You may have heard of the term ‘SMART’ goals in business, but these can actually be used in order to help advance your career too. If you don’t set life goals, it is very easy to just carry on bumbling along without any real direction. You should always take the time to work out what you want to achieve in life, and make these things a priority within your everyday life. Let’s take a further look into what SMART goals are and how setting SMART goals can help advance your career.
What Are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym, and there are a couple of different variations on the meaning of the letters, depending on which website you look at. To ensure your goals are clear and reachable, they should be:
- Achievable (attainable)
- Realistic (relevant)
- Timely (time-bound)
By making sure that the goals you create are in line with this criteria will mean that you can really focus on achieving success. For example, if you ignore the timely part, you won’t be setting yourself a deadline so your goal could carry on for months! By having SMART goals you can really focus your efforts. If you are looking to embark on a leadership role, or become promoted within the organisation, SMART goals will help you to achieve these targets.
Creating SMART Goals
SMART goals are often used to help achieve business objectives or complete specific projects. Once the overarching goals are outlined for the project, it is important to set intermediate goals which are more specific. They will help to keep the project on track in order to reach the final deadline. Here is how you can use the SMART goal setting principles to help your career progression:
Try to make your goal clear and concise, rather than waffling on. The first things to ask yourself are what you want to achieve and why. Then consider where the goal is going to be accomplished – will you be able to achieve it during working hours, or will you need to spend time in the evenings working on it? Already you can see this is now leading to thinking about where you are going to schedule in time to complete the goal. If things are written down and scheduled in a diary they are much more likely to be achieved.
This is often a bit of a trickier one, as you need to be able to measure your progress towards the goal in order to stay on track with your deadline. Start off by breaking your goal down into measurable elements. Are there particular grades that you want to achieve? Do you want to complete the course by a certain date? Once you have the measurements in place you need to evidence them, otherwise it will be hard to see if you are staying on track.
Goals should be set that are challenging, but if something is completely unattainable then you will struggle and become demotivated. This is why intermediate measurements of success are important – if you consistently don’t reach the smaller goals, then you may want to reevaluate the main goal you are trying to achieve.
On the other hand, you should not choose a goal that is too easy as you need to be challenged. It is always a good idea to check that you have the resources available that you need to complete the goal before you get started too.
If your goal is achievable, it will be realistic too. The goal has to matter to you, and be worthwhile. By having objectives that lead up to you creating this goal, it will align with the overall purpose of your career path. You also need to think about time in this part – is your goal achievable within the time limit you are setting yourself?
This is probably the easiest part, setting yourself a deadline! This will prevent you from procrastinating and dragging out the goal more than is necessary. If you set a deadline that either isn’t realistic or flexible enough for your lifestyle, it is likely that you will fail your goal. Therefore don’t be too strict on yourself – keep the timeline realistic so that you can keep morale high.
Go & Set Your Goals!
Whilst the process of setting goals can seem a little time-consuming, it is always important to have the foundations in place. If you just start aimlessly creating goals, you probably won’t end up achieving anything. Give yourself that roadmap to success in order to move onto the next stage in your career.
If you would like to know about the courses that we offer here at Brooks and Kirk and how they can help to advance your career, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.