People often mix up career aspirations with career goals. Aspirations are different from the actual work you do.
Aspirations help define your career goals, but are not the exact same things. What do you need from your job?
The answer you give to that question is an integral part of defining your aspirations.
Some people need the status and responsibility of a traditional career path. Others want financial security above all else. Some seek technical areas that allow people to become experts in their chosen field.
Others want freedom from working for others. Still more want a balance with their work and their personal lives. This basic need helps define your career goals.
For those that seek status and responsibility within an established company, a traditional job is likely the answer. That means when they write their career goals and objectives, they should focus on finding a job within an existing company that will allow them to accept increasing levels of responsibility with a corresponding increase in status within the firm.
Many people who join larger corporations often put this aspiration on the top of their list. They see the path to management and even the executive level as the way they want to take their career. By making the right moves early, the path is clearer in the future.
Everyone has different career aspirations
Career aspirations are different from individual to individual. Some people need financial security above all else. They are the type that always seeks better paying positions as they become available. The goal is not to seek more status or responsibility, but to seek more salary.
That is something that some people are afraid to admit. But, by admitting it, you can make the decisions necessary to make it happen. It may mean networking with the right people. It may mean getting training in a specific area. When you focus your efforts, you can attain what you want.
Personal acclaim is something that people often do not recognize among career aspirations. There is a negative connotation in admitting you want people to seek your advice and to acknowledge your position as an expert in a given field.
By making this part of your personal career goals, you can focus your efforts and seek your personal aspirations as the same time. Those that need personal freedom have another need. Some people do not like others telling them how to do their jobs. For them, having a business of their own can be the best option. Knowing enough about you to admit that is a good thing.
The final thing to consider in career aspirations is those that want balance. Many people have other aspirations, but find they need balance between their working and non-working lives. When you have this aspiration, you need to make sure your goals reflect this need. And remember, personal aspirations can change over time. What you may desire as a 20 year old may be quite different from when you are 30 or 40. Many people find doing a thorough review once a year makes all the difference in their path.