30/05/03 22:10:24

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< 1. Why should I read this?

< 2. What are my skills and qualities?

< 3. What kind of work can I do?

> 4. What are my goals? How do I acheive them?

4. What are my goals? How do I achieve them?
Building up a picture of where you want to go with your career, and laying down plans for getting there, are worthwhile exercises for anyone attempting to compete in today's job market. Employers now expect employees to have a clear sense of their work direction and take more responsibility for getting the training and the type of work they want. Thinking about these issues now will not only help you in this initial stage of your job-search. It will also help you when you start attending interviews.

You will be able to present well-reasoned, cogent arguments which demonstrate your suitability and commitment to a certain type of work. Remember employers aren't just looking for people who want a job. They're looking for people who are eager to do the particular job they have on offer.

Setting Goals
The first task, then, is to think about your goals. What exactly do you want to aim for? Look at the skills exercise you completed in Chapter two and use it, with your knowledge of yourself, to build realistic targets. Goals can be very general. For example, you may simply say,'1 want to be more fulfilled', or 'I want to live in the country'. Alternatively, you may be very specific and say, 'In three years time I want to be a qualified accountant, applying for accountancy jobs'.

To identify your goals, you will need to think about:

what sort of job you want

how senior you would like to be

how much you need to be paid

how many hours you would like to work

what sort of reward, in terms of fulfillment and
achievement you require

where you want to work

how you want work to fit in with other parts of your life

My career goals are: (make a list of your career goals)

Achieving your goals
After you've identified your goals, the second task is to work out how you will achieve them. This involves three stages - mapping out some stepping stones to your goal, networking with existing contacts and recording your progress in a diary.

.Stepping stones
Perhaps you are a nurse and your career goal is to become a doctor. At first sight that may seem an enormous transition to make. By mapping out stepping stones, however, you can break down your main career goal into smaller goals, each of which takes your further towards achieving your ambition. For example, you may decide that in the first three months you need to:

explain to your family what you intend to do and how it will affect them

approach the British Medical Association or your
employer for career guidance and training information

make an appointment to see your bank manager for a loan or see the building society to rearrange mortgage repayments if you're going into full-time education or training

sign up to do A' levels at your local college

Your map can have a very simple structure or it may be complex. It may help to be very specific at first and then more general as you gain confidence. The idea is you simply break down a seemingly very ambitious, unachievable goal into a series of smaller, more manageable constituent parts.

One important aid on the way to achieving your career goal is to seek help from other people. People often get a buzz and a sense of personal reward out of helping other to progress in their lives. So for our nurse who dreams of becoming a doctor, for example, an early step would be to approach her contacts. She could talk to her careers adviser, line manager, colleagues and ex-colleagues and friends to discuss what sort of help she needs. She should also try to broaden her network of contacts. Why don't you try to think about your network of contacts and consider answers to the following questions:

1. Who might be able to help me?
2. Why?

3. Which institutions might be able to help me? (e.g. colleges, job centres, voluntary units)

< 1. Why should I read this?

< 2. What are my skills and qualities?

< 3. What kind of work can I do?

> 4. What are my goals? How do I acheive them?

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