You know setting career goals is important and essential to growth and advancement. In fact, you may even have some vague goals or goals that you haven’t made official by writing them down or solidifying them.
If your goals aren’t very solid or if it has been a while since you’ve set goals, it’s time to start fresh. These four questions can help you consider what is important to you, what your career goals should look like and even how you can start making them happen.
1 – What does your dream job look like?
Everyone has a dream job. What does yours look like? If you could do anything, without time, educational, or monetary constraints, what would you do?
Not everyone is lucky enough to have their dream job, but taking some time to think about what yours looks like can give you some insight into what you want out of your career.
Think about what this dream job entails. What is it that makes it appealing to you? Is it adventurous? Does it allow you to work with people on a daily basis? Would it make it possible to earn a living with your favourite hobby? Whatever it is that appeals to you, write down these characteristics to make a list of elements that make up a job you would love to have.
Then, as you pursue your career, evaluate job offers, make decisions about directions you need to take your career and decide when it’s time to move on from a job in pursuit of one more suited to you, you can use this list so you’ll get closer and closer to having a job that resembles your dream job.
2 – When do you feel most fulfilled?
What are you passionate about? Think about when you feel the most fulfilled and how that scenario translates into a career. For example, if you are fulfilled when you feel that you are making a difference in the world, this desire could translate into a job in the nonprofit or education sector.
Again, the answer to this question will give you a list of characteristics that you can look for in jobs as you build your career. Remember that having a successful career isn’t just about raises and promotions. It’s about finding a line of work that is fulfilling while you make a living.
3 – What are your strongest skills?
This question helps you make your career goals more realistic. While we all wish we could have a job that is fulfilling on a daily basis or a dream job that doesn’t feel like work, reality is that having a successful career takes work.
But, you can make your workload a little lighter and find a career you enjoy and are good at by playing to your strongest skills. What are you good at? What field is your degree or training in? What kind of experience do you have?
Keep in mind that these skill sets don’t have to be purely technical. Being a people person or someone who is highly creative are both valuable skills that can make you better at your job.
With this list of skills in hand, look again at your dream job and the list of things that are fulfilling to you. Look at where these things overlap and set goals that help you achieve a fulfilling professional life while using your skills.
4 – Where do you want to be in five or ten years and what will it take to get there?
This classic question is important. Looking ahead to where you want to be with your career, and even personal life, is a simple way to discover what your aspirations are, even if you haven’t thought a lot about them.
Ask yourself what kind of job you want, what salary range you want to be earning and what kind of work-life balance you want to achieve. Also think about whether you can envision yourself working in your current industry. If the answer is “no,” it’s time to start thinking about making a change.
Thinking long term like this will also help you make plans and benchmark goals that will lead you to success. Once you have determined where you want to be in coming years, think about what it will take to make that happen. Will you need to go back to school? What kind of job experience will you need to pursue? What types of businesses should you work for?
This approach is a simple way to start making a plan to make your career goals a reality and will help you stay focused so you’ll see success earlier.
As you set goals or revisit the ones you’ve already made, use these questions to help you uncover what you are looking for in your career. These questions will help you think more deeply about your aspirations and understand what steps you need to take to have a lucrative, fulfilling career you love.