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Career Goal Setting

Objective or aim of ones action regulate human action which affect behaviour and performance in number of ways 1. Spur high level of effort 2. Give dimension to effort 3. Goals produce high level of persistance on task 4. Help to develop a useful strategy for accomplishing the task

Career Goal Setting

Definition of Career Goal: A desired career related outcome that a person intends to attain However, goals can and should change as conditions dictate

Components of Career Goal

Conceptual Goal versus Operational Goal:

Conceptual: persons significant values, interests, talents, and lifestyle preference Operational: translation of a conceptual goal into a specific job or position

Expressive versus Instrumental:

Expressive: intrinsic enjoyment derived from goal related experience Instrumental: accomplishment to attainment of subsequent goal; e.g. Manager to VP

Components of Career Goal

Short-term verses Long-term:

More immediate focus1 to 3 years Timeframe of 5 to 7 years

Obstacles of Goal Setting

Goal that belong to someone else Goals that exclude total lifestyle concern Goal that fails to take into account of ones current job Goals that are over Vague instead of Specific Preoccupation with Instrumental Goal Elements/Destination (Tunnel Vision) Goals that are too easy or too difficult Inflexible career goals

Career Indecision: Inability to set Career Goals

Not either have set career goals Setup goal which they experience significant uncertainty or discomfort Causes and Sources of Career Indecision:

Lack of self information Lack of internal work information Lack of external work information Lack of decision making OR fear and anxiety Non-work demands

Types of Career Indecision

Limited experience and knowledge Permanent inability to make a decision Limited knowledge about internal & external work environment; Younger Extensive non-work demands Lack of sufficient self information Lower self confidence and situational constraints Displayed more extensive decision making fear and anxiety

Implications of Goal Setting for Organizations and Employees

Facilitate Self Awareness: by providing

Career counseling; Sponsoring career planning activities Effective performance appraisal and feedback systems Education and training activities Temporary assignments Job changes Expansion of current job

Implications of Goal Setting for Organizations and Employees

Facilitate Awareness of Environment:

Alternative job in the organization such as duties, responsibilities, required skills, travel and time commitment pressures Communicate its vision structure and culture

Encourage Experimentation
Speaking with counselor Joining a support group for newly transferred employees Attending seminar/s

Implications of Goal Setting for Organizations and Employees

Response to Chronic Indecision: Major uncertainties for career aims:

Changes in an employees work situation, family pressures, career interests, triggered a reevaluation of future Aging and feelings of immortality Work environment Merger and acquisition Change in corporate strategy Spouses career aspirations Discussions about career and adoptive attitudes reveal a considerable degree of stress

How to Become Decisive

Complete elimination of decision making stress and anxiety and reexamine decisions
Vigilant Type: selection of decision was made in a well informed fashion Hyper-Vigilant Type: conducted in a tense and hasty manner

Discourage Career HyperVigilance

Seminars, workshops, computer based programs and individual counseling are important to avoid hyper-vigilance

Benefits to the Organization:

Employees learn to take responsibility Employees are highly skilled and more useful Aid of Succession Planning Risks involved are: Individual disappointment, potential loss of talented individuals; However, advantages justify

Types of Career Strategies




Competence in Current Job: attempt to perform effectively in ones current job Extended Work Involvement: devote time energy and emotion by working beyond normal hours and extended work involvement Skill Development: acquition of skills through education, training and job experience to help performance in

Types of Career Strategies

4. Opportunity Development: increase career options, self-nomination, willingness to inform superiors of accomplishments, aspirations and desired assignment 5. Development of Mentor and other Supportive Alliances: relationship between junior and senior colleagues, and peers

Types of Career Strategies



Image Building: to convey an appearance of success and suitability. E.g being married, participating in community activities and dressing properly Organizational Politics: agreeing with or flattering boss, advocating company practices, not complaining about rules or regulations and forming alliances or coalition with others in the organization

Guidelines for Development of Career Strategies

1. 2.

4. 5.

Particular strategy depends on nature of career goal. Depends on organizations norms and values No limit to one single but a variety of strategic behaviors Test interest and commitment to a goal Reflect steps to be taken and area to be avoided

Process for developing a Set of Career Strategies


3. 4. 5.

Reexamine your long-term goal Identify behaviors, activities and experience to reach long term goal Examine short term goal Identify behaviors, activities and experiences to attain short term goal Combine list of strategies for short and long term goals

Career Appraisal
Its an early warning control system Career related feedback gathering and using, serves this function. There are two specific functions:

1. It can test appropriateness of a particular career strategy 2. Feedback can test the appropriateness of the goal itself

Types and Sources of Information Derived from Career Appraisal

Conceptual Goal: about values, interests, talents and desired lifestyle Operational Goal: appropriateness of targeted job is compatible with the conceptual goal Strategy: does individual experience is a sense of progress toward the goal?

Guidelines for Effective Career Appraisal


Willingness to see and make revisions in goals and strategies when appropriate.
a. Be honest with yourself b. Be less concerned with having to justify your prior decisions to others c. Be willing to be inconsistent


Benchmarks of accomplishment help to identify specific strengths and weaknesses of a strategy.

Guidelines for Effective Career Appraisal




Periodically review appropriateness of your conceptual and operational goals Structure your interactions with your supervisor to acquire desired information, your strengths and weaknesses and organization needs Seek feedback from non work sources

Guidelines for Effective Career Appraisal

6. Share experiences and feelings with trustworthy people. Frank discussions with peers can be beneficial.

Others may see parts of you that are hidden to yourself. Verbally expressing goals, desires, reservations and strategies may help clarify your own feelings Others may be willing to share their own successes, failures and revelations that bear on your circumstances