What are the steps in determining my career goals?
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- The most important person for your professional development is you!
- It is also important to know your department's expecatations before you start strategically planning your own career. Why? Because you need to fit your own goals within the larger objective of obtaining tenure.
- Research has shown the best way to accomplish objectives is to set clear and concrete steps.
- Putting each step down on paper allows you to have a periodical reminder of the steps and allows you to check-off each one as they are accomplished.
- Research has shown that the steps are best when obtainable.
- Research has shown that the steps are best when obtainable. What does this mean? Not every career goal is measurable. For example, what does it mean to be a "leading scholar in the field"?
- You need to operationalize your career goals/steps just as you would operationalize a variable when conducting research. What does it mean to have "research productivity"? Do you (and/or your department) consider one publication a year as productive? Two publications a year? Two publications in "good" journals? How do you define a "good" journal?
- Putting each step down on paper allows you the ability to evaluate your own progress.
- You should evaluate yourself every year because you need to identify how much progress has been made in comparison to your expectations; and more importantly, you need to identify *why* you may not have accomplished as much as expected.
- Be prepared to revise or modify your plan as unforeseen issues arise or as you learn more about how much time/effort will be required to accomplish your steps.
Worksheets to help you
- At this point you have learned about Your Department's Expectations and Your Career Goals.
- Now it is time to integrating all the expectations and goals into a Strategic Plan.
- First, categorize your activities into Research, Teaching, and Service.
- Second, for each category you are going to identify: (1) your GOALS, (2) your PLAN to attain the goals, and (3) the intended COMPLETION DATE.
- GOALS - you want your stated goals to be concrete, obtainable, and measurable
- PLAN - each concrete step should be specified in a sequential implementation strategy
- DATE - identify your intended date of completion for each step.
- Third, here is an example Worksheet you can use -- Example Goals Worksheet
- You may want to break-up your goals into different years (e.g., first year, second year, third year, etc)
- And then have a final Goal Worksheet that summarizes all years in the plan.
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