Career goal

What is a career goal?

A career goal is the ideal state that you aim for in your professional life.

Career goals can be characterized as short-term or long-term, depending on how much time you anticipate working toward achieving your goal.

So how do you describe your career goals to employers?

Reflect On Your Goals

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Consider your plans for the next 6 months to 10 years. Identify what you want to achieve, because setting career goals will help you state them to an interview panel.

Here are a few questions that can help you get clarity on your career goals:

  • What are you skilled at?

  • What are your greatest strengths?

  • What do you want to improve?

  • What do you enjoy about your current position?

  • What jobs appeal to you?

  • What work are you proud of?

  • What skills and qualifications would be relevant in the future?


What are some truths about career goals?

Summarize Your Plan

Describe how you intend to reach your goals.

For example, suppose you're in high school and a career as a physician interests you. Your plan would typically include earning a bachelor's degree, getting into medical school, and gaining relevant medical experience.

Briefly outlining steps in your plan shows you're passionate about your career goals and serious about reaching them.

Mr. Skinner from the Simpsons tells Super Intendant Chalmers,

Focus on How Your Goals Can Help the Company

A woman says,

While you may have multiple career goals, always give an answer that relates to the organization and job.

Start by researching the company and reviewing its mission, initiatives, and goals.

You can may find this information on the "About" or "Press" pages of the company's website or on social media accounts. Consider reading online and print publications to find more information to use when explaining what your career goals are.

Structure Your Answer to Align with Your Experience

A construction worker on a ladder holds a puzzle piece that they connect to the sky.

To provide an effective answer, consider aligning your goals with your qualities and work experience.

Think about your current field and the next steps to take.

For example, if you're in an entry-level position, your career goal may include how you want to advance your career into a leadership role.

Consider how your career experience shows you're self-aware of your current career situation and how it relates to your goals.

Take Action

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Check out these Bytes for more info on goal setting for your career!


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