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Tips for Setting Career Goals

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If you have an annual review coming up soon at your company, don’t be surprised if your boss brings up your future career goals and asked you to set them. This is normal practice to ask about once a year, usually during the time of your review. During this time, your boss wants to know if you plan to stay with the company, how your job is going, and what direction you are interested in going next. Here are some tips to help you figure out your career goals and expectations moving forward.

Be Realistic

The first tip to setting your career goals is being realistic. While it is great to one day want to be CEO or an executive of your company, consider if this is a realistic goal. Starting small is a good idea, by looking at short-term and long-term goals that are within your grasp. That doesn’t mean you can’t someday be a CEO at your company r another one, but it keeps you grounded and allows you work up the corporate ladder in the way that is more typical. When you come back to your boss, think of goals that help them assign you projects to help you get to the next ring on the ladder without missing steps.

Narrow Down Your Expectations

Another helpful way to come up with possible career goals at your company is by looking at what your career expectations are. What would you like to accomplish over the next few years in your career? Make list of aspirations and expectations, helping to narrow down where you want your career to go. This might be getting a raise, taking on more responsibility, having more diverse work duties, or entering management in your same area of expertise at the company.

Find Goals That Can be Measured

Since you are looking for career goals to inform your boss of, make sure they are measurable. This lets your boss or supervisor evaluate your tasks and overall job performance by the time your next review comes, so that you can work together in figuring out if you are meeting your goals. Think of goals that are realistic and attainable, that you can work toward, and that your supervisor can help you get to. Be open and honest about where you would like your career to head to next.

Evaluating Your Goals

The last step is making a list of your goals and evaluating them with your manager or supervisor. Have a list of small and large goals so you can work together with your supervisor, analyze your performance, and really narrow down your goals. Maybe there is a position perfectly suited to you, while some of your other goals aren’t as easily attainable.

Tips for Setting Career Goals by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes