Your Career Goals

Reprinted with permission from Amanda Peters, Twitter @acpeters; Strategy
Feel free to copy and paste into a document you can edit.


Stages: Self-reflection/assessment → Exploration and experimentation (trying things out through informational meetings, projects, contracts, volunteering, other activities, etc.) → Setting goals and planning strategy → Taking action → Adapting and pivoting → back to self-reflection…

Considerations: Your environment (personal, professional, world-wide) impacts your possibilities and decisions; what are the environmental constraints you are working within?

Your Career Plan

TO DO throughout your search:

  1. Set and re-set strategy on a regular basis; explore options to learn and connect to others
  2. Tailor all communications
  3. Communicate your tailored message: via job search materials, LinkedIn and other social media, at events, networking, interviews. In-person is best, then phone, then on-line (depending on your audience, of course).


  • First, schedule time (daily or weekly) depending on urgency of search, time available, and how you work best:
    • Plan as if the job search is a job; set time for each task
    • How will your search fit into your life? Address obstacles that may hinder your search, as possible.
    • Build in an additional 15-30 minutes once a week to check in on your job search to-dos, priorities, and set a plan for the following week.

Prepare to search; setting the stage:

  • List skills you have that you want to use on the job:
  • What work environment/elements are you looking for:
  • What are your interests and what impact do you want to make with your career?
  • What you want to learn on-the-job, in your next role:
  • Consider drafting your own ideal job description- what would you hire yourself for that you’d enjoy doing daily? This can help you clarify your goal and your communications, and can lead you more actively to where you want to be. Include: What’s the overall goal of this position? What are your responsibilities and skills used? Who would you be working with/for? 
  • Where do you want to work? Brainstorm possible….
    • Locations:
    • Employers (ideally start with a list of 10-20 that interest you. This is just a first pass, so the list does not have to be perfect): 
  • Write down goal(s). What is the one-sentence you can use to describe yourself, as pertains to those goals?

One-to-three targets (ultimate, transitional, immediate). Format: What impact do you want to make, using what skills and experience from your background, in what type of organization?

    • ___________________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________________
  • Which goal are you planning to explore first? What are some small steps you can take to begin your exploration?
  • What are the skill, expertise and credibility gaps you need to fill to get to your goal? Networking contacts can help you identify these gaps.
  • How can you fill those gaps? Courses? Volunteer work? Perhaps another job before your ideal? Additional training or project work?
  • Based on the items above, who can you talk to for Information, Advice and Referrals (IAR) to other organizations and people? What are some related professional associations in your location to get involved in to learn and to meet people in your area of interest? 
  • How will you keep track of the contacts you have made and the information learned? What is your plan to follow up and keep in touch with them?
  • When it is time for the active search (timelines vary depending on your goals), plan to complete 2-5 applications a week (tailored) and have 2-5 conversations or follow up actions a week. 
  • Accountability. How will you stay accountable? To who?
  • Practice/prepare:
    • For interviews ( has many interview questions to help!)
    • Appropriate clothes for different elements of your search
    • Support- we all need it! Form a job search accountability group and meet bi-weekly to report on progress!
    • Fun, health: build in time for both!
  • What obstacles do you anticipate in being able to fulfill this plan? How can you overcome those?

Some websites to consider: