How to Set Goals for Career Development

Throughout the years I have worked with thousands of clients and students on developing careers that are meaningful, rewarding, and unique. One of the constants I have seen over and over in those that are most successful in their career development is the ability to set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that helps test a goal to make it more concrete and actionable. 

S – Specific. The more specific, the more successful your goals will be. If the goals is too broad or vague it will be difficult to act on.

M – Measurable. Goals need to be quantifiable so that you can see when you hit your target and celebrate your success!

A – Achievable. Ask yourself if the goal you are considering is within reach based on your current situation. Sometimes you will need to set goals that are small enough to get you to bigger goals you have for your future.

R – Realistic. Do you have the time, talent, and commitment it takes to reach your goal?

T – Time Framed. Is your goal something you can note on your calendar? If not, you may find a lack of motivation to get started achieving it.

By creating goals you can have a tremendous impact on where your career can take you. Whether you define career success as a corner office or the flexibility to spend time with your kids, goals help you figure out what you need to do to get there.  Assess your goals regularly to make sure they are aligned with your longer-term objectives. And test them against this SMART formula to start taking steps towards your career success today!

~Jennifer Youngblood, Faculty Co-op Coordinator

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