Setting out to study something that your parents decided for you or acting rashly and applying for a college you don’t like can have devastating consequences for your future.

You might end up studying something you don’t like for years to come, only to realize that you need further education in order to work in a field you want. But how can you avoid that and use this free time for setting proper career goals that can help you decide what to do and what not to do during your studies?

Realistic goal setting

The hardest part of setting up your career goals is the realistic situation you find yourself in. Are you a single child? Do you live in a small town or in a huge city with many opportunities? What does the local job market lack and what experts are sought after?

These questions are the ones we keep avoiding the most because they are usually not what we want to hear. Setting career goals based on the realistic nature of your situation is the most selfless and adult thing you can do, if not the most satisfying. Even though you will put yourself second, you will do the right thing by your family and friends.

Using the SMART system

Setting goals without concrete plans or deadlines seems like a waste of time. It’s important to use a system that can help you along the way of educating yourself and gathering enough relevant experience to find a job in your desired field tomorrow. One of the most popular goal-setting systems is the SMART goals system and it can do wonders for your personal and professional development:

S – Specific: Your goal is concrete and set in stone, objectively achievable.

M – Measurable: You can easily see how much progress you have made from A to B.

A – Action-oriented: Your goal is made up of actions that you can take in order to progress forward.

R – Relevant: Your goal is relevant to your situation and career development.

T – Time-bound: Your goal has a specific deadline that you have to abide by.

Using such a system in conjunction with your career goals and plans can have huge impact on the way you develop as a person. Not to mention that it will help you know exactly where you are and how much you have left in order to achieve your career goals.

Being positive

Believe it or not, someone will always make you feel bad. People can always find a way to tell you that you are not doing something right. Even if you are ambitious and full of energy, a jealous neighbor or an insecure friend might tell you that your goals are stupid and that you should stop working on them.

Staying positive is one of the hardest parts of achieving a career success. Believing in yourself when so many people will find a way to make you feel bad is one of the toughest jobs you will have while achieving your career success.

Experience and practice

The best way to find out what you want to do in your life is by experiencing as much as possible. You can take up a number of volunteering and community service tasks that can help you decide what you like and what you don’t like doing. This can result in your resume getting a huge boost in the number of references and bullet points, both of which are necessary to develop a career down the line.

You can visit one of the top professional expert executive resume writing services if you need help putting all of your references on paper. Getting as much experience working in different fields before graduating is the best way of knowing what your career aspirations are.

Evaluating your goals

Keeping track of your goals is important if you want to set the right career path for yourself. Whatever plan you came up with is bound to change as your college progresses. You might even feel the urge to change your plans completely and opt for something new and exciting that you didn’t come up before.

Adjusting the course of your career goals is just as important as setting them in the first place. There is no point in completing a task if you feel bored and unsure about it halfway through. Make sure that you talk to a counselor or a professor before deciding to change career plans once the gears have been set in motion. While it can be hard to jump careers, it’s far better than working a job that you don’t like for the rest of your life.


As hard as it is to set career goals early, it can also be very beneficial down the line. Knowing where your life is headed and having a clear direction of where you are going is the best feeling you could have. The feeling of doing something useful and knowing it will pay off down the line is one of the many reasons why every college student should set their goals properly as soon as possible.