Create a Plan & Set Goals

Now that you have narrowed down the direction you want to go in, setting goals and making a plan will improve your chances of getting there.

Ask yourself some questions

  1. What do you want to do within the next 3-5 years? Refer to the occupations you listed in Occupations that Best Match Your Assessments.
  2. If you are unemployed, consider seeking a position that combines your experience with the fields you would like to enter. For example, if you have restaurant experience, but would like to work in the medical field, consider a position in dietary services at a hospital or nursing home.
  3. If you are employed make the most of opportunities for training, experience and networking that are available to you now. Read the company newsletter and website. Talk to your supervisor and HR personnel for information on upcoming trainings. Attend work functions and meet people from different departments.
  4. Target 10 companies where you would like to work. Include what type of work you could do there.
  5. Find 3 job postings for the type of position you want. Find job postings at Ohio Means Jobs.
  6. Compare your experience with the job postings.
  7. What skills, education, and experience do you have that would qualify you for these positions?
  8. What skills, education, and experience do you need to acquire that would qualify you for these positions?
  9. Take a close look at the trends for positions that interest you. What is the outlook for these positions?

 Use the Goals Worksheet (pdf) to help you identify your goals.

Make Your Goal-Setting Plan

Once you write down your long-term goals, think about how you can achieve them. Come up with specific actions attached to each goal. Write them down in a plan.  

Example of a Career Plan
My long-term career goal: I want to be a Customer Service Supervisor.
My short–term actions to
support this goal

I will learn more.

  • I will talk with three people in this career within 1 month.
  • I will develop a list of realistic tasks within 1 month.

I will expand my skills.

  • I will get an entry-level customer service job within 6 months.

I will practice skills.

  • I will go to the library every week to read books.
  • I will practice one new skill each week.

I will get experience.

  • I will ask my boss for more responsibility within 8 months.

I will gain training.

  • I will complete a series of customer service and manager trainings within three years.

Career Plan Steps

Think about people who you admire. How did they get there? Many successful people know what they want and set goals to get it. They usually break down their goals into smaller tasks. Then, they make new goals to achieve more.

Here are ways to help you set and stick to your goals:

Career Plan Steps
Step 1:
Make a Career Plan
Think about your long–term career goals and the things you can do in the short run to get them done.  
Step 2:
Follow Your Career

You've set your career goals and written down the steps you need to get them done. Now follow your written plan.

  • Tell people about your goals. Find people who will support you and give you feedback.
  • Be sure your goals and the time you need to get them done are realistic.
  • Reward yourself for completing a task.
Step 3:
Review and Update Your Career Plan

You may run into roadblocks or change your mind. Don't be discouraged!

  • Change your career plan or tasks if they aren't working for you.
  • Try a new way to complete your goals.
  • Understand that the world of work changes quickly, and so can you.

Once you achieve your career goals, reward yourself. Then think of new goals for the next phase of your career. Remember: planning your career will last for your whole life.

Manage Your Finances

Tips for staying financially healthy while looking for work:

Go to How to Create a Personal Budget. This page will help you to plan how you use your money.

Online Budgeting Tips & Resources

How to Create a Personal Budget

Early in your job search you must determine your financial needs. Knowing how much money you need to cover your monthly needs will help you avoid financial disasters, feel confident in establishing a minimum salary requirement and give you a better understanding of where you can afford to cut during difficult times. Planning for the future means looking at both short term costs and long term expenses.

The Personal Budget (pdf) will help you do both.

You have a plan and you know your goals. Now you are ready to go to Step 4: Expand Skills.