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Setting Career Goals

It can be difficult to set specific career goals if a person does not have a complete understanding of the profession as it is practised here and has not had the opportunity to speak with people who work in the field. 

A mentor’s critical assessment of the mentee’s career goals may lead to the identification of barriers, professional development needs and/or alternative career choices which may be as or more attractive. Take time to conduct a “reality check” of the mentee’s short-term and long-term career goals. What are the assumptions and rationale behind them? Do the mentee’s “assets” match the career choice? Like all job seekers, newcomers sometimes underestimate, or inflate, their potential. Mentors may agree that the mentee is absolutely on the right track, or may suggest alternative career paths for the mentee to consider that will help them to meet their goals. Work together to assess career goals and aspirations of the mentee, and the best way to works towards achieving meet them.

Setting career goals may include
  1. changing or confirming the kinds of positions which the mentee would like to target in his or her job search.
  2. identifying professional development needs and lining up options.
  3. identifying and considering alternatives to the mentee’s first career choice if necessary.
  4. developing a short-term strategy for securing employment and aligning it with a long term strategy for achieving career goals.
  5. developing strategies for transfer to a new industry, sector or occupation if necessary.
Together you can
  • explore transferable skills and alternative career options (if relevant).
  • highlight career options which the mentee may not have considered.
  • shed light on the pros and cons of different career options.
  • discuss possible rewards and challenges of the chosen career direction.
  • work on an action plan.
  • consult Networking and Researching your field for additional suggestions.