How honest can you be with the answer when you are confronted with this question either in an interview or during the annual performance review?
What are your long term career goals?
In today’s competitive job market, interviewers are looking for any red flag to use as an excuse not to hire someone. So you could be unfairly eliminated from contention if you answer this question wrongly. No one can tell you exactly how to answer this question, since your response will come from what is important to you. However, the more focused and employer-centered you can be about your goal, the better your chances will be of steering the interview in the right direction.
I have learned that long-term goals are best achieved when I break them into shorter goals. My short-term goal is to find a position that will put me in a forward-moving company with solid performance and future projections. As part of a team, I want to add value and continue to grow the company. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. My plan is to move into a position of responsibility where I can lead a team.”
What Is A Goal?
According to Wikipedia the exact definition of a goal is:
A desired result a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.In other words any planning you do for the future regardless of what it is, is a goal. So the next time you are planning on doing the weekly chores or decide on watching that really cool action movie after work, always keep in mind that these small tasks account as goals and while seemingly insignificant you are goal setting.
Hints on How to Answer
The interviewer wants to understand more about your career goals and how this position would fit into your grand plan. They care about your career goals because they want to hire someone who is motivated, proactive, and likely to stick around and work hard if hired.
Start by saying “I see myself in a management role, leading my team to new innovations and growth. I have a desire to develop my skills as a employee, I’m sure I will eventually get there.”
By turning the answer around to a question to the interviewer you have taken control of the situation and are now proceeding towards the second stage of the interview process.
Ensure that whatever you prepare to say relates to where you want to see yourself as a successful individual in the future. An honest reply may bring success and accolades than a fabricated one on which you have some chances of tripping over when you counter yourself with other inconsistent answers.
Try your best to tie in the answers to the company’s interest and objectives,research and prepare well for each interview answer to get what you want.
If you have zero clear ideas about your long term goal. In reality, many good candidates are exploring different options or are still trying to figure it out. However, a job interview is not a session with your career coach. You want to give the impression that you’re focused and have a plan.Understandably, an employer wants to hire someone who is truly excited about the job at hand, someone who sees it as a great career move and will work tirelessly to do a good job.
You can make that moving target come to a screeching halt and blast the bull’s eye right out of it by taking a few minutes to write down what you want. Don’t make your goals too broad; be specific. And then begin brainstorming ways to get others involved with you; that will provide your momentum. Success is within your reach. You can do this!
Oh, and remember, we’re here to help you the entire way!
Why you need to set long term Goal
Goals Give You Focus. Imagine having to shoot an arrow without being given a target. Where would you aim? And say you did aim at some random thing (out of sheer perplexity). Why would you aim there? And what would the purpose be? Get the idea… This is a literal example of what life is like without a goal or target in mind. It’s pointless and waste of energy and effort.
You can have all the potential in the world but without focus your abilities and talent are useless. Just like how sunlight can’t burn through anything without a magnifying glass focusing it, you can’t achieve anything unless a goal is focusing your effort. Because at the end of the day goals are what give you direction in life. By setting goals for yourself you give yourself a target to shoot for. This sense of direction is what allows your mind to focus on a target and rather than waste energy shooting aimlessly, allows you to hit your target and reach your goal.
If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
When you set a goal for yourself you make yourself accountable to finish the task. This is in complete contrast with when you do things based of a whim and it doesn’t matter whether you complete them or not. Goals tend to stick in your mind and if not completed they give you a “Shoot! I was supposed to do do today!” reminder. These reminders in the back of your head help you to overcome procrastination and laziness.
(*But keep in mind that long-term goals actually promote procrastination. Most people aren’t good with deadliness 3 month away. So whenever you’re given a long term goal, break it down into a several short term goals so you can complete a chunk of the larger long term goal every week or even every day.)