Launching your career is a big step that can set you on a course for a fulfilling professional life. Some people know who they are and how they want to live from an early age, but most need to explore and enquire before they commit to a certain career path. This is okay and completely normal. Take a moment to think about setting career goals that motivate you to move forward.
- Review Your Present Situation
What are the main components of your professional and personal lives? Look for the aspects of your job or educational background that excite you and spark interest. If you are employed, you may explore what is a customer data platform and use that information to move toward your goals. View your career and professional interactions from multiple perspectives.
- Set Aside Time to Journal
Personal journaling time gives you space to be honest about your career desires. Respond to journaling prompts about career development or engage in a freewriting exercise. Journal regularly and review your entries to discern your concerns and priorities.
- Take Assessments and Quizzes
Career quizzes and personality assessments can guide you toward the right fit. Take online quizzes from reputable sources in order to better understand yourself. Quiz results may include career suggestions or highlight job duties that play toward your strengths.
- Brainstorm Job Options
Keep a digital document of potential careers and job options. Search for current openings on LinkedIn and other job websites. Read through position descriptions and background requirements for your dream jobs or favorite organizations. This can guide your training or application choices.
- Research Career Fields
Read about the potential and realities within multiple career fields, from medicine to marketing. Pay attention to the level of higher education that is commonly required and how much the average professional can expect to earn in each field.
- List Your Lifestyle Needs and Desires
What does a work-life balance look like for you? Each person’s wants and needs vary. Factoring in this component to your career goals can assist in avoiding burnout down the road.
- Follow People at The Top of Their Game
Keep an eye out for highly successful individuals in your chosen career field. These people could be known in popular culture or enjoy local success. Perhaps you know a high-flying surgeon or lawyer. Look at their education, career trajectory, habits, public relationships, and other lifestyle factors. Picture yourself in their shoes and consider if you would make similar or different decisions.
- Talk to a Career Coach
There is value in talking through your thoughts and seeking professional counsel. A career coach is experienced in evaluating choices and guiding individuals toward their best paths.
- Pair Up with a Professional Mentor
A mentor can provide a real-world perspective about making realistic career goals and what is necessary to realize your full potential. Reach out to someone through your school or professional connections. Many experienced professionals are happy to share their wisdom and provide encouragement.
- Be a Shadow
Think about shadowing at an office or clinic for a day. This is a fly-on-the-wall perspective that provides unmatched insight. Ask your career coach or mentor about such an option.
- Look for Volunteer Opportunities
If you are not certain about which career ladder to climb, or how to do it, volunteer your services with a local non-profit organization. There is value in looking outside yourself and becoming an active member of your community. You can meet people from diverse backgrounds, and you may find that your passion is non-profit work.
- Identify Short and Long-Term Ambitions
Set your main career goal, like being the CEO in a corner office or owning your own bakery. Then, set incremental goals throughout each year to keep you on track through the fluctuations of life.
Allow yourself to dream big and accomplish goals on the road to success.