How To Effectively Talk To Your Boss About Your Career Goals

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In order to have a productive discussion with your boss about career growth, it’s important for you to prepare ahead of time and think about some key points. You want to be in full control of your career path, and the best way to do that is to approach your manager with confidence and conviction about your career growth goals.


To prepare for the discussion, start by answering some basic questions about yourself and your career.

Key career questions you should ask yourself

What is your personal branding statement in relation to your career?

This answer should focus on what you hope to achieve in your career.

What are your values?

This answer should include your top five values ​​in life. The key to answering this question is to make sure your career goals align with your current values. For example, if you value innovation, it influences your career choices and goals.

What are your motivations?

This answer includes examples of what motivates you. Is it a fast-paced job with short deadlines? Is it structured work or flexible work? As with your values, you want to make sure your career goals align with your motivations.

Deeper career questions to ask yourself

A businessman is thinking about career goals on a laptop while preparing for a meeting with his boss

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What is your short-term career goal?

This answer should be about where you see yourself in the next 12 months. If you want to be in a new assignment, you should specify that, as well as what that assignment might be. If you would like to remain in your current role but perhaps take on additional responsibilities, please include that information in your answer to this question.

What is your long-term career goal?

This answer highlights the ultimate goal of your career growth. Some people don’t know what this is, but if you do, it’s important to share with your manager. This helps you tailor your career plan to meet your ultimate career goals.

Questions for career growth planning

A manager/boss talks to an employee about his career goals

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What are your strengths?

This answer focuses on your current strengths that you can use as you grow in your career.

What are your areas of development?

This is about the areas where you need to grow so that you can achieve your career goal.

What are you willing to do in the next 12 months to achieve your career goal(s)?

This answer should focus on some specific, tactical items (SMART goals) that you can work on over the next 12 months. Consider this your action plan to reach your goal.

After preparing for a career discussion with your supervisor

A confident professional, ready to move forward after an important career discussion with a manager

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Once you’ve answered these questions and feel comfortable with your answers, it’s time to share this information with your manager. Ask your manager for feedback on your career growth goals and whether they think they are reasonable and achievable.

Ask for their feedback on your strengths and areas for development, and ask for their support for your action plan. This will help your ability to achieve your goals.

By taking the time to answer these questions and prepare for your career discussion, it will be a much more productive and hopefully more engaging discussion for both you and your manager.

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This article was originally published on an earlier date.

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