Career planning starts with setting career goals. If you want a job helping people get healthy, a career goal might include getting a nursing degree. If you want to design websites, a career goal of building your own website and getting certified in web design might be part of your career plans. In his book “What Color is Your Parachute? 2013,” Richard N. Bolles advises having more than one plan for your career, including training and education in more than one career area. Common examples of career goals include getting an education in a particular field, getting a job after you earn your qualifications, advancing from an entry-level or mid-career position, and changing careers.
Education is a common career goal because many jobs and careers require a specific type of education, such as a law degree for lawyers or a nursing degree for nurses. Additionally, many employers require a four-year degree, and won’t consider candidates who don’t have a college education. If you are a younger person who wants to plan your career, a major career goal is to complete your education to get qualified for the work you want to do.
First Job in your Field
When you graduate from college, getting that first job so you can start your career is a common goal. A natural progression for most young people is moving from high school to higher education to entering the working world. While you may work at any old job during high school and college, after graduation, you want your next job to be in that sweet spot -- the area that you are interested in and have studied.
If advancement is one of your major career goals, you will be willing to return to school to get an advanced degree, or you'll take on extra assignments to earn promotions. Some careers have clear-cut paths to advancement. Examples are management training programs in business that prepare supervisors and assistant managers to move into manager roles, or periodic lieutenant and captain exams in police departments.
While you may be reluctant to make career changes, people do so each year. Perhaps you'll feel you have outgrown your job. Maybe you just become interested in other areas. Either way, changing careers is a career goal for those who no longer enjoy what they are doing or who have become interested in different subjects.
- What Color is Your Parachute? Richard N. Bolles
- Getting from College to Career; Lindsey Polk
- BrainTrack: Defining Career Goals
Heidi Cardenas specializes in human resources, business and personal finance, small-business advice, home and garden and home improvement. Her professional background includes human resources and business administration, technical writing and corporate communications. She has studied horticulture and business administration, and enjoys guest blogging for publications including Herb Companion Magazine, Natural Home Living Magazine, and Mother Earth Living.