Aspirations and Goals in Your Career

Aspirations and Goals in Your Career

Setting goals in your career is important.  It is also important to aspire to things in your career.  Often time’s people want to use these terms interchangeably but they are not the same thing.  Let’s take a look at career goals and aspirations so that you can get motivated.

A career aspiration is a path that you want your career to follow.  For example, a big career aspiration for a lot of people is to become part of a management team.  Being part of a management team is a big step up because it invests you with more power and greater responsibility.  This is one of the most common career aspirations and it usually is fueled by wanting more money.

Not everyone aspires to move to management.  There are higher level jobs that don’t involve the stress of watching over people.  A lot of people aspire to being a consultant where they can go and provide their knowledge as a job.  This means that they also aspire to be an expert in their chosen field of work.

Another career aspiration is to start your own company in a specific industry.  This would put you at the top of the chain and would make you your own boss.  This can be a big motivating factor and a crowning achievement to one’s career aspirations.  To a lot of people if they start a successful business they view themselves as successful too.

People at the top have aspirations too.  If you own a successful company your aspirations may be to continue the growth of your company.  Opening new locations and moving to bigger venues is also a sign of success and a big income booster.  For those that have bigger companies already their aspirations could be to retire successfully.

Aspirations do not always have to be to move upwards or expand.  There are many people who aspire to move to an entry level job in a different industry.  Imagine the recent college graduate who graduates without a job and moves into the first job that he can find so that he is making money.  That recent graduate will aspire to move into his/her chosen career path.  Not only recent graduates aspire to move to new career paths, there are plenty of people who enjoy new challenges and learning new skills.

Here are some common career aspirations:

•    Enhance your professional skills in order to advance in your organization.
•    Find stable job security.
•    Become an expert in a field.
•    Gain more autonomy at work.
•    Better balance your home and work life.
•    Network more on a professional level.
•    Become better motivated to complete your job.
•    Educate yourself more.

All of these are common work aspirations.  They are similar to goals but less specific in nature.  They often times take more time to complete than a goal too.  You may not even complete them, aspirations can be ongoing throughout your life.  A general aspiration can be to better yourself but if you pick this as an aspiration try to get more specific with it such as better myself in the job I am doing now or in the line of work I am doing now.  Bettering yourself in general is hard to measure and hard to tell when you have obtained any progress.

If an aspiration is what you want to do with your career how is that different than a goal?  A goal is a specific milestone or objective that is concrete.  A common goal in one’s work life is to make more money.  This goal is one that people strive for because it means that they can live a better life and retire on time.

It is always important to set goals for yourself so that you know what you are trying to accomplish.  It is best to set at least two goals for yourself so that you don’t need to immediately set a new one when you achieve your first goal.  Goals should be specific so that you can reasonably tell when you have achieved them.  Aspirations are also important because they provide you with the drive to achieve your goals.  They are much looser and tend to be more long term.

Get a piece of paper and sit down.  Think about your goals and write them down.  It may sound like something that you do in school but when you put something on paper it makes it feel more real.  Write down your aspirations.  Leave room below each goal and aspiration and write about how you plan to achieve these goals.  By finishing these steps you will be in the 3% of Americans that has taken the time to think about their career and chart it out.

Take this piece of paper and post it somewhere in your office or cubicle if you have one.  If you don’t have a private place at work post it somewhere at your home that you will see every day.  Doing this will help remind you of what your aims are.  You will thank yourself for this level of planning down the road as it can only help you.

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