No matter the age of level of experience, everyone should go about setting career goals and career objectives on a regular basis.
In fact, the best will have a plan in place and regularly update it as life evolves and changes. But, everyone needs to start somewhere. First, look at your current situation.
Are you working in a job you want to develop into a career?
Are you just out of college looking for your first long-term employment? Are you at a point of wanting to go in a new direction? What is your education and experience?
Answers to those questions will help you with the next step.
After you look at your current situation, the next step in setting career goals and career objectives is defining where you want to be in the future. Look ahead five years. What sort of job do you want to have? Do you want to be an independent business owner? Do you want to work in the same location you are in now?
When you get a full picture of where you want to be in five years, do the same for the 10-year mark. You can also project into the 20-year range if you want. But, starting with five years is the best way to get the ball rolling. It is long enough to make great progress, but short enough to keep you on your toes.
You know where you are at and you know where you want to go. Now is the time to start setting career goals and career objectives. When setting them, you need to make the goals and objectives something tangible. Tangible means it something you can put your hands on and know when you actually achieve it.
Make a SMART Goals Worksheet
See SMART Goals Worksheet below:
Many use the “SMART” methodology worksheet. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time framed. The goal must be specific. “I want to be a computer programmer working for a Fortune 500 company within five years.” It needs to be measurable.
You will know you hit the mark when you accept the job offer within five years. It should be achievable. You need the skill set or have the ability to acquire it in the time frame. It needs to be realistic. Becoming a CEO of a Fortune 500 might not be realistic in five years but a computer programmer for one should be. It needs to be time framed. You have five years to accomplish it.
How do you bring all of this together? Look at setting career goals and objectives as an ongoing task instead of a one-time exercise. Many people set aside time once or twice a year to go over their goals and make sure they are still in line with what is going on.
Life changes how you might consider taking your career. So set aside time once or twice a year. Write down the goals you have. Review the ones you already have. Make sure your career plan is up to date. Look at it every once in awhile to keep on track.