Have you heard of SMART Goals before?
Ah, the new year. A clean slate. A wide, open vista just waiting to be explored.
Ok enough of that. What is the best way to make the most of this marvelous opportunity? You need a plan. I need a plan. We all need a plan.
Maybe you have some career dreams this year. It is one thing to say, “I want to get promoted”. It is another thing altogether to put that wish into action.
In business, we learn about SMART goals. Goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Based. Including all these elements into your goal make the planning simple. It also makes achieving goals easier.
Julie is an accountant who wants more challenge this year. She is not exactly sure how to do this. Last year she submitted a few resumes but nothing happened. Now she is more frustrated than ever and more determined to get more challenge and earnings in her life.
Let’s help Julia by converting her wish into a career goal, “Get a new job”. We start by converting the wish into a SMART goal for this new year. Here is how it could sound:
Specific: I want to find a new job with more challenge as an accountant. I also want to earn more money. It could be a different job in my current company or a new job in a different company. The title is either Accountant or Senior Accountant. I want be more involved in month end reporting, analysis and process improvement.
Measurable: I will measure my progress based on the number and success of interactions with other people about opportunities. I will network both in my own company for a promotion and outside the company through LinkedIn and local financial networking groups. I will add 10 new LinkedIn connections per week. I will attend one networking event each month. I will actively seek out at least one new project from my boss related to analysis or process improvement.
Achievable: I will seek advice from Joe, the Controller, on how to navigate promotions in my own company and be sure the Talent team knows of my interests. I will get feedback on my resume and LinkedIn profile to be sure I am presenting myself in the best light for what I want.
Realistic: A more challenging role will keep me interested and stimulated in my career and I will earn more money. I have the skills and ability to achieve this new role.
Time-Based: I will have a new position either inside my current company or in a new company in six months. I will evaluate my progress every month and adjust my process to make this goal happen.
See the difference between saying, “I want a new job” and the detail included in Julie’s SMART goals? Even just writing down a goal makes a difference but this level of detailed goal setting is truly powerful.
By being this specific Julia can compare potential opportunities to her specific goals. She has something to do every week. She can measure progress and make adjustments if she does not make the progress she expects.
If you want more structure, check out this great article by Shawn Lim, “11 Effective Goal Setting Templates for You”.
What are you willing to do to get what you willing to do to get what you want? Put your dreams on paper in SMART goals and see the magic that can happen!