Why You Need to Research Yourself: Part Two

type writer "goals"

Part one of “Why You Need to Research Yourself” was aimed at helping you understand exactly who you are today; based on your core values, beliefs, and experiences. The next step is to know who you want to be in the future. The only way to get somewhere is to know where you’re going, and the only way to know where you’re going is by making a plan. So here in Part Two, we will help you develop that plan. 

Remember, the purpose of doing this introspective research is to help you better portray your personal knowledge, skills, and abilities to an interview panel. So the main question we will answer while developing this plan is, “What are my goals?”. 

What are my goals: Personal and Professional


Personal goals can encompass many different aspects of life. For most of us they revolve around some mixture of mental, physical, and spiritual health. These are a good place to start when trying to plan out the next 5, 10, or 20 years of our lives. However,  sometimes thinking about the future can lend itself to over-complicating the present, if we spend too much time playing the “what if game”. So, an easy way to keep goal setting simple is to base it around these three questions:

Where do you want to live?

What are you doing?

Who do you want to be with?

Don’t over-complicate life. Focus on the main components and strive to design your daily routines and habits in such a way that makes you happy. Set some goals that revolve around these questions and keep them in mind when approaching your next interview. Having the answers to these questions will give you clarity when the interview panel asks questions like “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”.


Although you’re currently an aspiring firefighter, it is still important to look toward the future and think about what goals you would like to achieve over the course of your career. This may be hard to do without much experience in the fire service, but if you get stuck there are definitely resources that can help you out. Talk to friends or family that you know who are current or former firefighters. Check out  firefighter pages on social media and Youtube that talk about goals in the fire service. Getting insider information will help lead you in the right direction of setting pertinent and attainable goals. Having these goals will give you more confidence during your interview when you’re asked:

Who do you want to be in the Fire Service?

How will you contribute to our department?

What rank do you see yourself at in 10 years?

Again, do your best to keep these goals simple, and focus on being true to yourself. Doing that will give you some realistic goals to set your sights on.

The Takeaway

Obviously your biggest focus right now is doing everything you can to get a job as a firefighter, and rightfully so. But don’t overlook the fact that one of the most valuable things you can do to prepare yourself to attain that job is to set some goals that will help align your efforts. The process of setting these goals will make you ask yourself questions that will help you uncover more of your values, traits, beliefs, and experiences that will aid you in developing complete interview answers for your next panel interview. Check out the Firefighter Interview Prep course for more guidance on goals, and take a look at some goal setting worksheets to assist you.