Career Development: What Are Your Career Growth Objectives for the Long Term?


Employers, colleagues, and college professors often want to know what career goals someone has for the long term. But why bother with this question?

Mainly because of the Goal Setting theory. Dr Edwin Locke developed this theory in the ‘60s. It states that the clearer the goals an employee sets and the more feedback they receive on their progress, the higher they’re motivated to achieve their goals over long periods.

So, how can someone leverage goal-setting to create purposeful long-term career goals?

Why Are Long-Term Career Goals Important?

Long-term career goals set employees up for greater success and fulfilment in their workplace in the following ways:

They Orient Employees Towards Career Development

Long-term career goals help employees pay more attention to where they want to be professionally in the future. Working towards these targets and making more informed career decisions becomes easier.

They Demonstrate A Candidates Suitability for A Job

Most hiring managers will often ask about a candidate’s long-term career goals. These goals tell the hiring managers how much you compliment their corporate goals, values, and expectations.

For instance, a candidate with long-term career goals of innovating within the industry may attract the attention of hiring managers looking for talent to push innovation in their organization.

They Communicate Positive Personal Traits

Each job requires a specific set of soft skills, which inclines employers to hire talent with particular personality traits. Employers can learn your soft skills through your long-term career growth objectives and determine how well-suited you are for the advertised role.

Why Employers Ask About Long-Term Goals

Employers ask about a potential hire’s long-term goal in a quest to determine their overall suitability for a role.

They often ask this question to gauge the person’s ambitions, evaluate their aspirations and how they complement corporate values and other opportunities within the company and judge the work ethic of the potential hire.

An intelligent job seeker will first research the company and position they’re applying for and gauge whether they align with their professional long-term growth objectives. The greater the alignment, the more likely they’ll succeed in landing the job.

Examples of Long-Term Career Goals

There are countless long-term career goals one can set based on their individual needs. These are some examples.

Gain Leadership Experience

Employees that want to progress in their long-term career growth often list gaining leadership experience as one of their long-term career goals. Attending classes or workshops aimed at honing your skills is one of the ways someone can work towards achieving this goal.

Build Networks

Networking helps employees gain access to new opportunities by connecting with new contacts who align with their other long-term career goals. These connections may be social or professional.

Publish Professional Articles

Writing professional articles establishes someone as a thought leader in the industry. One can have a certain number of articles published monthly or yearly on professional channels such as LinkedIn or Medium.

Start a Business or Side Hustle

It is okay to have a business or side hustle as a long-term career goal. The internet has made it easier to advertise and sell goods and services, making such a goal easily attainable in the modern era.

It’s Never Too Late to Set Your Goals

Career growth goal setting should be done at the onset of one’s career. And even if you’ve been late, starting now is the surest way to stay on track to getting the fulfilment and purpose you want from your career.

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