An important part of the job search process that is often overlooked, is goal-setting.

Goal-setting is a skill we are taught early in our academic careers. We set goals for what we plan to achieve academically and how these goals will eventually lead us onto our career path. In reality, the very first step in your job search process should be to set your goals.

If you are unsure of where you want to go, how will you ever determine how to get there?

We have determined the four most important goals that you need to set right now. These goals will ensure that your job search strategy is equipped with a step-by-step plan to achieve success.

Goal #1 – Determine your dream job

You don’t need to know the precise title of your dream job, you just need to have a basic idea of where you want to end up in 30 years. For example, you may decide your dream job is to work in finance.

You may end up as a Senior Manager or you may end up as the Chief Operations Officer. Those are details that you can figure out later – the basics will do for now.

Goal #2 – Outline your academic requirements

In some instances, you may have already completed the basic academic requirements for a role.

Review job postings for your dream job. Understandably you are not qualified to apply for your dream job just yet, but you need to know what requirements you will need (specifically in the academic arena).

Will you need to pursue post-graduate studies? Is a college diploma enough or will you have to return to school for an undergraduate degree? These are questions you need to answer immediately, because going back to school is a huge undertaking that will take years to complete.

For those of you who have satisfied all academic requirements, take a look at the systems and program knowledge that will be required in your dream role.

Enroll in courses to gain skills in those areas so that you are prepared. Will you end up in a leadership role? Think about taking a course on Management. The options for continuous professional development are endless.

Goal #3 – Get into your field

You will have to start from the bottom, and the first step will be to get into your field. If your dream job is to become a teacher, you may have to begin as a tutor, camp coordinator, or montessori teacher.

Due to the fact that teaching can be a highly competitive industry, you can get your start in a related industry to build up your experience. You will still be practicing your profession within your field, but you will be one stepping stone away from your ideal industry.

Goal #4 - Get into your industry

It's time for the last stepping stone to get onto your career path. Now that you've achieved the necessary academic requirements and built up your experience in the field, you can aggressively pursue your industry.

This is where your job search strategy will come into play as you will need to refine your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and interviewing skills in order to be successful.

Once you've obtained a position within your field and industry, the work doesn't end. You won't get your dream job just yet.

Now it is on you to display endless hard work and commitment to the company in order to receive promotion after promotion. Though it won't come easily, your dream job will be the ultimate reward.

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