People set career goals to maintain motivation, have something to look forward to and achieve success. Effective career goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. model. That is, they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and have a time line. Using a combination of 10 short-term and long-term career goals, you can get on the right track to your end goal -- fulfillment in your career.
1. To Increase Performance Metrics
A variety of industries, such as call centers, utilities and retail industries, use performance metrics to determine an employee's productivity and overall effectiveness. Metrics numerically measure customer satisfaction, organizational performance, employee competence and cost management. Employers generally measure metrics daily or weekly. High marks on performance metrics set employees apart and show their value to an organization, particularly when a large number of employees has limited personal interaction with upper management. Increasing performance metrics within one month is an effective short-term goal.
2. To Increase Performance Review Marks
Performance reviews are evaluations organizations perform to determine an employee's performance over a longer period of time, such as quarterly, biannually or annually. Employees often receive a grade in the form of a number or a letter. Employers use performance reviews to determine whom to promote, demote, terminate, transfer or give a raise to. Obtaining the highest mark on a performance review within one year is an ideal goal that will help an employee succeed.
3. To Earn a Promotion
Career goals involving a promotion require careful planning and execution. The employee must determine a timeline and may need to complete additional steps, such as completing additional work tasks, developing a working relationship with other department members and updating a resume. The additional tasks the employee must complete prior to earning a promotion are short-term goals, and the promotion is a long-term goal.
4. To Earn a Management or Executive Position
Depending on the employee's current position, the timeline for this goal may range from six months to 10 years. The employee should set a series of short-term goals to achieve to become qualified and subsequently complete the application and interview process.
5. To Start Your Own Business or Practice
Whether people associate owning a business with success or they just want to be their own boss, many desire to own one. In a poll of 18- to 34-year-olds, the Kauffman Foundation found that 54 percent either wanted to start a business or had already started one. This is another goal that requires a timeline and following a series of short-term goals, such as obtaining financing and developing a business plan.
6. To Increase Sales
For entrepreneurs who own a business, increasing sales of their product or service will help bring in more money. Depending on the nature of the business, the entrepreneur may take simple measures, such as passing out fliers, or may have to develop a strategic marketing plan. Either way, all entrepreneurs should develop a timeline and a realistic amount by which they'd like to increase sales.
7. To Cut Costs
Cutting costs is another method of increasing profitability for entrepreneurs. To achieve this goal, the entrepreneur may find a different supplier or decrease portions. As with increasing sales, the entrepreneur should determine a realistic number and a timeline.
8. To Obtain Employment
For some people, finding career success means getting a career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of July 2013, the unemployment rate in America was 7.4 percent. To find employment, a job-seeker may have to complete short-term goals, such as visiting a career counselor, perfecting a resume or obtaining three interviews within one month.
9. To Earn a Degree or Certification
Earning a degree or certification helps job-seekers, entrepreneurs and employees. Education proves that a person has a specific knowledge base and assists in career endeavors. As education level rises, the unemployment rate decreases and earnings increase. For instance, as of 2012, those who held less than a high school diploma had a 12.4 percent unemployment rate and median weekly earnings of $471, while those who had a bachelor's degree had a 4.5 percent unemployment rate and median weekly earnings of $1,066, according to the BLS.
10. To Obtain Ideal Employment or Employment in Your Preferred Field
Many people work in a different industry than their field of study. Some take a temporary job until they can find something better. According to the Senate Republican Policy Committee, as of January 2013, 8 million Americans worked part time but wanted to work full time. Even if you have a job, set a timeline indicating how long you'd like to work in your current job before finding a better career.
- Community College of Rhode Island: Sample Strategies to Reach a Career Goal
- Forbes: How to Pick and Stick to Career Goals
- BLS: The Employment Situtation July 2013
- Senate Republican Policy Commitee: January 2013 Unemployment Report
- University of California Approach: Metrics
- New Media Learning: Performance Evaluations More Important Than Ever in 2011
- Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation: An Entrepreneurial Generation of 18- to 34-Year-Olds Wants to Start Companies When Economy Rebounds, According to New Poll
- BLS: Employment Projections
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