What Are Your Career Goals - How to Answer

What Are Your Career Goals - How to Answer

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4 Most Common Career Goals

Goals focused on professional advancement These goals are all about improving your work performance and being more efficient; getting better and faster at what you do and climbing higher up the ladder because of it. Short-term example: A sales agent increasing their monthly sales by x%

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4 Most Common Career Goals

Long-term example: Make a senior partner at a top law firm.

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4 Most Common Career Goals

Goals focused on leadership advancement When it comes to leadership, there’s a lot of room for career advancement. These goals are all about improving your management skills and aiming for positions with more responsibilities. Short-term example: Working my way up to the position of a manager at this restaurant.

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4 Most Common Career Goals

Long-term example: Working as an executive at X company.

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4 Most Common Career Goals

Goals focused on educational advancement Whether you just graduated or you’re a full-on professional, there’s always more to learn. These goals are about keeping you up to date with the new developments in your field or just learning something new and different. Short-term example: Learning a new programming language.

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4 Most Common Career Goals

Long-term example: Finish medical school, complete a surgery residency program, and successfully earn a state license to practice medicine in no more than 11 years.

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4 Most Common Career Goals

Goals focused on personal development These goals put emphasis on self-improvement and skills like networking or teamwork. Achieving them has a positive impact on your professional life, but they also show that you are more than just work work work. Short-term example: Becoming more proactive within your company.

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4 Most Common Career Goals

Long-term example: Improving your networking skills.

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How to Answer - “What Are Your Career Goals?”

Be relevant to the company. Let’s say one of your goals at the moment is to get a certification from an online course in fictional writing.  That’s an amazing goal, but if you are applying for a position as a sales manager, this certification is not going to help you a lot at the interview. So what this means is, your answer to this interview 

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How to Answer - “What Are Your Career Goals?”

question should be related to the position/company you’re applying for.

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How to Answer - “What Are Your Career Goals?”

Start with short-term goals and then move to long-term ones. Short-term goals usually tend to be steps in the way of the bigger long-term goal. They’re also more specific and clear. When giving your answer, you can start talking about these goals, and then roll into the long-term ones. Your answer will sound much more logical and your plans well thought out.

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How to Answer - “What Are Your Career Goals?”

Back your goals with an action plan Laying out a list of goals doesn’t make for a very convincing answer. Instead, focus on one or two main goals and briefly explain how you plan on achieving them or how they will benefit your career in the long-term.  This shows that you have thought these goals through 

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How to Answer - “What Are Your Career Goals?”

and are clear about what you want in the future. For example, if your short-term goal is to learn a new programming language, explain how you will achieve that (certification or auto-didactic learning) and how that improves your work performance (does it allow you to work on more projects? Does the company you work for benefit from that?).

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How to Answer - “What Are Your Career Goals?”

Elaborating on that last sentence: Focus on the employer. Yes, they’re asking about your career goals, but at the end of the day, they care about their company’s best interest more. (No shocker here.) So, when talking about your goals make sure to express how achieving them will also be beneficial to your potential employer. 

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How to Answer - “What Are Your Career Goals?”

Convince them it’ll be a win-win situation.

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How to Answer - “What Are Your Career Goals?”

Preparation and Practice. No matter how much you feel you have your future plans figured out, it’s still important to prepare for this question in advance. Think about some short-term and long-term goals, and take the time to practice your answer.

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