Personal, Workplace and Career Goal Setting
Why have goals or objectives? What about personal goals? What about career goals?
How do you set yourself a goal?
Personal, work or career goals are important and should be seen as a valuable part of your life skills. If you haven’t set yourself any goals, it is time to do so now. What do you want to achieve over the next three years in terms of your career, your studies and your personal life?
Your goal may be as simple as “to improve your attendance on the job”. An objective for this goal might be “to arrive at work 5 minutes early every day. This gives you something to assess (measure) your goal with, to check if you are attaining that goal.
Alternatively that goal might be to achieve a career change within say five years. In this case, you would work out the direction you wish to take, the skills required to achieve that goal and then set in place the additional training required. Your goal would be measured by your achievement of that career change within the stipulated time frame.
For a team to function effectively they need to be aware of:
- The vision of the organization and its ultimate corporate goals.
- Exactly what their individual team goals are.
- How the team’s goals are devised from company goals.
- How their achievement will contribute to the realization of the overall company vision and goals.
- Where they fit in the overall structure of the organization.
Why do individuals set career goals? They do it to maintain motivation, have something to look forward to and achieve success. Effective career goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. model. That is, they are specific, measurable, achievable and realistic and have a time line. Using a combination of 10 short-term and long-term career goals, you can get on the right track to your end goal — fulfillment in your career.
When you create a goal and then set in place strategies to achieve it, you will be much more likely to achieve those goals. To set goals for your career, establish where you want to be in say 5 or 10 years’ time. How do you go about this? Well, firstly you need to get clear in your own mind exactly what you want. The first step then is to establish what career goals you wish to make. A reliable tool in assisting in this process is a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) as it helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses, identify opportunities and any threats that you face. Once you have established the direction you wish to take, the next is to establish the steps needed to achieve this. This could include further training and development, some volunteer work within the industry or role you have in mind and networking. Create an action plan where each goal is followed by a number of action steps to help you achieve your desired career goal.
How are goals achieved in your personal and professional life?
This is achieved by understanding of the following:
- To define and be clear what has to be done to achieve desired outcomes.
- To compare actual outcomes with what was planned and predicted.
This leads to a clearer understanding of just how successful you have been and to decisions about early corrective action and the need for new learning.
- To focus the whole organization or team in the same direction.
Naturally the more the whole team is involved in setting their objectives the more they will be committed to achieving them.
- Participate in identifying team goals and determining tasks necessary to achieve them.
- Participate in allocation of responsibilities to team members to ensure designated team goals are met within agreed timelines.
- Complete agreed tasks to meet team goals and objectives.
There are six clear aspects of goal setting and they are:
- Small – Make goals manageable, both in terms of time and what you are going to do.
- Specific – Goals should be definite and detailed – something you can visualise yourself doing.
- Reasonable – Each goal should make sense. You should be able to see value in doing it.
- Positive – Decide what you will do rather than what you will not do.
- Repetition – Choose goal behavior you will be able to work at often.
- Independent – Try and set goals which are not dependent on the behavior of another person.
If you haven’t set yourself goals, now is the time to do so.