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Step 3: Decide on your Goals

14 Feb 2014

The 'Your Career Strategy' blog has been developed for high school students, MTEC students, and those young professionals starting out. The aim is to provide you with a structured approach to developing a career strategy and meeting your career goals.

Creating a Vision, Setting Your Goals

Thinking through the information you have developed, it is now time to decide on your career goals.

Successful people use Goal-setting techniques in all fields. SMART goals allow you to measure your progress and motivate yourself to progress toward your career vision. Those small steps, that otherwise feel like a long, pointless grind, will have meaning and purpose. By achieving these small career steps, it will raise your self-confidence and propel you forward.


Exercise to develop your career vision:

  1. In ten years’ time I will be _____ years old. By that time I would like my life to be (think of about 5 – 10 things) and I would like to achieve (think of about 5 – 10 achievements).
  2. Move through the various stages in your life in ten year increments.
  3. Analyse this information with respect to how it might influence your career planning. E.g. If you want to own five houses by 40 years old, would a teaching career be the best match?

The SMARTER system can also be useful for planning your career goals:

Specific: be as clear as you can and avoid ambiguous statements.

Measurable: so you can see what you have achieved.

Achievable: provides motivation, but also keep your goals reachable.

Realistic: be reasonable and avoid the realms of fantasy.

Timely: create timeframes for completing steps, for example, doing short courses or talking with someone about the skills required for a particular job.

Empowering: make sure your goals feel right for you and help you make the changes you want.

Reviewable: do not set your goals in concrete; be flexible.

Stating Your Goals

What to do now? Write short statements of where you want to be. Don’t worry if you can’t identify a specific job or industry you want to pursue. Speak generally if need be, but as your career becomes more clear, and the more specific you become, the easier it will be to work towards those goals. For example:

Generally Speaking: I want to work outdoors, outside of Sydney, four days per week supervising a team

might morph over time into:

More Specific: I want to work outdoors, in the Hunter Valley area, four days per week, as a consultant geologist.

Again, don’t worry if you have more than one goal-statement. By preparing these short goal-statements, you can begin the process of developing and implementing your career strategy.

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