You should establish professional goals for yourself both when you are searching for a job and after you land one. One goal is to get the type of job you want. The other is to develop yourself professionally in that position so that you are on the leading edge of trends and training in your field.
When you write your resume, you also include information about the type of job you want. This is your job objective. It is written as the first section of your resume below your contact information. It is a short statement, usually less than three lines of text. It includes the job title you want as well as information about your relevant experience and skills.
An example of a job objective for a new graduate looking for a position as a case manager might read, “Master’s of social work graduate seeks position as case manager with ABC Nonprofit Organization that will put my internship experience with youth offenders to use in a practical way.” This statement briefly describes the job the applicant wants as well as provides information about his practical and educational experience. This information gives an employer a better idea of where the applicant is coming from and about the type of job he wants.
Once you get a job, you want to stay up to date on what is going on in your field. Technology, theories and processes are constantly changing, and it is important to stay current. If you decide to leave one job in hopes of landing another one elsewhere, it is vital that you have the knowledge and training required to compete with other candidates with the requisite professional development experiences. Writing short- and long-term goals for yourself will help you develop skills from organization to time management to project management.
Writing Job Goals
Your job goals should be very specific. If you want to achieve a goal in, say, five years, identify the exact steps you have to take in the short term to reach them. All of your goals should be realistic and attainable. They should also have a time line for completion. If you write your goals down and assign a deadline to them, they are more likely to seem definite and real to you. You are thus more likely to try your best to achieve them. An example of a job goal might read, “I want to be told on my next performance appraisal in six months that my appointment-keeping skills have improved. Therefore, I will write down my appointments every day for a month and set an alarm 15 minutes before each to ensure I arrive at them on time. I will be late to less than 10 percent of them the first month, 5 percent the second month and then late to none for months three through six. I will then repeat this exercise each day for the next five months until my performance review.”