Many people feel stressed about their careers and jobs. Point is, your work life will not always be great. Often, you will find yourself in a job that doesn’t fulfil you. Maybe you feel far removed from your comfort zone. Maybe you feel your real skills aren’t being utilised. Maybe you feel undervalued. It takes no time for a person to get demotivated, and lose the zest they once had.
You begin to work like a robot—waking up each morning, completing the tasks assigned to you, and ending the day, knowing the next one is going to feel exactly the same way. In this mechanical existence, you may be getting the job done, but are you truly focussing on your career? Do you even have a career checklist for 2022 yet? Your career goes beyond your current job, the current project you are working on and the current stressors in your life. It is the trajectory that can very well predict how well off you will be, in your future.
Whether you feel motivated right now or are struggling to find enthusiasm in yourself, your career will thank you if you approach it with smart goals. And by smart, I mean SMART! It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
According to a 2010 study on Goal Setting And Action Planning For Behavioural Change, published in the American Journal Of Lifestyle Medicine, SMART goals “help individuals focus their wants and intents and define a standard by which success can be judged.”
Here’s a checklist of things you need to ask yourself to make SMART goals in 2022.
To make a specific goal, it should answer your basic questions. Say, for instance, you are seeking growth in your current organisation. Now break it down into multiple specific goals that will help you achieve it. For example, you want to improve your deadline-meeting ability. Ask yourself the following questions.
· What is my goal?
· Who can have an impact on my success?
· By when do I need to achieve it?
· Why do I want to accomplish this?
· What is required of me, to accomplish my goal?
Your goals should be measurable, for you to be able to truly track your progress. To be able to analyse your progress, you have to define the indicators of your growth and goal achievement. Ask yourself the following questions:
· How much/how many?
· What defines progress?
· What defines goal fulfilment?
Say, for instance, your goal is to improve your deadline-meeting ability, what is the rate of success you are looking at? If you go on to complete three out of five tasks on time, is it progress for you? What defines goal fulfilment? It could be measured in terms of consistency—say you end up improving your task completion rate and sustain it over a pre-defined period of observation.
Yes, dreaming big is great but the trick isn’t to set the highest goals ever but to set goals you can actually achieve. Else, you may end up getting more demotivated than before. Ask yourself the following questions to know if your career goals are achievable.
· Do I have the required skills to achieve my goal? If not, how can I upskill?
· Do I have the required resources to achieve my goal? If not, is it fixable?
· Is it possible to achieve my goal in the time I decided on?
Make career goals that are attainable but do not feel discouraged due to a lack of skills or resources. Instead, focus on what you need to work on, to fix it.
What makes a career goal realistic? It means you know what you want, why you want and how you are going to achieve it. It means either having the resources or creating some and having the commitment it takes to fulfil your ambition.
Wanting to improve your timeliness can be a goal, but aiming for 100 per cent success may be unrealistic and too harsh on yourself.
Ask yourself the following questions:
· Is the goal accounting for flaws, human errors and situations beyond your control?
· Is the goal set in tandem with your capacity?
Without a time frame, even the most specific career goals can seem to be vague. Having time-bound goals will help you feel a sense of urgency and motivation. Ask yourself the following questions to clearly define the timelines of your goals in 2022.
Also Read: 7 Tips You Should Add To Your Finance Checklist For 2022