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Know Your Career Goals

By Terje Brooks Ellingsen

What are your career goals? This is probably the most important question you can ask and very few people can actually answer it. It's amazing and a bit of a paradox that most of us career people spend so much time with career planning and working toward goals that we hardly can specify.

In the starting phase of a career, things don't always seem like a big deal; in fact they are pretty easy. Most people appreciate having a job, and when the job is new, almost any assignment is challenging. Our employees record signs of progress and assume that their employers are on track. Many of us are promoted one or more times. But do we know our ultimate destination?

When we grow older and mature, promotions become less frequent, relationships and politics means more while both pressure and expectations escalate both at work and at home and wisdom takes over. Your career or job goals are likely to change more than one time in life. As you grow and develop and learn more about yourself and your jobs, you may change your mind.

So how do you go ahead to discover your real career or professional goals?

Know what You really want - You need knowledge about yourself as well as information about the career options that fit your skills, values and interests.

Interest clarification - You must explore your work interests or preferences. Try to recall what courses or training you really enjoyed and which careers you've considered pursuing.

Value assessment - You must find out which of your values are important to you in terms of job and career satisfaction.

Determine Your Skills - You must list the skills you currently possess as well as skills you do not have and wish to develop. Skills can originate from education, work experiences as well as from experiences from your life in general.

Explore the career options - Do not limit yourself to one but look at various career fields. Find out what each of them entails.

Set Preliminary Goals - Summarize the results of your self-assessment in a prioritized list or statement to serve as a reference as you begin to identify and research employers

If you do a good and thorough research, you will be able to uncover your real career or job goals; what you were meant to do in your life.

About The Author

Terje Brooks Ellingsen is a writer and Sociologist who runs He writes about self improvement issues like career planning, see and planning for financial independence, see


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