A career goal is defined as what one wants to achieve and achieve in relation to one’s career. According to this, the person who understands what he wants by gaining personal awareness and searches for career opportunities in line with these wishes should determine the career goals he wants to reach. Career exploration plays an important role in determining career goals. As explained in the career exploration section, people first need to develop an awareness of themselves and their environment, and then they should be able to establish a correct relationship between their personal awareness and their environmental awareness. Accordingly, people who can establish the right relationships between their personal and environmental awareness will understand which business alternatives in their environment will be more suitable for them. In this direction, they will be able to set realistic career goals. Career goals can be addressed in different ways according to qualification and duration dimensions.
Career goals are divided into two as conceptual and operational according to their qualifications. Conceptual career goals are defined as the general goals that people set for their careers without associating them with a specific job or position. Conceptual objectives are the general objectives related to the characteristics of the tasks and working conditions that people want to undertake. Operational career goals, on the other hand, are achieved as a result of reducing conceptual career goals to a specific job and position.
While determining career goals, it is recommended to determine long-term conceptual career goals first and then determine short-term conceptual career goals. After these are determined, long-term and short-term operational career goals should be determined. Long-term conceptual career goals mainly reflect what kind of work environment one would like to work in in five to seven years. E.g; In five to seven years (long-term), the person may aim to work in a large company (working conditions) in the field of finance, which offers him authority, additional benefits and good pay. As seen in this example, the person determined the working conditions but did not limit it to a specific job or position. Short-term conceptual career goals, on the other hand, are those that he wants to achieve in one to three years, which help him achieve his long-term conceptual goals and are associated with the business environment. E.g; the same person may aim to reach a position (working conditions) in which he will assume more responsibility in finance within one to three years (short term).
In order to establish long-term and short-term operational goals, environmental awareness is required. Accordingly, one should search for businesses and organizations that will carry him to his long-term conceptual goals. Both long-term and short-term operational career goals should be reduced to a specific job or position and be consistent with conceptual goals. In this respect, an example of short-term operational career goals is that the same person aims to come to a finance specialist position (specific job and position) within one to three years (short-term). As seen in the example in question, the person has reduced his goals related to working conditions to a specific position. An example of long-term operational career goals is that the same person aims to come to the finance manager position (specific job and position) within five to seven years (long-term). Determining career goals will guide the person to use his energy and time correctly. Career goals are also a control and feedback mechanism. Accordingly, individuals will have the opportunity to receive feedback on their careers by checking whether they have achieved their career goals. Despite the benefits of setting career goals, it is seen that it is criticized by various researchers from time to time. The focus of criticism is the difficulty of determining long-term operational career goals in today’s changing, dynamic, unstable and uncertain working conditions. It should be stated that there is some justification for these criticisms. Because, it is difficult to determine long-term operational career goals, which are more associated with specific jobs and positions, in dynamic, variable and unstable working conditions. However, this should not lead to the conclusion that setting career goals is unnecessary. Accordingly, it is recommended that people focus more on their conceptual career goals. In addition, as explained in the individual career management section, career goals should be updated when necessary according to both changing environmental conditions and changing wishes and expectations of individuals.