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Exercise: Seeting up goals

This part aims to get you to begin thinking about what you want and wish in the future. You can begin by dreaming big and thinking in terms of a vision and then trying to create concrete targets and sub-targets so that you see how you can get to where you want to be.

The recruiter asks

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

With such a question, the recruiter can be looking for several things. In part, they want to see how you think about your career development, how important it is for you to plan or what dreams and goals you have. It can also be a way to get a picture of what areas interest you in particular and how your motivation and driving forces work. In the exercises below, you can get help with both visionary thinking and setting concrete targets.


Step 1

In this first step we are going to formulate a final goal. 

To dream freely and to use our imagination is one of our strongest abilities as a human. What you can dream and see in front of you can become true.

Happy Birthday!

It is your birthday! In addition, you have reached the amazing age of 100 years! Your family is with you to celebrate with cake and champagne. Look at your family and the things you have around you, and think about your life:

What have you done during your 100 years?

Is there anything that you are missing, an opportunity that you said no to?

What have been the most important things in your life and do you feel that your life has been meaningful for you?

Where are you?

What do you see around you?

Write and/or draw what you see.

Try to formulate something about your Final goal or vision, a nearby concrete professional target or dream career. You can also go back to the exercise My life line, if you have done it before hand, and see what you wrote for future dreams.

Step 2

Write down your final goals to the right. Create your sub-targets in the middle columns. Make sure that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Write what you have achieved and when, etc. You can start either with subtarget 1 or sub-target 3, sometimes it is easier to start thinking about what you need to have achieved right before you reach your final goal.

A picture with four columns. To the right you have a column for your final goals and then you have 3 columns to your left for each sub-target.

Reflect on

Did you know that?

If I feel that somebody else is controlling me and setting out my path, that it does not come from me, from my driving forces and motivation; instead of working towards the goal, I do the exact opposite.

This is called Psychological reactance, a term coined by Berge and Repål.

Now, it is hopefully easier to see what steps you can begin taking to get closer to your goals and visions. It is the actions and the sub-targets, one at a time, that lead you forward - e.g. a phone call, a meeting, own research. Dare to believe that you can succeed! Who is your role model, who supports you? Get help from them!

Now, you have considered the recruiter’s question and done the exercises. Take a moment to finish this step by reflecting over the following question: What could I already do today to take a first step towards my goal?