As important as it is to have a good idea of future careers, the second step in career planning involves refining this broad idea into employment goals.
This exercise can be very helpful in refining your ideas about what you want to do with your life and help you set priorities for the other tasks that are part of setting up a job search or career change. It will help you focus on the other tasks that come after the job search.
Before writing your employment goals, there are several things to consider:
Choose jobs that you believe
Once you have narrowed down the field of possible things to do and that you can realistically do, you will want to think about what jobs best fit this description.
1. If you enjoy working with people and helping them solve problems:
2. If you like working independently to solve problems:
3. If you like managing people and building a team:
4. If you would prefer a job that focuses on theory to practice or applied research:
Be specific about the type of work
When looking at your employment goals, be specific about the type of work you want to do. For example, if your end goal is to become a physician, you should not simply say “I want to become a doctor.” You should instead say that you would like to be a cardiothoracic surgeon, or if you are interested in working with statistics, you might prefer to say that you want to work as an epidemiologist. The more specific the job title, the easier it is for potential employers to find you or for you to find openings that are a good match.
Be realistic about the type of work
It is important to be realistic about the type of work that you can do, given your age and other job-related factors. If you are not willing to consider working in an entry-level position while training towards your ultimate career goal, then you may not be able to work in the occupation that you desire.
Although it is important to be realistic, do not rule out options before you have looked into them further.
Employment goals might also include geographic factors such as where you want to work or how far you are willing to move for a position. You should consider your personal and professional needs and ask yourself:
Where do I want to live? Or, Where is the best place for me to work?
How much am I willing to travel/move for a good job opportunity?
Once you have decided what your employment goals are, it is important that you write them down. Writing down your goals helps you to stay focused and organized. It also helps you to prioritize your goals and set action plans to accomplish them, as well as keep track of the steps that you have already taken towards accomplishing those goals.
Writing down your employment goals can be challenging. Some people find it hard to summarize their career interests in a few sentences or even a paragraph. If you are having trouble writing down your goals, try using the following outline to help guide your thinking.