SMARTer goals for career success

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1 SMARTer goals for career success Goals are dreams with deadlines. Dottie Walters Let s revisit the findings from your PDP journey so far: PERSON circle you ve explored what you have to offer personally PROFESSION circle you ve considered your profession in terms of your current and future roles and how you evidence your experience and worth PLACE circle- you ve identified your network to help you seek and optimise career opportunities You will hopefully be in a position to answer the following questions: 1) What work do I find energising and challenging? 2) What outcomes does my employer seek (and value)? 3) How can I exploit the overlap, or create one? Don t limit yourself to your job description (focus on your future potential) or refuse to take on new responsibilities without a promotion or pay rise, but seek projects that move you closer to the main action (what s topical for your organisation / department /team right now?) when your visibility will be higher. This will keep your profile high and encourage your employer to think of you as an asset. Why set goals? For PDP purposes, you goals will be focused on developing your career. Goals are your target destination, and the Action Plans developed as part of the goal setting process are your map. Success psychologists say that 95% - 97% of the people in the world do NOT have written goals and fail, while 3-5% have written goals and succeed. One recent study conducted at Dominican University by Gail Matthews Ph.D compared the relative success of unwritten with written goals (149 international participants from a variety of backgrounds, professions, levels and sectors). The latter group were required to write action commitments and send weekly progress reports to a trusted friend/mentor this group achieved their goals nearly twice as often than those who simply thought about their goals. So, writing goals, making a commitment to achieve them and making yourself accountable are critical to successful outcomes. Goal setting helps you: Work out what you really want this is personal. You re the only one who knows what you really want, and it s often not what you think. Work out a plan of attack to help you achieve what you really want there is no point having a great goal if you don t know how to get there. Give you the motivation to put your plan into action since your goals will be personal and meaningful to you and based on what you really want, you will be motivated to achieve it. But you also need the right 'can-do' attitude! Keep track of where you are going by helping you focus on the 'big picture', to ensure you don t lose your direction it s easy to get distracted by life s little 1

2 obstacles, so goal setting will help you focus your time and energy in the right direction. Goals are well-defined targets that give you direction and motivation they are your road map to success (as defined by you), Now it s time to take some action and produce a career enhancement strategy that meets your specific needs. There are a variety of types of objectives that can be written, all can be done in the SMARTer format. * Process objectives o lets you know what you are doing and how you will do it; describes participants, interactions and activities * Impact objectives o lets you know what the long term implications of your programme/ activity will be; describes the longer term impact on your target audience or organization * Outcome objectives o lets you know how you will change attitudes, knowledge or behaviour (short term); describe the degree to which you expect this change * Personal objectives o personal development is an ideal application for SMARTer objectives. Often we see SMARTer objectives written for project management or business and performance management, however, SMARTer objectives are also a valuable formula within which to set and measure your individual performance ourside of work. SMARTer - Specific Specific means that the objective is concrete, detailed, focused and well defined. The objective must be straight forwards and emphasize action and the required outcome. Specific also means that it s results and action-orientated. Objectives need to be straightforward and to communicate what you would like to see happen. To help set specific objectives it helps to ask: * WHAT am I going to do? This are best written using strong, action verbs such as conduct, develop, build, plan, execute, etc. This helps your objective to be actionorientated and focuses on what s most important. * WHY is this important for me to do? * WHO is going to do what? Who else need to be involved? * WHEN do I want this to be completed? * HOW am I going to do this? * What exactly are we going to do, with or for whom? * What strategies will be used? * Is the objective well understood? * Is the objective described with action verbs? * Is it clear who is involved? * Is it clear where this will happen? 2

3 * Is it clear what needs to happen? * Is the outcome clear? * Will this objective lead to the desired results? SMARTer - Measurable If the objective is measurable, it means that the measurement source is identified and we are able to track the actions as we progress towards the objective. Measurement is the standard used for comparison. For example, what financially independence means to one person, may be totally different compared to what is means for another. If you cannot measure it.. you cannot manage it It s important to have measures that will encourage and motivate you on the way as you see the change occurring, this may require interim measures. Measurements (and the visible progress) go along way to help us to know when we have achieved our objective. * How will I know that the change has occurred? * Can these measurements be obtained? SMARTer - Achievable Objectives need to be achievable, if the objective is too far in the future, you ll find it difficult to keep motivated and to strive to attain it. Objectives, unlike your aspirations and visions, need to be achievable to keep you motivated. Objectives need to stretch you, but not so far that you become frustrated and lose motivation. * Can we get it done in the proposed timeframe? * Do I understand the limitations and constraints? * Can we do this with the resources we have? * Has anyone else done this successfully? * Is this possible? SMARTer - Realistic Objectives that are achievable, may not be realistic.. however, realistic does not mean easy. Realistic means that you have the resources to get it done. 3

4 The achievement of an objective requires resources, such as, skills, money, equipment, etc. to the task required to achieve the objective. Whilst keeping objectives realistic, ensure that they stretch you. Most objectives are achievable but, may require a change in your priorities to make them happen. * Do you have the resources available to achieve this objective? * Do I need to revisit priorities in my life to make this happen? * Is it possible to achieve this objective? SMARTer Time Time-bound means setting a deadline for the achievement of the objective. Deadlines need to be both achievable and realistic. If you don t set a time you will reduce the motivation and urgency required to execute the tasks. Agreed Time frames create the necessary urgency and prompts action. * When will this objective be accomplished? * Is there a stated deadline? SMARTer - Evaluated If you don t appraise your goal or objective, how do you know the extent to which it has been met? The feedback you get through evaluating your actions will be critical to your success. SMARTer - Reviewed If you don t review and reassess through reflection, then you can t adjust your approach or behaviour to reach your desired outcome. Verbs to use in writing SMART-er objectives * Activate address adjust analyze apply arrange assemble assess assist associate * Balance breakdown build * Calculate categorize center change charge check choose cite classify clean close combine compare complete compute conduct connect construct contrast convert copy count create critique * Define describe design detect determine develop diagram differentiate disassemble discharge disconnect display distinguish * Enumerate estimate evaluate examine, execute, explain 4

5 * File fill form formulate * Grasp group * Identify illustrate indicate inspect install interpret * Label lift list listen locate make manage manipulate measure modify * Name * Order organize outline * Perform plan predict prepare prescribe produce proof purchase * Quote * Recall recite record reiterate repeat reply reproduce respond restate * Select serve solve specify * Tabulate tell test trace transcribe transfer troubleshoot use * Validate verify * Write Sample objective statements Create a detailed networking map to use in my search for internal opportunities. This will be beneficial because I will potentially identify other teams where my skills and strengths could be better utilised and recognised. I will start next Monday and record who I speak to, when I spoke to them and what we discussed and follow up actions to review the following week. I will continue until I have explored all parts of the company (approximately 3 months) and then take my ideas to my next career discussion meeting with my manager. 5

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