How to Set Your Career Goals

Nancy Anderson
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Are you one of the millions of unemployed looking for a job? Are you sending your resume out for everything and not getting any responses? Do you feel like you are chasing your tail? Well maybe it’s because you have not set your career goals yet.

First thing to do is to decide on your career goals. Your goals should be for the long-term. These are you own personal goals so you need to set them and not allow someone else to dictate your goals.

Career goals need to be written down. Writing down your goals allows you to actually see them in black and white and determine if these are the goals you want to set. Remember that your career goals should always keep you moving forward – not standing still.

You can use short-term goals to help you reach those long-term career goals. For instance, you might need to get a master’s degree to reach that ultimate career goal. Or maybe you need to learn a new skill or gain more knowledge and training on a current skill. Look around your work place. Do you see someone doing the job that you want? Maybe you could volunteer to be a team member on one of their teams and assist with projects. Maybe you could talk to your supervisor about your career goals and the two of you could come up with a game plan to help you achieve those goals.

Your career goal needs to be real – not a pie in the sky. You need to set deadlines for your goals because otherwise you will never reach them. For example, if you want to be the supervisor of your team, start planning what it will take to get there. Set a timeframe for say a couple of years down the road and then start paying attention and learn what your supervisor does. Offer to assist him/her in daily tasks.

Your goals need to be specific. You need to be able to write down the steps you need to take to reach that career goal. Career coaches call these the action steps. For each step, break it down into actions required and set deadlines to complete them. Determine what it is going to take to get there. If you need more education but finances are tight, start checking around for financial assistance to help you. So, for furthering your education, that step would need to be broken down into several steps:

1. Course of study
2. Finding a school that offers your course of study
3. What is the cost?
4. Are pre-requisites required?
5. How will you pay for it?
6. How long will it take to complete?

You get the idea. The most important part of setting your career goals, however, is to be sure that this is truly something that is going to make you happy. All of the steps you need to take will mean nothing if the ultimate career goal is not what you really want to do. This is your career goal and only you can decide what it is. So, start your career goals today to get the financial job you want tomorrow.

Do you love talking about money and finances? What about a career in finances? Take a look at to see what types of finances jobs are available in your area. That will help guide your decision.

By: Nancy Anderson, Staff Writer

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