Long-term career plans can help you make the right decision about your professional life. Long-term career planning keeps you focused on the right track and can guide you on the steps you need to take in order to achieve your career goals. Career goals should be based on your qualification, experience and/or area of interest.
If you don’t know what career you want to pursue. By asking yourself the following questions, you will have a better chance of choosing the right career for you.
These questions apply whether you are looking for your first job or you are planning to change your careers.
1. Which types of jobs match my personality?
It can be a good idea to write a list of all your main characteristics before you start thinking about jobs. Are you creative? Are you a shy person? Are you someone who is good with numbers? Are you a good communicator? Or are you the complete opposite of all that. Asking yourself such questions will help you better identify the right job for you.
2. What qualifications do I have?
Going for a job that matches your qualifications will give you a good chance to grow and succeed in your career. You can take this even further and really drill down to what courses you enjoyed during your studies, and then select a job that is relevant to that course. Look for jobs that suit specific elements of the course that you’ve been enjoying, and highlight them in your CV and covering letter.
3. What are my hobbies?
It’s almost everyone’s dream to do a job they enjoy and thus have a job which involves their hobby. You can start by writing a list of all the things that you love and enjoy to do, and then look for jobs which match that hobby. If you can’t find a job which exactly matches your hobby, look for something which includes at least parts of it.
4. What type of career progression and challenges do I want to face?
Are you someone who looks for challenging jobs? Are you looking for a career that has growth opportunities? When looking for jobs, always look for those which offer a good career progression. However, if you prefer a routine job, focus your energies on finding a job which plays on a particular key strength of yours.
Once you decide on the career you would like to follow, below are some tips for professional career goal setting:
1. Measure Your Goals
Your goals must be measurable in order to be achievable. This means you need to set a time frame for your careers goals.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Smart goal setting means you should be realistic about your career plans and set achievable goals.
3. Take Action about Your Goals
You must always have an action associated with your goal.
4. Be Flexible with Your Goals
You must be flexible with your goals. It’s common to run into barriers that slow you down. In these situations simply adjust your goals to reflect your new situation and move on towards achieving your goals.