Aspirations and Goals in Your Career
Setting goals in your career is important.Â It is also important to aspire to things in your career.Â Often timeâs people want to use these terms interchangeably but they are not the same thing.Â Letâs take a look at career goals and aspirations so that you can get motivated.
A career aspiration is a path that you want your career to follow.Â For example, a big career aspiration for a lot of people is to become part of a management team.Â Being part of a management team is a big step up because it invests you with more power and greater responsibility.Â This is one of the most common career aspirations and it usually is fueled by wanting more money.
Not everyone aspires to move to management.Â There are higher level jobs that donât involve the stress of watching over people.Â A lot of people aspire to being a consultant where they can go and provide their knowledge as a job.Â This means that they also aspire to be an expert in their chosen field of work.
Another career aspiration is to start your own company in a specific industry.Â This would put you at the top of the chain and would make you your own boss.Â This can be a big motivating factor and a crowning achievement to oneâs career aspirations.Â To a lot of people if they start a successful business they view themselves as successful too.
People at the top have aspirations too.Â If you own a successful company your aspirations may be to continue the growth of your company.Â Opening new locations and moving to bigger venues is also a sign of success and a big income booster.Â For those that have bigger companies already their aspirations could be to retire successfully.
Aspirations do not always have to be to move upwards or expand.Â There are many people who aspire to move to an entry level job in a different industry.Â Imagine the recent college graduate who graduates without a job and moves into the first job that he can find so that he is making money.Â That recent graduate will aspire to move into his/her chosen career path.Â Not only recent graduates aspire to move to new career paths, there are plenty of people who enjoy new challenges and learning new skills.
Here are some common career aspirations:
â¢Â Â Â Enhance your professional skills in order to advance in your organization.
â¢Â Â Â Find stable job security.
â¢Â Â Â Become an expert in a field.
â¢Â Â Â Gain more autonomy at work.
â¢Â Â Â Better balance your home and work life.
â¢Â Â Â Network more on a professional level.
â¢Â Â Â Become better motivated to complete your job.
â¢Â Â Â Educate yourself more.
All of these are common work aspirations.Â They are similar to goals but less specific in nature.Â They often times take more time to complete than a goal too.Â You may not even complete them, aspirations can be ongoing throughout your life.Â A general aspiration can be to better yourself but if you pick this as an aspiration try to get more specific with it such as better myself in the job I am doing now or in the line of work I am doing now.Â Bettering yourself in general is hard to measure and hard to tell when you have obtained any progress.
If an aspiration is what you want to do with your career how is that different than a goal?Â A goal is a specific milestone or objective that is concrete.Â A common goal in oneâs work life is to make more money.Â This goal is one that people strive for because it means that they can live a better life and retire on time.
It is always important to set goals for yourself so that you know what you are trying to accomplish.Â It is best to set at least two goals for yourself so that you donât need to immediately set a new one when you achieve your first goal.Â Goals should be specific so that you can reasonably tell when you have achieved them.Â Aspirations are also important because they provide you with the drive to achieve your goals.Â They are much looser and tend to be more long term.
Get a piece of paper and sit down.Â Think about your goals and write them down.Â It may sound like something that you do in school but when you put something on paper it makes it feel more real.Â Write down your aspirations.Â Leave room below each goal and aspiration and write about how you plan to achieve these goals.Â By finishing these steps you will be in the 3% of Americans that has taken the time to think about their career and chart it out.
Take this piece of paper and post it somewhere in your office or cubicle if you have one.Â If you donât have a private place at work post it somewhere at your home that you will see every day.Â Doing this will help remind you of what your aims are.Â You will thank yourself for this level of planning down the road as it can only help you.
My name is ————-
I started writing this essay on a piece of paper, but that’s exactly what I’m not.
Let me introduce myself properly.
I am my parents’ child.
My parents are a driving force in my ambition to make this world a better place. My dream of pioneering my own Ed-Tech start-up first began at my kitchen table, where my parents – an educational strategist and a high-tech executive – would share stories about their work.
My dad, a farmer turned president of a $2B market cap tech company, showed me that determination succeeds in any environment, from the fields to the boardroom. My mom, an education innovator and social justice advocate, impressed upon me the importance of proper and equal education for all. My parents showed me that a profession is more than advancing just yourself or your family – it’s about advancing society.
I am determined to reach and exceed my parents’ achievements, in my own way, by combining the passions born from my life’s biggest influences – education, technology and management.
I’m driven by the desire to use technology and open source principles to improve education in remote and rural areas around the world.
I am a global citizen.
Just before I entered first grade, my father was tapped by a former army commander to work in high tech in Boston. My view morphed from the rolling hills of our town to skyscrapers, the songs of birds replaced by honking taxis.
Two days after arriving in America, I found myself in a public classroom, without a single friend or a word of English to my name.
Feeling embarrassed and confused in class led me to spend my afternoons memorizing the ABC’s and scanning books in English. I forced my parents to give me English lessons every night when they returned home from work. After a year, I felt completely at home, and I even mentored new foreign arrivals, preparing them for what to expect at school and helping them to practice English.
We moved back to my town after six years in Boston, but the experience abroad was foundational. Rooting for the Celtics became as much a part of my anatomy as Brazilian asado – Boston added another layer to my identity.
Acclimating to a foreign culture at such a young age opened me in ways that have been essential to my personal and professional growth. Long afternoons of learning made me an independent learner – a skill I use often at work today, mastering new programming languages and conducting in-depth research at my employer’s innovation center.
Overcoming my language barrier at a young age taught me to be patient, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and instilled the value of mentorship. These insights helped me to become a highly cooperative person whom others feel they can trust.
I am a leader.
I first learned to lead as captain of my high school basketball team, leading my team to a national championship against all odds. We had less talent, less experience, and we were (on average) 4 centimeters shorter than our opponents. In the end, our teamwork and friendship prevailed. After winning the championship, I was invited to scrimmage with the national team. I insisted they allow my entire team come.
Becoming national champions showed me the value of persistence and never underestimating you own abilities, or the abilities of your team. This was especially instructive when serving as a paratrooper; I suffered a serious back injury from long treks with heavy equipment. My commanders presented me with two options: take a desk job, or sign an extra year beyond my mandatory service to attend Officers’ School and afterward lead an elite unit for special operations and technology development. Determined to make the most of my service in spite of my injury, I chose the latter.
Just like the basketball team I led, my first project as started as something of a lost cause: I was handed responsibility for developing a $2.8M thermal tracking device alongside a world-leading military contractor. The project was over a year behind schedule, manned by an exhausted, frustrated team.
I never doubted that we would reach the ambitious 8-month goal the army had set. I created a comprehensive Gantt to meet development, finance, logistics, and HR benchmarks. I worked hard toward creating cohesion between army and civilian team members.
When additional product features required more capital to develop, I used my nights off to create marketing campaigns that I pitched to higher-ranking officers – to countless colonels and even a brigadier general. I solicited private donations from dozens of international donors, tailoring each presentation to their cultural preferences and priorities. I raised $1M in capital, we met our deadline, and our unit became the go-to unit for product development and for special tech operations. After the release of the thermal tracking device, I led 7 additional projects with budgets totalling $4M.
I believe that Ed-Tech is the future.
Growing up in an immigrant community, I developed a close understanding of what it meant to live in a poor, remote part of a country. Teaching at-risk teenagers and elementary school orphans in Thailand brought meaning to my mother’s words, “Education is the distance between have and have-not.” Technology is the only way to shorten this distance.
I intend to leverage my technological skills, experience as an educator, and the business acumen I’ll acquire at Harvard to create Ed-Tech products to increase access to education through low-cost applications based on based on collaborative knowledge sharing and big data analytics.
My tech achievements thus far give me the confidence that I am ready to bring my own products to the public.
I developed a start-up company, an online platform for professional development and recruiting. I drew capital for entire project with nothing more than belief in my idea and very convincing power point presentations. Today, My company has thousands of users and is the main professional development platform for several multi-million-dollar tech firms.
Global change begins from local change, and my country is fertile testing-ground. After my MBA, and hopefully following success as a product manager with an Ed-Tech firm, I intend to pilot my own projects in my country’s periphery, targeting underserved populations.
Harvard is my calling.
More than being located in my beloved childhood hometown, Harvard Business School is the place that piqued my interest in management sciences. I had the opportunity to accompany my dad to HBS courses while he was studying with the Advanced Manager’s Program. Sitting in the AMP courses ignited my interest in case-studies (I ended up reading every study in my father’s folder!), and I enjoyed in-depth discussions with professors like Richard Vietor and Guhan Subramanian. I am fortunate to be able to continue my interaction with HBS through reading articles and case studies on the IBM learning portal.
Harvard is the quintessential learning experience. Through innovations in EdTech, I believe the Harvard standard can become a world-wide education standard.
I’m an adventurer, a risk taker, a challenge seeker. I’m an educator, a leader, an entrepreneur and a social innovator.
I’m not just my past, I am my future; and I’m about to embark on a new chapter of my life, with you, at Harvard.