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How to set smart career goals for professional success?

May 11, 2018 15:39 IST
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How to set smart career goals for professional success
How to set smart career goals for professional success

What you want to achieve this year? Are you clear about what kind of preparations, plans, and strategies are required for achieving your set goals? Success requires proper planning, hard work and time management. Without these traits, you may lack focus and direction. And, once you lose focus, it would be difficult for you to get back in the right direction, and hence achieve the set goals. You can’t overlook the importance of goal setting as it’s important for laying a solid foundation of your career path. So, be careful and follow these tips while setting goals for success at work.   

Set goals that can keep you motivated    

It’s important that your goals motivate you when you set them. For it, you need to ensure that your goals are important to you, and that there is benefit in achieving them. If you lack interest in the outcome, or they don’t give you any benefit, you might lose in the work required to be accomplished for success. Motivation is the driving force behind success. So, set goals according to the priorities in your life. Without it, you can’t stay focused towards your goals. To achieve goals, you require commitment, which is possible only if you feel a sense of urgency, and adopt an “I must do this” attitude.     

Ask yourself why it’s important for you?

If you want to set a goal that can keep you motivated all along your professional life, ask yourself why it’s valuable and important to you; and write down the answer on a paper. It would help you to not only convince others, but also to gain the lost confidence in your abilities.  

Be specific while setting your goal

You must be clear about your goal, and the objectives which you need to set for success. Any confusion regarding goals and the objectives might lead you in the wrong direction. Always keep it in your mind that your goals need to show you the right way to success. If it doesn’t, then you should rethink on your goals. So, be specific and precise while defining and setting your objectives. 

Goals should be measurable

In order to measure your success, first decide the amount of work to be done and then set the deadline to complete them.  Suppose, you want to reduce expenses as your goal but don’t know how you can measure your success. In this case, the best way to measure success and judge performance is quantifying the reduced expense, reduction rate, and the taken time. Without it, you can’t figure out what more steps you require to achieve success. 

Set attainable goals

Don’t be unrealistic and irrational while deciding your future goals. But, ensure that the goals you set for yourself is achievable and realistic. Never set unrealistic and unachievable goals for yourself because it could demoralize you when you fail to achieve them.                           

Set relevant goals

Your goals should be in line with the direction you want your life and career to take. By ensuring your goals are aligned with this, you can easily develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. So, keep your goals and objectives aligned with the direction in which you want your life to go while setting your goals.

Set time bound goals

There should also be a deadline for the goals to achieve. If there not deadline, you may fail to know when you can celebrate your success. Moreover, the deadline for achieving a goal increases a sense of urgency, and take to the success that much quicker. So, set a deadline for yourself to achieve your goals while deciding your goals.        

Write down your goals

Don’t keep your goals only in your mind but try to write them down on a paper. It’ll help you to stay focused on your goals by keep reminding you. When you write, try to use the words “Will” instead of “would like to” or “Might.” For example, “I’ll reduce my expenses by 20 percent,” not “I might reduce my expenses by 20 percent.” In the first goal statement, you can feel the strength and determination required for reducing the expenses while the second lacks passion and gives an excuse if you lose determination or strength.

Set objectives

Without setting objective or sub-goal, the lifelong goal can’t be achieved.  For achieving them, you need to set and achieve the small objectives which are part of a major goal, and a specific milestone which one needs achieve in limited period of time. The achievement of goal depends on the accomplishment or achievement of the objectives one sets as a milestone for the measurement of the success. Your objectives should always be precise, measurable, and time-based, and must be assisting in the achievement of the goals. So, prepare a To-Do list which has your goal at the tops of it.

Prepare an action-plan

Most of the professionals forget to prepare an action-plan while setting goals. They get so focused on the outcome, instead of focusing on the strategies and plans to achieve their goals. Due to which they ultimately fail to achieve their goals. To ensure your success, you must be ready to face and overcome challenges and problems while taking right step. For which you need to prepare an action plan and stick with it.

The ability to set and systematically achieve the goals is the most powerful way to achieve the success at work. But to attain that, your goals should be specific, relevant, measurable, attainable, and time-bound. In this article, we have explained how you can set smart goals to achieve your professional success.

DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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