Define your Career Goals

Define your Career Goals

The first step in achieving your career goals is setting and defining your goals. Begin by brainstorming. You can do this by yourself, with your spouse, a friend or with a career coach or consultant. To help you begin setting your career goals, answer the following questions:

  •  Am I happy in my current career?
  •  Am I really looking for a new career or just a new position?
  •  Do I want to make more money or is money even a priority?
  •  What am I passionate about?
  •  What is my dream job?

There are also a number of self assessment tests you can take to help you set your career goals. These evaluations should help you define your values and interests. After you have a set list of goals, break them into two groups: those you can achieve within a year, and those you can achieve within five years.

Career Goals Worksheet
By using your two goal groups above, rank them in terms of priority and urgency. Decide which goals you would like to work on first. On a notepad or your computer, create a worksheet or table for each of your career goals. Divide the page into six columns or sections: goal, benefits, steps, deadlines, resources and outcome.

  • Goal - Write down each goal and define it clearly.
  • Benefits - List the benefits of achieving your goal. This will serve as your motivation.
  • Steps - Break down the key steps you need to take to achieve your goal. If you are having trouble defining each step, you can try working backward from the goal.
  • Deadlines - Give yourself a reasonable deadline for accomplishing each step.
  • Resources - List what you need to achieve your goal such as training, support, money and time.
  • Outcome - Did you achieve your goal? If not, what were the stumbling blocks?

Starting with your first goal, work on the steps each week to try to attain your goal. If you are having challenges achieving the steps, talk with a mentor or career consultant. Remember that achieving your goals is a methodical process and takes time, so don't get frustrated if you don't reach your goals overnight. With planning and determination you will soon be on the road to career success.