Many of us have that Career dream and an idea of our future self. Whether that is running our own company, working our way up the corporate ladder of a large business, leading a team or whether it is more about specialising in a niche area, becoming an expert within a field or having a ‘portfolio’ career. But some of us will never get there or never have the courage to take the first step.
To get to where we want to go we often need to set goals. These goals can be set for long or short-term targets, but as suggested by Edwin Locke in the 1960’s, these goals should be ‘SMART’. Locke believed that SMART goals should encompass all of the below factors, which should provide a major source of motivation and therefore means we are more likely to reach the desired target.
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-bound
Goal setting has been heavily researched and used throughout the last 60 years, not just within business, but also with top-level athletes, goal setting for weight loss and academic goals for children.
Goal setting is actually one of the most important skills taught to athletes to help them achieve optimal performance. Michael Jordan, the famous basketball player, wrote a book about his experience as an athlete with goal setting, “I Can’t Accept Not Trying: Michael Jordan on the Pursuit of Excellence” Jordan’s approach was to set small step by step goals throughout his career but with an ultimate goal in mind. he would always ensure his goals were manageable and realistic. He knew exactly where he wanted to go and was focused on getting there.
Watch out….Goal setting and maintenance takes time and perseverance. It takes getting used to ingraining them within our daily life and routine. We won’t always achieve our goals (we wouldn’t be human if we did!) which is why we need to ensure we are monitoring them, re-evaluating them and re-setting them. If we try to ensure they are SMART and are made up of both short or long-term goals then we should be on the right track.
Try it! Have clear, challenging but realistic goals within the SMART framework and commit yourself to achieving them. Re-evaluate your goals once a week to re-energise yourself for the week ahead! Set your goals for career transition and career success.