Setting Career Goals – Part 1

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Are you content with your current position in your career? Do you have goals for advancement and a definite plan to push towards and achieve that goal in a set time-frame? Many people are unhappy with their current position yet do not have any set plan in place to move in the direction of a goal that would make them more satisfied with their career. They work and work day after day, in what they may consider a dead-end job, and just accomplish what it takes to get through each day. A lot of times, they feel this way because they are unaware of an underlying problem of not having given thought or made a plan in the area of a career objective.


For many people, satisfaction in work comes from doing a job that (1) is something you enjoy, (2) is something you are proud to do, (3) that gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and (4) pays you well enough to accommodate your needs. Unfortunately, many people take a job based on mainly the pay or simply out of need, and end up in a place that does not fulfill these career desires; and then they fail to put in motion a list of goals to help them get to where they truly desire to be in their career.  So they get stuck in what they think is a “dead-end” job. Of course there are so many different types of careers and positions out there, not everything is applicable across the board, but here are a few tips to help you think of ways to set and achieve goals.


One career goal should be a desire for growth in knowledge and skills in order to become a better resource for your company. The more you have to offer to an employer, the more likely you are to be used in other areas that can propel you into new career paths towards your set goal.


The financial side of things is very important, since if you feel underpaid, it can add to bitterness that can ultimately affect your work ethic and job performance as a whole. However, setting a goal to move to the next step in your career path, and working towards that goal, can get you the increase in pay that removes those feelings. Figure out where you are in your path to the goal, and check with your employer to see what options are available to you in order to take the next step to your goal. Do you need more education? Does your company offer a plan that pays for you to get further education? Are there part-time classes you can take after hours to help you get to the next step? Do you know what types of classes you need for advancement?


Seeking satisfaction in your work is an important step to a fulfilling career, and you need to determine what position or duty set would give you that satisfaction in your work. Being satisfied and proud of the job you are doing helps to keep you motivated to do the best you can. Sometimes you may not know exactly what you would get the most satisfaction from, so it is important to experiment in ways that can enhance your career and skills. Look around and see if there is a way to branch out and experience other aspects of the work around you. Maybe you’d like to experience what the tasks are in a co-worker's position. See if there is a way to work alongside them on occasion, to get some experience in that area to see if you have a desire to pursue that direction.


Everyone’s situation is different, but in all cases you need to look at where you are, and have a goal for where you want to be, both short term and long term, and make sure you are currently on the path to reaching those goals that will lead to a more satisfying career. Setting and working towards those goals will help to keep you motivated to achieve long-term satisfaction in your career.


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