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Practice career goal setting for a rewarding & fulfilling career

career goal setting

Believe it or not many people neglect professional career goal setting. Most do have career goals at the beginning of their careers, but after some time after getting comfortable with their jobs and settling into a routine, they forget about it.

They start going through the motions and slowly start to forget about their career goals and aspirations.

There are a number of reasons why this happens;

1. They have achieved a job level that they are satisfied with. They are comfortable with their role and happy with their salary. They rather focus their time and efforts on other things.

2. They have been discouraged by their job and the corporate world. All the initial excitement and goals have faded away after they discover that apart from money (which often times can be unfulfilling as well), their jobs give them little fulfillment in every other area.

3. They're so busy and caught up with their work and other stuff that they have no time to think about career goal setting.

Think about it, in a normal career we are spending the best years of our lives working. This is even more true if you are a salaried employee. For around 30 odd years, you will be spending 8 or more hours every weekday doing that job. That is alot of time and a big chunk of your life.

If you don't have any career goals and don't keep track of where you're going, there's a big chance that your career will be moving aimlessly, always being lead by the circumstances and ultimately ending up somewhere that you don't want to be.

Ultimately when it comes to career goal setting, it should not be just be about reaching a certain corporate position or amount of salary. There is much more to it than that.

Instead pursue career goals which helps you grow and aligns you with your life purpose.

For good career goal setting, be sure to include these categories ;

career goal setting Growth : What areas of personal growth that you hope achieve from your career? These include things like gaining new knowledge, learning new abilities and developing life skills such as decision making, communication, management etc.

Contribution : Contribution is important because it gives us a sense of meaning and purpose in our career. How would you like to best contribute to others and the world through your job?

Financial : Obviously you cannot neglect this. Money isn't everything but obviously you shouldn't settle for less than what you and your contribution deserves.

Get A Mentor : Having a mentor is one of the best things to help your career progress. Having someone outside of you with who has been through all that give you objective opinions and viewpoints is invaluable. And because the relationship with the mentor is not bound by the workplace, it doesn't get influenced by office demands and politics.

Contrary to belief, finding a mentor is not that difficult. Most just believe that many successful individuals just do not have the time to mentor others. Not true. The fact of the matter is, having a protege is a also a learning experience for the mentor. When you teach you learn, when you learn you teach. This is especially true for developing coaching skills but could apply to many other areas as well.

Be An Expert : Being known as an expert in a specific field can add a lot of value for you professionally. You will be able differentiate yourself from others and make yourself highly sought after. It may not be an overnight thing, but becoming an expert is certainly achievable.

Take it day by day and slowly gain more knowledge and experience in a certain chosen field. Volunteer and make it know to your bosses that you are trying to develop more expertise in the area. Often times, you do not need to be , as long as you know more and have more experience than most of the people, then you can start to sell your expertise. After that happens it's just a matter of building on that base knowledge and developing even more expertise.

This is an important element of your career goal setting.

Alignment : Set goals for the alignment of your career to your life purpose. The ultimate goal that most people want is to have a job that is their passion. Most people think that is not possible, however there are actually many ways to make it happen that they never consider. Ask for a change of role, transfer to a department or sister company which is related in your passion, switch to your chosen industry while still making use of your prior experience, have full on career change, be an entrepreneur in your area of interest etc. All these are possible alternatives.

career goal setting

Short term and long term career goal setting

Set long term and short term career goals. Think about and set your long term goal for each category. Then proceed to set short term goals of those categories. These short term goals are the incremental steps you must take to reach your long term goal.

Your long term goal can range from 1 year to 15, 20 years. It all depends on what the goal is. Be flexible to change your goals if you later discover that it is not what you really want. On the other hand, don't change your goals all the time. Striking a balance is the objective here.

After you have achieved each goal, celebrate! Reward yourself for the good job done. Then continue to set new goals. We don’t want to get complacent here. No matter how far you’ve climbed, there’s always a higher mountain somewhere.

Final thoughts….

Organizations nowadays are gearing more towards taking care of their staff's needs. Gone are the days where employees just get a paycheck. With so much competition in the business world, employers are doing all they can to make sure that their employees are happy with their jobs.

Many companies have career development programs which caters to other aspects of job satisfaction such as professional development, growth, alignment of personal goals to organization goals, etc. So depending on where you work, your company may be able to help you achieve your career goals.

One a final note, you can use the goal setting forms template for your career goal setting. Just add in the relevant categories into the template and you’re good to go.

Wish you all the best and a great day ahead!

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