Life can be overwhelming when you know where you want to be in your career, but everything else gets in the way. SMART goals can help you break down your dreams into manageable chunks. Whether setting career goals or personal growth goals, setting SMART goals is the key to success. Here at Start Me Up Niagara’s, Work Action Centre, we can help you define your career goals using SMART goals.
What Does the S.M.A.R.T. Acronym Stand For?
S – Specific
When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to happen. Think about this as the mission statement for your plan. It should include an answer to the popular ‘wh-’ questions:
Who – Consider who needs to be involved in achieving the goal. Be as detailed as you can.
When – Set an approximate time frame; this will be adjusted later.
Where – This question may not always apply, especially if you’re setting personal goals, but if there’s a location or relevant event, identify it here. Ex. If you are looking for a job, where would you prefer to work, where would you not like to work.
Which – Determine any related obstacles or requirements. This question can be beneficial in deciding if your goal is realistic. For example, suppose you have never baked but want to run a cupcake business. In that case, you may refine the specifics of the goal to be “Learn how to bake to open a baking business.
Why – What is the reason for the goal? Personal, career, etc.
M – Measurable
What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? Months? Ability to bake a cupcake? This provides a way to measure progress. If it’s a project that will take a few months to complete, set some milestones by considering specific tasks.
A – Achievable
This focuses on how important a goal is to you and what you can do to attain it. This may mean learning new skills and changing attitudes. Think about how to accomplish the goal and if you have the tools/skills needed. If you don’t currently possess those tools/skills, consider what it would take to get them.
R – Relevant
Relevance refers to focusing on something that makes sense with the broader business goals. How important is this goal to your overall success? What needs to change to meet your overall goal? Ex. Suppose you know how to make cupcakes now but want to branch into selling birdhouses. Is this relevant to your general baking business?
T – Time-Bound
Giving yourself a timeline allows you to measure your progress towards your goal. Providing a target date for meeting your tasks is part of meeting your big goal. Ask specific questions about the goal deadline and what can be accomplished within that period. If the goal will take three months to complete, defining what should be achieved halfway through the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.
The Next Step
Start Me Up Niagara’s Work Action Centre is dedicated to helping you reach your employment SMART goals. If you are interested in growing your own small business or exploring new career options, reach out to us today for more information on how we can help at 289-438-3939. Check out our Facebook page for more employment tips.
If you have any topics you'd like us to cover, or have questions for our Employment Case Managers, don't hesitate to send us a message via firstname.lastname@example.org
Based on writing by Kate Eby from SmartSheet and concepts by George T. Doran of the Washington Water Power Company.