Career growth is the stage of career development that focuses on getting the most out of your job. In this stage you likely have a stable job with few barriers to success and are looking to find some meaning and purpose in your job. A great way to find purpose in anything you do is to set goals! In this article we will talk about how to set SMART goals to find fulfillment in your career.
What are SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym for goal setting. Here is what each letter means:
S - Specific: Goals that are too broad make it hard to know when you have accomplished them. For example, instead of setting a goal like “I want to engage more meaningfully with my coworkers,” try “I will have coffee once a week with one of my coworkers.”
M - Measurable: Goals that you can measure are also helpful for understanding when you have accomplished them. They are also helpful for tracking whether or not you are meeting them to know if you need to adjust them. For example, instead of saying, “I want to be a better leader,” try “I will complete leadership training within the next three months.”
A - Attainable: It is important to be realistic with your goals. As much as you may want to be the Executive Director of an organization by next year, that may not be an attainable goal. Instead, start with small steps like, “I will add 10 people to my LinkedIn network this week/month.”
R - Relevant: Goals that you set need to be relevant. It may be easy to set the goal of getting a training of some type, but if it is a training that does not apply to what you are currently doing or what you would like to do in the future, it may not be a helpful goal.
T - Timebound: As you may have noticed, all of the example goals so far have included time frames. When your goals have time frames that helps incentivize you to work on them, meaning that you are more likely to achieve the goals you set.
If you follow all these criteria you are on your way to setting effective career goals that can help you feel more fulfilled in your career.