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Why is it Important to Have Career Goals?

For many people a job is just that…a job. It’s something they do for 8 hours (or so) a day in the hopes of getting that paycheck at the end of the week. It’s a bit like living in the movie Groundhog Day. Every day is exactly like the day before it…and exactly like the day after it. Sure, there might be some variety, and a raise thrown in every now and again, but overall, it’s the same thing over and over and over and over again.

Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? This scenario is exactly why you need career goals!

You need something to focus on… something to drive you forward and something to motivate you to improve your situation and grow. Career goals are what will help you get ahead in this world and help you go from just another day at the office to another day closer to achieving what you ultimately want with your career.

So, now that we know what a career goals is…let’s talk about what your career goals should be.

“Total world domination!”

Whoah, okay there, Pinky. The first thing we need to do is make sure our goals are realistic and professional. We’re not saying you can’t dream big, but let’s keep in mind this is an answer you’re going to give a hiring manager and with an answer like total world domination, you’re less likely to get the job and more likely to end up on some international watch list. 😉

Speaking of hiring managers, knowing why they ask this question will make it much easier to know how to answer this question. When a hiring manager asks you, “What are your career goals,” (or the ever-popular variation “Where do you see yourself in five years,”) they’re trying to determine two primary things:

Are you a person who plans on making a long-term commitment to the company? Most employers would prefer to avoid hiring anyone who sees the position as a short-term stop, especially if it involves extensive training.