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When is the last time you sat down and created professional SMART performance goals for your work evaluation? If you find yourself feeling stuck, you’re not alone. Many professionals struggle with coming up with professional and personal goals for work. As a Career Coach I help professionals get promoted and gain salary increases through setting SMART work goals. I’m going to help you do the same. In this article I’m going to share examples of smart goals that you can use for your next performance evaluation. To start, I’m going to answer two of the most common questions that I hear from professionals interested in creating work goals.
“Why should I create professional goals?”
“How often should I make work goals?”
Your professional growth keeps you marketable. When you increase your knowledge, you can automatically expand your opportunities. Employers are always looking for candidates who can keep up with changing technology, programs, processes, and situations. If you’ve been job searching recently, you’ll notice that most postings focus on flexibility, adaptability, and specific program knowledge.
The majority of employers want (and expect) you to come into their organization ready to go on Day 1! Nowadays, most companies do not provide extensive training and job shadowing as a standard practice. This means, it is up to you to acquire the skills they are looking for.
Creating SMART professional goals for work can increase your chance for a promotion or salary increase. Your boss (and their boss) need to see that you’ve put in effort to become the best at your job. Hiring managers often say that they are looking for initiative and someone who is self-motivated. This is true, especially when it comes to hiring and promoting from within.
Finally, creating and tracking your professional goals will help keep you engaged and busy. When you have goals to reach, you always have something to do. If your company supports you in reaching your professional goals, it can save you money. Remember, your class, licenses, and conference fees can be paid for by your company.
You should be making your work goals annually AND quarterly. How? I recommend starting off with creating an annual list of SMART professional goals. Your annual list should include your “big picture” goals. From there you can work backwards to set quarterly goals. I’ll explain this in detail soon.
Absolutely! It is important that you are being fulfilled and growing in your personal life as well. When you enhance your personal traits, characteristics, and habits, you’ll find that it also impacts your professional life.
When it comes to setting personal goals, I recommend choosing areas that you consider your “weakness.” If you can’t come up with weaknesses on your own, ask people you trust and who know you well. You can reach out to family, friends, and even colleagues. Often, other people can point out weaknesses that you weren’t aware of.
If you’re still stumped on coming up with personal goals for work, keep reading. Below are a few examples that will enhance your performance at home and at work.
When it comes to setting performance goals for work evaluations, the options are endless. I want to remind you; your professional goals should be a reflection of your heart’s desires and your wildest dreams. Setting professional work goals is not a time to be shy, hold back, or be afraid. This is an opportunity to challenge yourself. You will grow, become better, and increase your marketability inside AND outside of your company.
I recommend setting “big picture” performance goals, then break them down into attainable goals. How? Let me give you an example. If you come up with 4 work goals for your annual evaluation, assign each goal to a specific quarter of the year. As you set up these goals, you also want to follow the SMART acronym. This means your professional work goals should be specific, achievable, timely, measurable, and realistic. Below, are my Top 5 work examples for work performance goals for evaluation.
If you find yourself facing pushback to your requests, make sure to focus on the outcomes and showcase how your development and growth will be a benefit to the company. The increased knowledge and resources you gain will benefit your current company long term. Just like with job searching, you have to remember that the outcome and benefit always needs to be explained to your employer.
I sincerely hope that you are in a work environment that encourages and supports your personal and professional work goals. As you are planning out your goals, keep in mind that your manager may have suggestions for you as well. If your goal is to move up within the company or to gain the necessary skills to leave, this is a time where self-advocacy is key. Share your goals for growth and tell your manager how they can support you.
If you are in a toxic work environment or work for a manager who is not supportive, it may be time to consider moving on. If you are currently in a toxic environment and looking for a confidence boost and strategies for leaving, check out my 5-star rated recorded webinar, Breakthrough to Break Free. Not sure if your work environment is considered toxic? Check out my recent article, Is My Workplace Toxic, Signs of a Toxic Workplace. If you are looking for tools to use throughout your job search, check out my library filled with training resources and free downloads.
Remember, you got this, and you deserve and can have an environment that allows you to thrive!
Cheers to your success!