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Nelson Mullins
5 months ago

A Guide to Setting SMART Goals for Your Career

In building a career path, intentional goal-setting is a must. Doing this helps you allocate your time and resources more efficiently to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. Otherwise, having no clear career roadmap may hinder you from getting the results you want and need. As challenging as it may seem, setting your goals can be easier if you follow a certain set of criteria or framework. With that, coming up with SMART goals can help you be one step closer to your success.

Defining and Setting SMART Goals

Why is setting goals important? How can this process help me succeed in my career?

Being able to set goals is part of a long-term plan for both your personal and professional development. This process helps you form habits, guides your focus, and sustains your drive to achieve things. More so, be conscious in setting your goals, as these will play a vital role in determining your career success. Hence, you have to be SMART about it.

What makes a SMART goal? How can I set one?

The SMART goals model is said to have been developed by Peter Drucker (1955) and G.T. Doran (1991).

For employees, managers, and organizations, SMART goal-setting allows them to create, track, and turn their objectives into results. The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. These represent how the process can help you create clear and trackable goals.

The role of a manager is crucial in helping employees set, understand, and accomplish their goals. However, you must have enough knowledge to set goals on your own. As we break down each of the SMART goals, heed and use this framework to help you level up your goal-setting!

Specific Goals

Avoid setting unclear goals as these can cause you to be unsure of how you must do your work. Hence, you’ll be far from reaching your goals. Instead, strive to come up with those that describe certain results you desire. Make them detailed and focused to help you better understand how you can achieve them.

Also, coming up with vague goals can hinder the increase in your productivity.

Now, what questions should you ask yourself to check if your goals are specific? Here are some of them:

Are my goals precise? What outcomes do we aim to achieve? What strategies should I follow?

Measurable Goals

Managers and employees must have a common grasp of the metrics used to check if the set goals are achieved. As an employee or team member, your goals must be aligned with key performance indicators (KPIs) set by the company or by your immediate leader. These KPIs help determine and measure an achievement or outcome relating to a percentage, a frequency, rate, or number.

Ultimately, doing this will let you carry out a stellar work performance and achieve your goals more efficiently. Further, ask yourself these:

Can I measure the success of my goals through quantity or quality? What criteria should I follow to track my goal achievement progress? How will I know if significant progress has occurred?

Attainable Goals

For a worthwhile goal-setting, your goals must be big enough to push yourself to strive hard. However, you still have to make sure they’re realistic for you. Consider a feasible path with a healthy balance of challenging yourself and your abilities.

With that, how can you ensure that your goals are attainable? Let these help you find out:

Are my goals doable given the time and resources I have? How can my manager or leader support me in achieving my goals? Does my goal allow me to challenge my ability?

Relevant Goals

Align your goals with your long-term plans both for your personal and professional success. Match them with your core values, as much as you can. This can help you avoid getting frustrated and instead maintain your motivation toward achieving your goals.

Also, make sure your goals align with your desired career path by reflecting on these questions:

Can my goal contribute to my personal growth? What does this goal mean to my team? How can it support the overall success of the business?

Time-Based Goals

Set deadlines or timeframes! You can break down your long-term goals into shorter intervals for them to be more manageable and easier to track.

Doing this also allows you to hold yourself accountable in measuring your goals regularly. To check if you have time-based goals, review these points:

In achieving the goals, is there an agreed date? Is the target date in line with the quality of the goal rather than just for the sake of it being attained? Is the timeline feasible?

Further, if you’re that someone who always wants to take things up a notch, then you may try to upgrade your SMART goals! Some authors have expanded the SMART goal-setting framework into SMARTER, to include Evaluated and Readjusted. True enough, you also have to make time to sit down, reflect, and assess if your set SMART goals are still in line with your desired career path. Likewise, if after gauging your set goals you find that it’s time to make new ones, you can readjust them to fit your revised career roadmap. #careeradvice #smartgoals #goalsetting

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