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Examples of Career Ambition

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Career ambition means you have a desire to move from your current position to something else, preferably up the professional ladder. To succeed, you must make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. Anyone can wish for a promotion or dream of starting her own business one day, but ambitious people set specific goals, research the steps it will take to attain them and begin doing the work to get there. Learning how to set outcome and performance goals will help you achieve your long-term career ambitions.

Specific Positions

One of the most common examples of career ambition is wanting a specific job. For example, some people want to move from a staff position to a management position, while others want to advance from a mid-management position to an upper management one. This type of ambition becomes more specific as you spend time in the workforce and learn the responsibilities of different jobs. You might want a specific job within your company after you observe the people doing that work. Or you might want a particular title, such as marketing director or human resources manager, at any company that offers that position. An ambitious person will learn what it takes to get a specific position and begin building the skills and gaining the experience to obtain the job.

Increased Knowledge and Skills

As you set outcome goals, such as obtaining a specific position, you will learn which performance goals you need to set to attain your desired outcomes. For example, you might need to get certified in your field to hold a specific management position. You might need to perform and master a specific skill, such as sales, before you can become a sales manager. You will also need to develop leadership skills to manage staff successfully. Your career ambitions should include improving your skill set.

Peer Recognition

Another specific career ambition is to gain positive name recognition in your profession. This will help you attract more job offers as well as increased pay and job security. Your goals might include serving on a committee of a professional association, then working your way onto the board of directors. For many ambitious business people, obtaining the presidency of a trade association is a significant goal. You can increase your profile by writing articles for trade publications and websites and speaking at conferences. If your profession offers any awards, learn how to win them.

Owning a Business

Some people use their time in the workforce as a stepping stone to start their own businesses. They might start off working for another company to gain experience, skills, industry knowledge and contacts. In addition to skills and experience, you must have the ambition to develop a winning idea for a product or service, craft a good business plan, and obtain financing to help you launch your own business.


Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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