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What are your long term career goals?

For example, you may realize that you want to combine your passion for cutting-edge technology with your desire to take on a senior leadership role that involves strategic planning and has a significant impact on an organization’s profit and loss. As a result, you may determine your long-term career goal to be the Chief Operating Officer for an innovative hi-tech company.

Knowing your ultimate goal allows you to clarify your short-term goals. When defining your short- and long-term career goals, remember that they  should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Action-oriented
  • Realistic with Timelines

Your goals need to take into account where you are now, where you want to be, and what you need to do to get from Point A to Point B.

Hiring managers look for a combination of education, practical experience, and cultural fit when hiring, so once you know your ultimate goal, you can do your homework on what it takes to be considered a prime candidate. From there, it’s a matter of setting and meeting your SMART goals.

For example, if you know you need extensive management experience to be considered a COO candidate and you don’t have any, your short-term goals should include obtaining a management position where you can begin to develop your management skill set.

It is good to have overarching — even aggressive — career goals, provided you are diligent in putting together an action plan and following it through. Once you have clarified your short-term goals, you can begin to tailor your resume and job-search efforts to land the right opportunity. If you are very clear on what you want, it makes it easier for your network to help you, and for hiring managers to hire you.