Many junior level, mid level and even senior level executives will ask me to look at their resumes and tell them where they can take their career. I always ask them right back, well, where do YOU want to be in five to ten years? What do you want to be doing? What is your dream job? It is hard to follow a career path if you do not know where you want to end up. It’s like getting in your car to go for a drive, knowing you’ll be driving for years, but leaving without a map or a desired final destination. The road map of your career is established with goal setting.
You can craft your goals any way you like but I recommend having a minimum of two categories: career goals and personal goals. Consider what you want to achieve both personally and professionally. Consider what is most important to you. What kind of balance do you want out of life? Prioritize these points by establishing your goals. Having priorities helps define what is important to you and helps visibly shape who you are as a person and a professional.
Having set your goals, when the time comes to interview for a job, whether you are 22 or 42 , you will be able to see more clearly if the opportunity is in line with your career path. Most importantly, you will be able to articulate those points to the hiring manager, setting you apart from other candidates.
A great example of someone who has set goals is billionaire and sports team owner, Ted Leonsis. After a near-death experience at age 26, he put together his “101 List“. He is living proof that if you focus on and articulate what you want out of life, you can achieve it.