How many of us have gotten that question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” And we all know those people who seem to have the perfect answer ready and waiting. The truth is, your career path might take detours and hit obstacles you can’t predict. And your overall goals might change along the way. That’s life. But planning out your overall career goals is how you keep yourself on track. Here are the 5 basic steps for setting career goals that are sure to impress at your next performance review.
Flickr user crdotx
1. Don’t Let Where You Are Affect Your Planning
Sure, you might be just starting out on your career, or you might be switching industries completely. But that doesn’t men should should aim any lower. Building a career takes time!
2. Set Short-Term And Long-Term Timetables
Simply writing down something like “own my own business” doesn’t exactly point you in a clear direction today – and when you look back at it tomorrow, it might seem too overwhelming. However, something like “take business classes” is a much more short-term goal that you can achieve sooner, and still keeps you on the path toward “own my own business.” And make sure to check off when you finish a step!
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Include Something That Scares You
Challenging yourself is how you attain new skills and abilities, which can only help you on your path. If you’ve got lofty ambitions, it’s likely you’re going to have to work hard and maybe even take a risk or two. But once you’ve worked through it, it will all be worth it, right?
4. Be Sure To Get Feedback (Both Positive And Negative)
You’re the best guide to whether or not you’re achieving what you want – but you’re most likely going to meet people along the way who are on the same career path as you, just farther along. Whether they’re an actual supervisor or not, it’s useful to get positive and negative feedback from people who have had more experience than you about how you’re doing. You never know what new perspectives they can offer.
5. Don’t Let The Plan Get Set In Stone
Like we said, sometimes the unexpected happens. You might get fired. You might find something that inspires you even more than the career you’re working toward along the way. That just means your goals might have to be adjusted, and you have to be open to letting them adjust.
What else do you think is essential to planning career goals? Tell us in the comments below!