You know the question is coming when you go to meet the parents, or you go to a job interview. What are your career goals? It's a question that can change the landscape of an entire conversation. But why does your answer matter as much as it does? If you don't have it all figured out, why won't people give you time to figure it out?

When parents have children, they think about their future education. Why though? It's because we relate success in school with having a successful career. A successful career means that you can be self-sufficient in society. Anytime someone asks, "What are your career goals?" they are trying to get insight into who you are. Also know that sometimes your own friendship goals can get in the way of what you want to to do with your career. 

When you have a purpose in life, you walk differently. When you have a goal, you talk differently. The way you carry your self through life demands respect. People can tell when they have met someone with a firm determination.

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What Are Your Career Goals? Why Your Answer Matters

The question matters because its a seen as a simple way to get to know what someone is about and what they think about. Where is your heart, and what is it focused on? Some people answer the question with direct and swift answers. Others have no idea what they want out of life or what they even plan to do tomorrow. While some people have long-winded answers because they have thought through it all.

Some people live life from day to day and seem to have no plan. Others know what they want, and they are direct and demanding life while some people like to have a plan for every single thing that they do.

The answer matters because it lets people know where you are going in life. Leaders know where they are going. If you think of some of the greatest minds in the world, they always have known where they are going with their life. They set out to achieve something by locking on to that direction.

What Are Your Career Goals? Your Answer is For You Not Them

Don't get trapped into making the answer to this question about others. It's not, the answer is for you and adding direction to your life. Inside of Habit Stacker, we call this the life mission. Some call it creating your ultimate purpose. Whatever name you want to give, it's essential you know that you need this.

As I stated above, what separates the greats from those that are average is a purpose. Great people get up every day know what they are chasing after, and they pursue the same thing for a long time. Because they can focus on one thing for a long time, they can build on their cumulative knowledge.

When you have a purpose in life, you walk differently. When you have a goal, you talk differently. The way you carry your self through life demands respect. People can tell when they have met someone with a firm determination.

What Are Your Career Goals? Building Your Answer

The question is not about your career at all. It's getting to way more than your job. A job can be a means of accomplishing your purpose, but your real goal is always higher. For example, one may have a career as a doctor but have a mission to eradicate cancer. Those are two very different things.

You don't need to think about school and college and all that. You need to start with what you want to do at the end of the day. When you are lying on your death bed, what do you want to say you got done with your life? Relationships matter and you don't want to throw away your friendship goals, but there is a deep satisfaction that comes from successful career goals as well. 

Start there and then begin to work backward from that. Like the doctor that decides they want to eradicate cancer. To do that they need to create a cure for it. They need to spend a lot of time around it and treating it. To do that they need to be a doctor. To do that they need to go to med school. If they want to get into the med school, they are going to need good grades in high school and college.

Do you see how the process can find itself once you start with the end in mind? When you know what you want most from life, it's easier to let all of the other pieces fall into place. When you build your answer out, you can tell people what you want to accomplish. Then lay out the steps you need to take to get there.

Don't Be Wishy-Washy

When you are answering this question, you can't be unsure in your tone. You need to speak these words as you mean. If you believe in it, others will as well. Nothing is more powerful than coming across a person who knows what they want.

Believe in yourself. Believe so much that it feels like you already succeeded. Doing this matters because the opposite has a worse effect. When you answer the question "what are your career goals?" with an answer that sounds like you don't believe. It can be as bad as not having an answer at all.

Managing Your Goals and Habits

Once you have decided on your goals, its time to jump on Habit Tracker and set your goals. The app allows you to turn to review your goals daily into a habit. The goals section of the app will enable you to set numerical targets to track progress.

The second thing that Habit Stacker allows you to do is set habits to help you reach your goals. Here is the truth; your goals are wishes without habits to support them. For example, you can have the purpose of being a doctor, without the habits of diligent studying. You will never become a doctor this way.

You have to focus on your habits to bring your purpose alive. What you do day to day seems small, but it starts to add up. Daily you keep working your muscles and they build. If you are sporadic with the work you put in, you won't get results. All habits work the same way!

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Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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