We’re here to help you set and reach your career goals with our Goal Setting Blog Series. Here, we will learn how to build a path of smaller goals to put you on the path toward your ideal career.
Your Career Goals – Step 2: Building Your Path with Short-Term Goals
By Bock Szymkowicz, Career Development Specialist
Once you have your long-term career goal decided, you can set yourself up to achieve that goal the fastest way possible by aligning shorter term goals. This means making sure any steps you are taking toward your goal, including trainings, volunteering, and informational interviews, are relevant.
Here’s how to do that:
- Understand the Position: Understand what the general requirements are in the position and if you would actually want to pursue said position. A more in depth explanation of this task is explained in our past blog.
- Skill Building: Based off the desired skills for that position, make an action plan to obtain relevant skills so you will be a competitive candidate. While training is important, make sure the training is relevant to your goal. I’ve seen many people pursue many different trainings, some irrelevant, that further delay them from starting their career. For example, if pursuing an IT goal, training in A+ would be more relevant than training in hospitality.
- Adjusting: By knowing your long-term career goal, you can make small adjustments and strategic decisions. Ask yourself, “How is this supporting me in reaching my ideal career?”
Put It into Practice
Let’s go through some short-term goals you can set using the example of Sally Student, a Byte Back student who just learned to use Microsoft Powerpoint, Excel, and Word.
|Long-Term Career Goal A: Administrative Assistant||Long-Term Career Goal B: Computer User Support Desk|
|Review Positions||Upon reviewing many administrative assistant positions, Sally sees:
· Many positions ask for a typing speed of 45 words per minute (wpm).
· Microsoft Excel skills are essential in most of the positions.
|Upon having an informational interview with a Computer User Support Desk employee, Sally learns:
· A+ is required in almost all IT positions.
· Active Directory is a software used in a lot of IT positions.
|Skill Building||Sally then sets the following goals:
Goal 1: Practice typing until her typing speed is 50 wpm
Goal 2: Train self in Salesforce Database Software
|Sally then sets the following goals:
Goal 1: Pursue A+ Certification
Goal 2: Train self in Active Directory Software
|Tip: Byte Back’s Typing Tutorial is an amazing way to get practice!||Tip: Get training on Active Directory and other software on Lynda.com for free with a DCPL card by using this link.
|Adjustments||Sally is an active volunteer at her church. Since she hopes to pursue an Administrative Assistant position, she asks her church if she can do some clerical work using the computer. This allows her to improve her skills as well as get relevant experience she can put on her resume.||Sally needs to get a job to help pay the bills. Though she’s not ready to apply for an IT job yet, she decides to work in the electronics department of a local store, where she will work directly with electronics and explain them to customers, which are skills required in most IT jobs.|
Of course, not everything will be easy to decide. Situations will arise when you may have to sacrifice aspects of your current plan, but this should not deflect you from pursuing your goal.