recognition

Once you have ascertained your life purpose, skills, passions and your driving values, you can begin to explore the various career options open to you. After you have chosen a career, think of all the steps that you need to take to get you closer to your goal. Determine what skills you need to develop further and what other resources are required to accomplish your career goal. You will accomplish your goal faster if you were to write down your career action plan.

In order to keep your long term career goals on track, you'll probably find that you need to keep setting new short term career goals. Your short-term career goal should always have your long-term career goal in mind. You need to consider what are the short-term goals that you need to achieve in order to help you reach your long-term goal. For example, if your long-term career goal is to become a manager in your company than some of the short-term goals to consider are, building strong communication skills and being proficient in a specific computer software program.

Like everything else in life, career goals are not set in stone. Focusing your energy towards a career goal does not mean you will not have to make detours or run into setbacks. In actual fact your career goals are likely to change a number of times throughout the duration of your life. As you go along in your life you might discover that what once bring you joy and fulfillment when you were younger does not necessarily holds true anymore later in the future. Moreover in this fast changing world we are in, a career choice that you make now might not even be relevant ten, twenty years from now.  However having and developing an preliminary focus would help you to steer towards suitable work choice or academic paths. Developing career goals certainly is worth your while.

 

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