Setting career goals
What are the benefits to you?

career builders

Setting career goals is one the key steps you'll complete when you start preparing your career development plan.

Amazingly, most people, possibly as high as 95% of the workforce, don't have a career plan. A career plan, involves of course, career goal setting.

Career goal setting - Why?

Not into setting career goals?

Think about it. There are untold stories and examples in research literature about the extraordinary power of goal setting.

People who have goals, and take action to achieve them, are almost always more successful financially, enjoy better health, relationships, are happier with their jobs and career...when compared with people who don't have goals.

Still think goal setting is a waste of time? Why is it that virtually every organisation will have a corporate or strategic plan? Ask any successful sporting team, elite athlete, or successful's almost certain they will be heavily into goal setting.

A final thought - if you are a manager or executive reading this, there's a fair chance you have been involved in a strategic or corporate planning process for your business or organisation. Right?

So.....if you are setting goals for your employer, is there any reason why you wouldn't do the same for yourself and your family......knowing what the benefits might be?

Setting career goals - getting started

The process of setting career goals involves spending quality time thinking about what you want to be and do in your life and career.

Notice that I mentioned thinking about what is important in both your life and your career.

Think about it for a moment.....

If you are happy with the work you do and your work environment, other aspects of your life will also tend to be harmonious.

You'd be well aware that when people are under stress as a result of their work, or their working environment other aspects of their life tend to suffer.......

......for example that this can and does have an impact on things like your health, relationships and family life.

Work, whether this is paid or unpaid, plays an important part in all our lives because it brings a sense of purpose and meaning to our lives. of the key questions to consider in setting your career goals is to find an answer to the question "what do you want work to do for you in your life?"

Is your work just about the money? What about the relationships you develop? The results your work produces? The difference your work makes to others? How does your work makes you feel about yourself?

Beyond these fundamental questions about the purpose of your life the following questions will also assist you with career goal setting.

  • Are you looking for a complete change in career direction, a change of job, or striving for the next career objective outlined in your career development plan?
  • What will your new job be?
  • What skills, knowledge or other key attributes and qualities do you have that will enable you to make this change?
  • Where will this new career direction or job lead you in the next 3-5 years?


  • How will change in direction affect other aspects of your life?
  • What salary and benefits am you seeking?
  • Is the location of where you work important to you?
  • How will significant others in your life be affected by this job or career change?
  • What are the 3 most significant benefits to you in making this change?
  • What are the consequences in staying in your current job and career?

Setting career goals - tips for goal setting

There are numerous information sources about goal setting from the web, book stores and so on that are applicable to career goal setting.

Here are just a few of the things to keep in mind when setting your career goals:

  • Write your goals down and keep them where you can regularly see them - maybe carry note cards with you and at least read them first thing in the morning and last thing at night
  • Prioritise your goals
  • Describe as precisely as you can, in terms that are measurable, the outcome you are seeking to achieve - the most obvious example - the date by which you will achieved your goal
  • Seriously evaluate whether your goals are realistically achievable
  • Develop an action plan in which you describe the actions you will take to achieve your goal
  • Develop 'to do' lists so that you are progressively 'taking action' on your action plan
  • Regularly review your progress

Career goal setting and job search

Can you see the trend that is developing here?

By including goals in your career development plan you can zero in with laser like focus on your short and medium term career objectives.

One of the most critical factors in a successful job search strategy is to have a highly targeted approach to your job seeking.

When you have this clarity of purpose you can in turn develop a highly specialised personal marketing plan.....

.....this includes having a targeted resume, a targeted networking strategy, selective choice in the job search websites that you monitor, and so on.

Setting career goals - summary

Career goal setting, which is an important element in your career development plan, brings focus and discipline to your job search.

It's no accident that successful people and organisations get seriously engaged in goal setting and planning processes....they know this approach works.

So......if you're serious about wanting success in your career, setting career goals is something you will want to do.

Topics to assist with career goal setting

Just click on the links below to learn more

New! Comments

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