In order to take ownership of your career, setting goals is crucial.

Clear career goals are invaluable to help defining what you want to achieve from your working life in terms of remuneration and reward, your preferred areas of specialism and expertise, the type of working environment that suits you best, achieving your optimal work / life balance, and essentially all aspects of how your work can impact positively – and negatively – contribute to your definition of success in work.

Developing and defining your career goals is a task that should be considered and researched carefully. Like with any major life decision, it is important to seek opinions and advice, to observe and examine what is happening in the employment marketplace, and to be absolutely honest with yourself when deciding upon your careers goals. Some useful tips include:

WRITING THINGS DOWN – to write a simple “pros” and “cons” list for any decision related to defining your careers goals is a surprisingly effective way to gain clarity on important points.

HAVING SUITABLE MENTORS – no matter what your level of experience is, interacting with experienced mentors is a proven method of making positive and beneficial career choices. Mentors can provide advice, constructively challenge you, and often help you to see situations in a different light that can result more positive choices.

KNOWING YOUR STRENGTHS…AND YOUR WEAKNESESS – each one of us have things that we excel at, and other things we don’t necessarily have a great natural aptitude for. Moreover, often we are the last people to see our true strengths and it sometimes can take a trusted friend or colleague to help make us aware of a talent we didn’t know we had. Being well-grounded when it comes to knowing our strengths and weaknesses helps enormously when choosing realistic and achievable career goals.

IT’S NEVER TO LATE TO CHANGE OR MODIFY YOUR GOALS – virtually none of us go through our careers without having any doubts or questions about the choices we have made, and indeed it is a healthy thing to regularly sense-check how satisfied you are with your career. If those questions and doubts start to pop-up on a very regular basis, it may be time to recalibrate your career goals –  the main thing to bear in mind is that this is OK! Changing your careers goals can happen in step with other changes taking place in your life, often as your priorities also change.

Useful Articles:

How to Set Career Goals

How to Define Your Career Objective

Simple Questions to Help Form Your Career Goals

Goal Setting Training Games