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How to set career goals that align with your values and aspirations

Setting career goals can be overwhelming for many of us. However, when we take the time to set goals that align with our values and aspirations, we are more likely to stay motivated and achieve greater success.

Besides it adds to our overall energy which then helps us decide better and make deeper connections at work. 

What are career goals?

Career goals are your long-term objectives or targets that you set for your professional life. These goals should reflect your values, interests and skills and should be aligned with your desired career path.

Importance of aligning career goals with your values and aspirations?

When you set goals that align with your values and aspirations, you’re more likely to find a career that you’re happy with. This type of goal setting also helps you stay motivated and focused on achieving your objectives.

Besides, it helps you grow skills that you find natural comfort with. On the other hand, if your daily job gives you a sense of purpose, you are more likely to face the difficulties of the job with motivation and drive. 

How to set career goals

1. Identify your values and aspirations 

Before setting any career goals, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on what matters most to you. 

  • What values do you hold dear? 
  • What are your passions and interests? 
  • What drives and motivates you? 

A way to think about this is to have a talk with your older self. Imagine yourself as 90 years old. Now have a talk with this self of yours – ask him what he thinks of your current decision now. Would he be happy with what you are choosing or not choosing right now ? It is a great way to gain clarity about your life and latent aspirations. 

Answering these questions will help you set goals that truly reflect what’s important to you. 

2. Brainstorm possible career paths

Once you have identified your values and aspirations, it’s time to brainstorm possible career paths. Think about the kind of work that would make you happy and fulfilled. Consider if you’d like to work in a particular industry, or in a certain type of role. Make sure to note any obstacles that might stand in the way of your goals.

It is a good idea at this point in time to have a discussion with your connections who know about these fields better. Talk to them and find out how their day goes, what challenges they face, and what skills they think they should have. By knowing the field better, you can have a clarity of how to proceed with your goal. 

3. Assess the skills you need to reach your goals

Once you’ve identified possible career paths, it’s time to assess the skills and qualifications you need to reach your goals. Do you need to gain any specific qualifications or experience? What skills do you need to develop or hone? Are there any additional qualifications or certifications that you need to obtain?

You can also gain these insights while having the discussion with your connections as described before. 

4. Set realistic and achievable goals

Once you’ve identified the skills you need, it’s time to set realistic and achievable goals. Create a plan of action, and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Make sure to set specific deadlines for each step, and give yourself rewards for meeting your deadlines.

Setting career goals that align with your values and aspirations can be rewarding – it helps you stay motivated and achieve success faster. 

Take the time to identify your values and aspirations, brainstorm possible career paths, assess the skills you need, and set realistic and achievable goals. This way, you’ll be sure to find a career path that truly fulfills you and makes you happy.


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With a trajectory spanning from engineer to Ex-President of Sales at Whitehat Jr, Gaurav Yadav is a dynamic leader and startup consultant. Armed with an MBA from the Indian School of Business, he scaled organizations to 5X+ multiples, hiring over 4000 team members. A strategic mind and influential CXO, Gaurav passionately guides careers and shapes startup growth strategies, leaving an indelible mark on every venture he touches.


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