Chase your career goals in a smarter way

Aug 31 2012 - 1:25pm

In your career, if you don't commit to your goals and then have the discipline to act on them, you will obviously never achieve them. Simply put, if you have the commitment and discipline to act on your goals, you will achieve them. If you don't have the commitment and discipline, you will never achieve them.

The good news is, you can be on the right track to achieve your goals with the very next step you take.

To be effective, your goals -- and your objectives along the way -- should be SMARTER: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-specific, Evaluated and Redirected.

* Specific: For a goal to be effective, it must be specific. Broadly stated goals and objectives do not give enough focus or direction regarding what you really want to do. A specific goal should be able to identify exactly what you want to accomplish, what you want to do or where you want to be.

* Measurable: The outcome must be able to be measured. You must be able to know when the goal is achieved, and ideally, it should include milestone markers along the way. For example, if your goal is to become an attorney, you will need milestone markers such as achieving certain grades in high school and undergraduate work, applying for various law schools, getting accepted into a law school, achieving certain levels of performance in law school, graduating from law school and then passing the bar exam. Those milestone markers will help identify whether you are on track to achieve your goal.

* Attainable: Although this can be subjective, you must determine whether you can attain your goal. Believing you can achieve your goal is absolutely necessary. Most of us do not set goals high enough. Most of us can achieve more than we think we can. This entire topic will be discussed in a later column. Stay tuned.

* Relevant: If you are developing goals for your career or next job, they must be relevant to your desires and be something that matters to you, and to your family if you are married. If you are the breadwinner in the home, for example, your goal must allow you to meet the family budget and otherwise provide for the needs of your family.

* Time-specific: Your goal must include target dates and a specific time frame for each step.

* Evaluated: As you advance toward your goal, you must evaluate your progress along the way. This ensures that you are making progress and also heading in the right direction.

* Redirected: Depending on the results of your periodic evaluation of the direction you are going and the progress you are making, you may need to redirect what you do. Sometimes, you may even change your goal or change the steps you are taking.

Having SMARTER goals and objectives will help ensure you achieve them.

First and foremost, however, you will need to commit to your goals and have the discipline to act on them, which could be the very next step you take.

Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or

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