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What are your career goals

career goals

If you’re just starting out, maybe you would have heard this while sitting for interviews – “What are your Career goals?”, but maybe you didn’t know what they’re all about. You thought for a while in the interview room and gave a partly ambiguous answer or else if you’ve prepared for the interview before, you may have said something well-articulated. But do you have a clue how can we define career goals! Can you tell us what do you want to be in your career?

Not only fresher, there are people in their mid-careers who are also searching for answers, trying different things and trying to figure out what works. And during this passion-ate period, all professionals are running after passion instead of understanding what works and what doesn’t.

No, we’re not against being passionate. But if your contentions are just to do work you’re passionate about and nothing else, we have something to say.

This is a comprehensive guide to set and achieve your most cherished career goals. If you follow this guide, setting and achieving  goals would become significantly easier. Just read, take notes and apply and you’re ready for a magnificent career.

First Things First

Before we begin with the guide about how to set and achieve your most cherishes career goals, let’s see what goals are all about.

Organizations set their targets to expand its horizon, to grow multi-fold and to increase the value of their shareholders. Likewise, as a professional you should set and aim for something higher, if you would like to expand your horizon, become more valuable and increase your net worth. And what you use to reach your most cherished destination are your goals.

Let us get this straight. Most people don’t set goals. They don’t even know what goals are all about. So, by reading this you’re recruiting yourself as top 10% of the whole population. If you choose to set your goals by following this guide, then you will be among top 3% who set and achieve highly audacious career goals.

But we know that you are still a little sceptical about goals. Let’s see why you and every professional should set goals at every point in their career.

Why set career goals?


The answer is why not?

There are two kinds of people who don’t set goals.

  • One, who are too confident that setting career goals don’t work because they’ve tried it once or twice and it didn’t work. So, they’re gave up on this goal thing.
  • Two, who have no clarity of vision about what they would like to be in their career. Thus, they don’t have the courage to even try setting goals and feel miserable about not achieving them.

You may have belonged to these two types of professionals before, but if you just read this article on goals, you will learn a great skill. You will learn how to set goals and achieve them.

Hang on. Here are the reasons why we are encouraging you to set goals.

  • Clarity:

If you don’t know what you want to do in your career, you will not be able to achieve it. Will you? So by setting goals you’re making it clear to yourself that you are on your way to climbing your summit and you have enough clarity about that.

  • Discipline:

Once you set your goals you will see that you have a sense of urgency and you’re moving faster, getting better, working harder. You will be more disciplined and more eager to see the light of the day for working more.

  • Attitude:

You will see a significant difference in your attitude in work. Before setting career goals you used to feel lethargy and you didn’t want to do the work and the boss and everyone around you seemed annoying. But once you set goals you’re excited about, your attitude will drastically change. You will feel happier and will do work as if you are born to do so and will  move beyond your comfort zone because back of your mind you know that the clock is ticking.

  • Becoming:

When you set goals, you will not only achieve magnificent things, you will also become something as a result. Business Philosopher Jim Rohn said – Think about what they will make you become instead of thinking what they will make you do.

  • Pulling mechanism:

There will be times when you don’t want to get out of your bed and things are really hard. But if you set high career goals, they will not only pull you up, they will also pull you through the tough times. Career goals will inspired you to get out of bed, search for opportunities and make yourself count even if things are hard and despair looms large.

  • Learning:

To achieve your career goals you need to learn a lot. What seemed like hard work before, now it would seem easy. From reading books to listening to audios in your car or public transport are no problem. You will learn a ton and your knowledge, skills and absorbing ability will drastically increase and you will be much smarter than people who don’t Set Career Goals.

  • Lifestyle:

Your lifestyle will change drastically. Lifestyle change is not about earning more money, but thinking better. You would start to spend more time learning a skill than watching an hour of television after work. You will begin to spend more time with your inner circle who encourage you and motivate you and stop mingling with friends who criticize your ambition. You will find yourself in a place where everything will seem possible and you would be a person who would be unstoppable.

Now most probably you know why we are insisting you for setting audacious career goals. In the next section we will talk about how to set career goals so that achieving becomes easier.

Let’s dive in.

How to set career goals?


First, let us tell you few things then we will articulate a step by step process. These things are important to discuss and it’s also important for you to keep in mind.

  • In the beginning of trying to set career goals you will not have any idea where you want to reach for. Even if you would have ideas they will be vague and will lack clarity. So, expect that.
  • Even if your career goals are set for professional achievements, make sure that they are your personal goals. What we mean by that is don’t set any career goals because you think people around you want these things from you. You need to want these career goals. Then are for you and they should only be for your fulfilment. If you set career goals for your significant others, you will not be motivated enough and chances are you will leave those career goals away once the motivation runs out after few days. If you set personal career goals, you will never run out of fuel.
  • Career goals are set for making you go beyond your comfort zone. But set career goals that are a bit hard, not too hard even to attempt. Most people set career goals too high that even in the beginning those career goals overwhelm them. Set significantly higher goals, but so big that even you fail to start even.
  • Before you set your career goals, check your resources and your environment. It’s important. Remember if you set practical career goals it will work, otherwise it won’t.
  • Don’t set career goals just because you want to have a load of money. Money is important but if your career goals are dictated by externals like money, status, position, then career goals will dry out very soon.

Now, let’s talk about how to set career goals.

  • Start with a theme:

If you notice you would see that there is a theme in your life. People who love writing, reading, publishing, designing are somewhat attracted to book clubs, libraries, new designs and covers of the books and they even like the smell of the pages of new books. So find out your theme. What do you like to do more often? Better way to put it is what attract you most during the day? The chair of the CEO, papers on strategy, selling xyz in the market, championing people around you. Find a theme first. Then set career goals around them.

career goals

  • Set 10 year career goals:

Make a list of 3-5 career goals you want to achieve once you know your theme of life and career. But make sure it’s not more than 5. First of all, you’re starting with nothing but a theme and a vague idea about what you want to be in your professional life in next 10 years. So make sure they are concrete and easy to count. Don’t set career goals like – “I want to be a chairman of a company in the next 10 years.” Rather write something like this – “I am ready to take over the position of the chairman of the company.” The significant difference between the above two statements are havoc. In the first statement you are just scratching the surface but in the next statement you’re a capable individual who can handle the position. Secondly, in the first sentence, you are about to do it on future but in the second statement, you’re ready already. Thirdly, first statement talks about something that seems beyond control, but in the latter sentence it seems that you’re prepared to take up this role. Words matter. Make sure you pay enough heed to words and how you use it.

  • Chunk down:

Divide the career goals into 5 years, 3 years and 1 year goals. Then divide the 1 year career goals into monthly and weekly goals. Don’t set daily goals because the measurement would be too tiny and you would often end up setting too much for the day than for the whole week.

  • Shift often:

You don’t know how reality changes. Once you start to work on your career goals you would be able to realize how high or how low career goals you’ve set for yourself. Thus, when you realize that the career goals are too high or too low, shift and set new career goals. Make a new list. You need to be very much flexible to be able to achieve your goals.

  • Forget passion:

To be able to achieve your goals there will be things that you must do. So if you’re too bothered about whether these things belong to your passionate areas of work, you will not be able to move ahead very far. Career goals are set so that you can do hard things first which will lead you to your passionate area of work.

  • Do the thing that you need to do:

Don’t overwhelm yourself too much. No matter how high your career goals are, don’t look at the most right away. Better, forget your long term goals. Rather do the thing right in your hand, each day, each week, each month and each year. Eventually you will reach there or maybe at better place.

  • Set rules:

No you don’t need to follow rules of anyone. Set your own rules of doing things. That will make things easy. You will be able to streamline your work and you would be able to accomplish much more than you think is possible for you. Don’t go overboard if you work somewhere. Use your common sense. Setting rules are for making your work easier not for making fun of your company.

  • Trust yourself when no one does:

There will be times when people even your dear and near ones will not believe in your vision. They will doubt you and make you feel incapable of achieving what you set out to achieve. But never mind. Keep your head high and trust yourself. Your career goals are yours and even when no one believes in your vision, keep moving forward, keep going. Time will come when people will see the results. Till then work. And trust.

We didn’t talk about SMART career goals. You know that already. We talked about things you struggle with. Use this guide, set your career goals. It’s in your hands to be what you would like to be. Shoot for it.

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What are your career goals


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