There is no career without a goal; you’ve got to know where you’re headed to. A career goal by definition would then mean, a specific aim that you aspire to fulfil within your professional life. Having no goal would only mean aimlessly and futile life. Each person has distinct and unique career goals and expectations; it cannot be made universal. Now, what you choose to be your career goal is entirely based on your discretion; but you will have to traverse a common road to that success.
A pervasive and pertinent question asked at interviews “what are your goals?” is not very easy to answer if you are not clear about what you wish to accomplish in your profession. Generally, these goals are broadly categorised as short term and long term goals. The long term goal is the ultimate aim that you are pursuing or are going to pursue the, following greater part of your life; while the short term goals are the stepping stones to achieving that long term goal.
Do not undermine the importance of short term goals, they are equally important. You cannot want to become the CEO of a company without learning the basics, and you can only learn the basics when you have worked as an employee at the lower divisions of an organisation. Moreover, the short term goals serve as your provider of motivation and appreciation. Giving yourself deadlines, and making efforts to complete the assigned target within that time frame, keeps the adrenalin flowing and your spirits high to become an achiever.
Here, it is important to know however, that your goals ought to be realistic and achievable; setting unrealistic goals that are almost impossible to attain, is not a wise thing. It could affect you and your morale devastatingly. Hence, it is vital that you identify your talents and skills, your USP; once that is done, then you set your goals. Alternatively, if you do have a role model in your life, on whose footsteps you would take delight in following; you will have to take a different approach on that. Conduct researches and try to find out what things that person had done to be able to reach the present position in which he/she is. Next, analyse whether your abilities and urge to learn can help you do those same things; based on that set targets for yourself, but at all times be wary of your current position and potential in life. Staying ‘realistic’ is the keyword when you determine your career goal. Start with small ones and keep going till you hit the bull’s eye.
When you have successfully drafted your aims, you will easily be able to list out your expectations of the particular job you are looking forward to. This is when you can consider yourself to completely capable of being able to answer the same question to any hiring manager. When attempting to reply to ‘What are your career goals’, do not forget that you may have to customise the answer in accordance with the requirements of the organisation you are interviewing for. It does not mean that you have to change the career goal; instead, learn how to warp the targets in a way that proves beneficial both for the organisation as well as you. Also, explain to them what is your plan of action to arrive at the specific aim, this will exhibit your confidence and convey to the potential employer that you are serious about your career and absolutely clear in what you wish to accomplish and how. By doing this, you present yourself as a sorted out person and thereby a desirable one by most employers.
To make sure to reach your target you could use this flowchart as a driving force:
Following this basic plan you are bound to be an achiever in every sense of the word.