What does goal setting refer to in a career context?
In a career context, goal setting can refer to several different things depending on your overall goals (obviously!) and what you are trying to accomplish in your career and in your life in general:
Your goals might be short term or long term or a combination of both. Hopefully you’ll be planning for the long term while realizing that short term decisions may help or hurt your ability to reach the longer term goals you set out for yourself.
Here are some types of goals you might set for yourself related to your career.
How important is money to you? Certainly we don’t work for free but for many people there is more to life than simply the amount of money they earn.
On the other hand there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with goal setting that relates to the salary you want to earn by a certain age or the amount of money you want to have in the bank by that time.
While it might be easy to say that “I’d do that job for a $100K” there are some jobs that might not be worth the hassle, the stress, the grief and everything else that goes along with it even for that amount of money.
Some jobs on the other hand might be ones you’d do for free…or thereabouts. Obviously you’d have to really love that sort of job to suggest you’d do it for free but finding a job you love can go a long way to reduce the importance of money in your career.
Related to monetary goals, you might have goal setting in place that relates to material goods that you want to acquire in your life.
Maybe you want to own a house(s) and have a nice car(s) and a summer home(s) and other things by a certain point in time. Certainly your earning power will determine your ability to reach certain material goals you have set out for yourself.
Your career decisions – such as the jobs you accept, the education level you achieve and the companies you choose to work for – can go a long way to determining whether or not you have the means to achieve your material goals.
If not, you’ll need to figure out whether your material goals get lowered or if you need to increase your income and if so, how.
Level of Position Goals
How important is your job title to you and your position in the company?
Climbing the corporate ladder is an example of goal setting related to your desire to move up in the corporate world and achieve a certain level of position or job title.
To some people job titles and corporate ladder climbing is important, to other people, not so much. You’ll need to decide for yourself.
When you’re busy with your goal setting, consider what is important to you and try your best to realistically determine the path to get there.
Remember that career decisions and choices you make now can impact you later in life.