That moment when you try to have a career objective based on your goals and ambitions, but you don’t even know what you’re having for dinner tonight. It’s fine though, so many people aren’t in that place yet and they can’t confidently say where they want to be in the future or who they want to become.
But wait, when do people actually know where they are going in life? It’s 2018, we live in a mad dunya out here, most people just go wherever the wind takes them. Or do they? Well, not really, they can’t just blindly follow a trail that can end up leading to nowhere. What a huge risk that is! A risk that most people aren’t even willing to take.
And yeah, I get it, life’s an adventure, “Live fast, die young” and what not, but when it comes to your career and future, it is always best to plan things out and keep your spontaneous impulses at bay for the most part. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be rambunctious and instinctive, we’re free human beings at the end of the day, we aren’t trees that are stuck in one place for good.
Nor am I saying that you should aim to have your whole life planned out, because first of all, that’s impossible; life works in mysterious ways and no one knows what might happen in the distant future. And second of all, doesn’t it just sound so boring to have everything planned out down to the second?
So, the point is: It’s totally normal if you still haven’t figured out your career objective yet, especially if you’re a fresh graduate, or if you’re thinking of changing career paths and need to set a new one. But, you should certainty consider setting yourself a career objective, as it can have numerous advantages that you can be taking advantage of, not to mention that employers dig it. Big time. Especially when you include it in your CV.
Now, we are always trying to help you as much as we can, which is why we have written this blog post to help shed light on the advantages of having a career objective and emphasise the importance of it.
So, why should you have a career objective?
1. Map out your career
There are so many things happening around us, so much opportunity within our reach, but which one is the right one? Where do you see yourself in the future? One of the first steps to plan out your career is starting with a career objective, which can act as some sort of golden compass that you can use to guide you through your career. It also helps you recalibrate whenever you feel like you took a wrong turn and think your career is spiralling into something that you didn’t put it out to be.
Having a career objective can help you set certain short and long-term goals for yourself, which you can then focus your efforts and energy towards achieving certain metrics, instead of just going with the flow and following non-meaningful or irrelevant opportunities.
Also, when you have a clearly mapped out career with a solid career objective, you can expect to have higher motivation and productivity at work. Why? Easy answer: When you have strategically sized and placed goals ahead of you, it will make the whole idea of a career objective seem easier to achieve, as it is broken down into smaller biteable pieces. Not to mention that with time, this can imbed your career objective even deeper into your brain, which can certainly increase your motivation to lead and live your career. Combined with the right amount of passion, you’ll basically be obsessed with your career.
2. Measure your progress
Yes, the grind doesn’t stop, and you’re killing it at work. But who’s keeping count of your accomplishments? You don’t know? No one? How are you supposed to know if you’re actually progressing or not? What about knowing what you’re good at and what you need to improve in?
When you have a paved way leading to a solid career objective with various targets dotted out in order; it makes it much easier and clearer for you to record and measure your progress within a certain timeframe. I couldn’t stress enough on how important it is to measure your progress. You got to keep tabs on yourself.
Let me give you an example, let’s say that you’re a sales executive, and your next goal is to increase your sales up by at least 30% within the next 6 months. You can conduct monthly or even weekly reviews on your progress towards your goal, in order to analyse any trends and identify key areas of improvement. You might find out, for example, that you’re not getting that many sales with upstream clients, by knowing this information you can then develop your strategy and knowledge to better suit that specific kind of client and ultimately increase sales.
And remember, when it comes to setting a career objective, it’s not what you are, it is who you want to become. It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to become. You should always strive to learn as much as possible and whenever possible.
3. Impress employers
Want to raise employers’ eyebrows? Have a career objective. They love it. Especially if your career path is within the industry they operate in. What better way to portray yourself as mature and in charge of your own development than having a powerful career objective. That’s why you should certainly include a career objective in your CV.
A career objective on a CV should basically be an overview of where you currently are in your career and where you aspire to head. It should also include certain points about yourself that convey you as fit for the job that you are applying for.
Now, when it comes to writing your career objective on your CV, you should aim to make it as clear, concise and direct as possible. You don’t want to use the same career objective for two different jobs, the whole point of including one in your CV is to make you look like you know exactly what you’re looking for in your next job. Having a generic and untargeted career objective will do just the opposite. This brings us back to that same old golden rule of CV writing: always tailor your CV to each and every job you apply for. This applies to your career objective!
Another point worth mentioning: having a clearly set career objective makes it much easier for you to explain your strengths and aspirations to others: including key connections, networking event attendees, and potential employers. When you’re asked “where do you see yourself in the foreseeable future?” having an already set career objective can certainly help you get the message across in a smoother and more efficient manner. Employers can spot a phony from a mile away; they’re trained to do that.
How NOT to answer a career objective question:
Employer: “So, Ahmad, can you please explain to me what your career objective is?”
Ahmad: “Easy question. Okay, so my career objective is to get the job, and become a millionaire by the time I’m 35.”
Employer: *Dramatically stares down on the ground and proceeds to write notes on his evaluation sheet*
Don’t be like Ahmad. Ahmad clearly didn’t have a career objective.
By Sharif Ibrahim
This article originally appeared in Bayt.com. This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.
This article has been amended from its original source.
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