“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” These powerful words by Gautama Buddha are testimony to how important our career goals are.

Most of us begin planning our careers once we get to high school or college. It is then that we set out to answer questions like “What are my career goals?”, “What do I want to achieve by the time I’m in my 30s?” or “What does success mean to me?”The answers to these questions lie in the effort you put in to achieve your goal. This effort is reflected in our education and work experience.

If you don’t want to lose your vision for the future, you must be aware of your career goals. It’s important to revisit your professional goal, make necessary changes and adapt to your circumstances.

Short-Term And Long-Term Career Goals

Your professional goal can be divided into short-term and long-term career goals. Let’s look at  an example:

Say someone wants to be an architect. To reach their goal, they study at a good architecture school and get an apprenticeship. Eventually, they go on to work with a well-established firm.

By achieving their short-term career goals—studying at an architecture school and doing an apprenticeship—they realized their long-term career goal of becoming a successful architect.

  1. Short-Term Career Goals

These are achievements with a timeline that act as stepping stones to your ultimate goal. We go to school to get into college. We attend college or university to join the workforce. For some, gaining work experience may be a step towards getting a professional educational degree like an MBA.

Writing down your short-term goals will help you make a sound career plan. You can use these professional development goals as milestones to be checked as you go. Not only will each achievement be like a pat on the back but it’ll also keep you motivated.

  1. Long-Term Career Goals

These are goals that you associate with success. Maybe you want to be a professional sportsperson, or buy a house in a foreign country or even establish your own business. All the effort you put into your work goes towards achieving your long-term goals. Your career goals may not be based on a strict timeline but they still need to be conquered within a broad timeframe.

A clear vision and awareness of your career goals can improve your decision-making ability. Knowing what want or don’t want will make you choose wisely.

For instance, if you had two job offers, how would you decide which one to take? One involves moving to a different city, where you’ve always wanted to live, and the other is in line with your field of interest. Now, if your long-term goal is to build your career in said field, you should opt for the latter. Sometimes you have to think about the big picture, even if you’re tempted to take a detour.

Examples Of Career Goals

If you’re unclear about your goals, here are a few examples of career goals to nudge you in the right direction.

  1. Acquire A New Skill

If you’re putting off learning a new skill, this is the time to do it. Whether it’s related to your job or a hobby, start today. Over time and with practice, you will master the skill. Any new skill you learn can potentially lead to new opportunities.

  1. Build Your Network

Interacting with like-minded professionals makes it easier to navigate a competitive environment. You can attend networking events and meet people from different backgrounds.

  1. Switch Careers

You may feel the need to switch careers at some point. It could be because your current role is not challenging enough or because you want to try something new. If that’s the case, you can go back to university and study something you’ve always wanted to.

  1. Start Your Own Business

Many people dream of being their own bosses. You can use your past work experience and what you’ve learned to establish your own business. You may have to figure out the logistics, which can be one of your short-term goals.

No matter what stage of life you are in reassessing your goals is a good way to understand what you really want to do. It will help you find your purpose and give meaning to your daily activities. Harappa Education’s Discovering Purpose course will teach you how to live more meaningfully. You’ll learn how to enjoy your work, be more productive and evaluate what you want. Define your career goals and put yourself on the path to success and fulfillment.

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Explore topics such as Career Development, Career Planning & Career Aspirations from our Harappa Diaries section and work towards your career goals.

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