“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk” ~ J.C. Penney
Set career goals. Write them down. According to research from Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University, individuals are 42 percent more likely to achieve their goals by writing them down. There is also a 78 percent increase in achievement when sharing weekly progress on goals with a friend.
Goal setting is one of those things I ask about when I have career conversations with people. It’s interesting, but I have found many people talk about their career wishes, but never actually set any goals. Routine career actions like getting a professional certification, taking a class or creating a LinkedIn account don’t have to take a lot of time. However, as simple as those actions might appear to be, without actually making it an actionable goal, it may never happen.
The SMART technique is simply a framework for thinking about your career goals. It doesn’t just apply to career planning and it certainly is not my original idea. You will see the SMART goals concept everywhere. SMART is actually an acronym where the meaning of the letters stay pretty consistent. Expect to see some slight variation in what each letter stands for depending on what you read.
Using the S.M.A.R.T. framework your career goals are supposed to be:
Specific (S), Measurable (M), Attainable (A), Relevant (R) and Timely (T)
Set your career goals, but at the same time, become comfortable changing, tweaking and modifying those goals as time goes by.