What Are Your Long Term Career Goals – Job Interview Question

This open-ended question, and others like; “Where do you see yourself in five years?” throw most candidates off balance. The object of the question is to check for your self-awareness and communication skills.

Dan Harrison is the staffing manager for Wesco Corporation and is about to interview three candidates for a project manager position. He is looking for someone with planning and long-range vision skills.

Phil Holmes describes his goal – “To be a Marketing Manager within five years, and have a hand picked team reporting to him.”

This is a very specific and narrow goal, which may not be an option at this company. The “hand picked” team demonstrates a lack of flexibility. Best to stay away from too specific a goal.

Shawna Green answers – “I have been so busy with my responsibilities and achieving company goals, that I have not focused on personal long-term goals.

While a strong work ethic is certainly desirable, this answer does not demonstrate vision or planning.

Marsha Severson states- “I plan to return to school to earn my MBA, and have my own consulting business one day.

While it pays to be honest, this answer could turn the interview in the wrong direction very quickly. The employer is looking for someone to stick around for the long run, not to stop over on the way to a new career.

Focus – Exercise

If you are the type of person who prefers an organized way of life, you may find this question a “piece of cake”. But, if you are among the majority of persons who let life happen as it comes along, you will probably not have a smooth answer without some forethought.

* What are your goals? – The best answers will come from you thinking about what you want. Most successful business people will tell you that a key success factor is the ability to set and achieve goals.

Begin by setting short-term goals. Right now your goal may be “to get a job”. But, what kind of job? And, where do you go from there?

* Be employer-centered – The employer is looking for someone to come in and solve problems. Since planning is a key factor in this job, think of examples where your planning has made a difference in results.

Scripting

After giving some thought to where you want to go and how you can help the employer achieve results, try scripting your answer to focus.

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 place 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.

No one can tell you exactly how to answer this question – it will come from what is important to you. However, the more and focused and employer centered you can be about your goal, the better your chances will be of steering the interview in the right direction.

What Valuable Career Has Yet To Be Established?

In the career space it is becoming increasingly certain that the future of careers is increasingly uncertain. The headwinds of change are strengthening and what in traditional employment has looked stable is now looking unstable. There are a variety of economic and social shifts ushering in this climate of modification and adjustment, influenced largely by globalization, technology, and changing demographics with the trends looking irreversible. Given that significant change has a way of making people nervous and anxious it could seem that the future may be something to fear. But what if we were to reframe this phenomenon as an opportunity? It can be done.

Viewing undetermined career variations favorably begins with asking the question, “What valuable career(s) has/have yet to be established?” To begin answering the question let’s pass through the portal allowing us to view the world’s many challenges. There is certainly no shortage of problems in need of resolutions. The demands are countless and the need for bold, positive, and progressive actions, leading to widespread beneficial advances is urgent. So where do we begin? Following are my picks for top categories where future talent can best direct their energies-in ways about which we can only today dream.

Poverty: The most egregious plight continuing to poison humankind is the plague of poverty. It burdens us all economically, in terms of security, and of course morally. Must we continue to accept that so many of the planet’s people struggle to live healthy lives of happiness and fulfillment?

Economics: If there is one thing we learned from the recent recession it is that our economic health is far from secure. Expertise in the financial industry and among the monetary decision makers is required to maintain a fiscal model free of the wild and dangerous speculative swings that can so devastate Main Street.

Healthcare: Preventing and treating disease, promoting wellness, and leveraging recent breakthroughs in science and medicine contribute immeasurably to the number of career opportunities. Projections are that Healthcare will see very strong growth. Many lives are just waiting to be enhanced and heightened.

Environment: Managing a growing global population that demands more use of finite resources and higher living standards is our collective reality for the foreseeable future. There will be no shortage of creative solutions to be discovered assisting the planet in supporting the burgeoning masses.

Business Services: Aiding business to provide the necessary and desired goods and services, which will elevate and sustain enjoyable and productive lives remains important. Profitable and rewarding models and techniques are still in need of detection and development.

Lifestyle: Crafting the zeitgeist of new eras will be in the hands and minds of those involved in the arts, fashion, music, literature, and culture as they seek novel ways of expressing the times. Creative facility is waiting to be unleashed to communicate the spirit and meaning of ages yet to come.

I could go on. Energy, International Relations, Social Work, and many other fields hold promise as areas for future career development. Societies yearn for original and fresh approaches to improve and better the world. All of us, young and old, have the capacity to meet this demand.

We owe it to ourselves to nurture and expand an entrepreneurial mindset, leading to innovative problem solving and wealth creation. Let’s train and orient our youth in particular to be entrepreneurial success stories and not merely laborers practicing routine procedures. Discovering concepts new, untried, and effective should be encouraged as much if not more than reproducing commodities. Permit and reassure our students and children to take reasonable risk, collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs, and apply intelligence in peculiar and offbeat ways.

It can be exciting and energizing to think that original and valuable careers are waiting to be spawned. It gives us hope.

The Career Goal In Finance

What is the end game after years of going to school? Perhaps to have a stable career and life but this does not happen overnight. It takes blood, toil, sweat and tears which is also the career goal in finance.

How do we do that? Well, people always say that a good education opens doors. A finance career works the same way given that there are different companies that you can work in after graduation which is why you should do some research first to find out what aspects of the industry interests you the most.

Just to give you an idea, some of the things you could find yourself in after graduation could be commercial banking, commercial lending, corporate finance, financial planning, investment banking, private equity and sales and trading.

When you are able to do some research in each of them, it will be easy for you to develop the skills needed to excel in this in the future.

A career in finance can happen if you graduate with a degree in math, economics or statistics. But since the market is very competitive, you have to make yourself shine by earning an MBA degree years later. You don’t have to get one after a couple of years of work since there are some individuals who are studying in their 40’s.

Apart from that, it is best to read up journals and participate in conferences and become a member of a professional organization. You have to be informed of the latest trends and build up your network because that someone you know may get you that job you are looking for.

Two examples of these organizations include the American Bankers Association and the Association for Financial Professionals. They have events scheduled all year round that will allow you meet new people with similar career goals.

For those who don’t have an idea what aspect of financing yet to pursue, this is the time to ask help from one of your professors. Surely, this person can tell you what kind of job is closely related to what was taught in class. With that in your head, it is time to look for companies that engage in exactly that.

While you are still in school, another thing that could help will be to apply as an intern in one of these firms. Some companies will give a salary while other won’t. If you do well here, they will probably give you an offer even before you graduate or encourage you to work for them full time.

If the company you are looking for doesn’t have any vacancies at the moment, leave your resume or application anyway so that if an opening comes up, someone will give you a call so all you have to do is give it your best during the interview.

At the same time, be active in your school organization because an alumni member may on the lookout for new talents which will be beneficial for the company.

We all need to focus on something so an idea can be turned into a plan and then executed. A career goal in finance is just one example because people with other interests can do the same thing and succeed in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue.