How to Answer ”What are Your Career Goals?”


How does this position fit your career goals? How to Smartly Approach such Questions.

It’s not rocket science that every job seeker wants to be gainfully employed but this in itself comes with several thoughts because employers would want to know the inner drive of their employees;

A straight-forward question but you need to answer the following questions before even pushing that apply button;

  • what is your career ambition?
  • How do I describe my career goals essay in an interview situation?
  • List of long term career goals example
  • Career goals statement examples
  • What is your goal in life interview questions?

After going through this article, you should be able to answer; what are your career goals even if you don’t know?


So many times many people seeking jobs get to the corridor of being employed but during a brief interview with probably the HR or employment team, they get confused about this big question ‘ What are your career/future goals?

What are Career Goals?

Career goals are well-defined statements explaining the profession that an individual intends to pursue throughout his career. It is important for every employee or job seeker to define their career goals clearly. It helps them to come up with effective action plans

Henry David Thoreau said;

”In the long run, men hit only what they aim at”

Am sure that going by this definition given by the famous author Henry David, you already get the point.

Simply put; Career goals are simply what you tend to achieve in the pursuit of your ambition or profession.

Most times when employees are faced with this question of what are your career goals, the first thing that comes to their minds is; I want to be rich or make a lot of money.

While that is cool, it’s not what the employers want to hear; Instead, these are what they are actually asking you;

  • What wakes you up in the morning?
  • Employers want to know what your inner drive is.
  • Does it relate to the overall vision of their company?
  • How do you plan to achieve these goals?

These are the things you should have at the back of your mind when attempting this question of what are your future/career goals.

Short Term Versus Long Term Career Goals Explained

This is a straight question because as the name implies, short term goals are minor plans you want to achieve and these minor plans form part of the major plan. The major plan here is the long-term goal.

Agabs’s Tip: When setting goals be it short or long term future goals, you need to draft them out in timelines; So for the short term goals you should set it out in say the achievable limit of 3-6 months and the long term goal should say 2-5 years.

Don’t Overlook These Examples of Long and Short Term Career Goals

Here are examples of some goals that might relate to yours;

  • Learning or improving on your skills
  • Earning a new degree or certificate
  • Becoming a professional through specialization
  • Increasing the company’s turnover
  • Creating pro-activity
  • Increasing your customer’s base through networking
  • Becoming a Mentor
  • Becoming a company manager

Things You Shouldn’t Do In An Interview When Asked What Are Your Career Goals?

  1. You must not talk about goals that are not related to the overall vision of the company you applied for: This is a very important point you must not overlook because trust me when I say; when the position does not fit into your career goals, you’ve lost the job.
  2. Don’t Relate Goals that are not Realistic: It’s always good to come out as one who is sure of what he wants or what he wants to achieve, but saying futuristic goals that are not feasible or achievable may make you look overconfident and arrogant and trust me you don’t what that to happen.

How to Answer What are Your Career Goals? – Career Goals Statement Example

Now that we’ve talked about what career goals are and what you should avoid when asked such a question, let me give a brief example of how to answer what are your career goals question.

Below is a rather acute and simple answer you such a question:

I’ve always been a self motivated person from childhood and i have always loved finance and management and this was what prompted me to study Financial management, so i can one day work in your establishment and in the long run achieve my dream of being a manager. I believe that your establish is a stepping stone to my set goal.

Hope this was helpful?

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