Setting Your Career Goals

Your first job is important for you as you’ll need to create a good impression on your bosses. That said, you’ll need to prove to them that you’re an excellent employee who is willing to go the extra mile!
Anne Grace Savitha
Writer, gradsingapore

You definitely want to strive in your first job by creating your own goals and working toward them. But first and foremost, you need to identify yourself and your career ambitions before curating your goals–as it will make it easier for you to achieve them. Read the tips on how to set your career goals.

1. Know your goals

Goals give you a sense of direction in achieving them. This is especially so in the workforce when everyone is competing for their own goals so that they are better recognized by their superiors, get a better pay-scale and transition to a higher job position. Although the idea of attaining goals seems fulfilling, the more important step is the formation of career goals and on what grounds should you create them.

Firstly, take time to reflect and ask questions such as–Where do you see yourself in the next few months? Or where do you want to see yourself grow within the next three months? Ask these honest questions and ponder upon them. Make sure these goals will drive you to fortify your talents and give you a sense of purpose. Once you’ve identified these them, write them down. It would be ideal for you to list two to three goals that are achievable within the next three months or so.

For example, if you are in the marketing team, and you want to expand the use of social media platforms to boost a certain product–then your goal would be to make the product known among among a target audience, by the number of engagement and clicks on the website. Remember to not be vague about your goals, but rather be specific about them. An example could be–I want 300 people to like my website and posts for the week. That way, you’ll always look out to achieve that figure. Remember to not be idealistic and have too many goals–as there will be too much on your plate for you to handle!

2. Create an action plan with strategies

Writing down your goals but not working on them is not worth the candle. This is where an action plan comes into the picture. An action plan is a sequence of tactics that paves way for you to connect to your goals.

Brainstorming for strategies helps you get your goals. For example, if the goal is to make the product known among a specific target audience, the strategies could be–creating online advertisements, writing catchy captions, and creating creative SEO (Search Engine Optimization) content for a particular website. Make a list on the number of advertisements you want to create per week or the captions that would attract audience. Remember to use numbers to list your targets so that you know how many you should strive for in a week or the amount of time you should spend on these strategies. For example, 3 online advertisements and 5 catchy captions for Week 1.

Always re-check whether these strategies are bringing you closer to your goals. Look at the numbers who have ‘liked’ your website, and whether they are ‘responding’ to your posts by liking your advertisements and captions or giving their comments. That way, you’ll know whether your strategies are effective or not through the number of engagements on your website.

However, it is possible that your strategies be tailored along the way while you’re working on them as you might find other feasible strategies–and that’s okay. This can happen when you discuss with your peers or learn a strategy from online platforms, or realise that some of the older strategies are not as effective as the current ones. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that although these strategies may change, your direction toward your goal should not–and that’s most important.

3. Find the right mentor to guide you

When you find the right person to keep check on your progress, you will be inspired to achieve more. A mentor is an ideal person that can check on your development and give you feedback.

Choosing the right mentor is not easy. Why? Not everyone can nurture you well or drive you to achieve your goals–especially when you’re feeling demotivated. Hence, you need to take your time to find a mentor who can be a good teacher to you and advice you on areas of improvement. And most importantly, someone whom you can get along with and who is willing to give you extra trainings and guidance when needed.

Your mentor can be your direct superiors or colleagues from other departments as well. Ideally, it is better to choose someone experienced as they are able to access your situation from multiple perspectives and offer advices as well. They can also re-track you on your journey to achieve your goals if you get side-tracked or distracted.

Remember that determination and focus are the key to the growth that you want to see within yourself after a period of time. Ultimately, it boils down to how willing you are able to push yourself and seek help from those who are more experienced to achieve your goals.