How to set yourself career goals?


Business Coaching-How to set yourself career goals
Graphics by Mohamed Hassan Pixabay

In previous posts, we discussed the topic of a clear direction for professional development. Today, while continuing to look at this issue, we will try to answer the question "How to set career goals?"


It seems like an obvious piece of advice to think about what you want to achieve. The key, however, is to approach these considerations wisely. When setting career goals, the so-called SMART method is often used.


Determining the direction of development using the SMART method

This name is an acronym for five trait words that should define your intentions:


  1. Specific, that is, clearly defined, specific, concrete. For example, if you want to be successful, define as precisely as possible what this "success" actually means to you.

  2. Measurable. It is important to establish specific metrics against which you will measure your progress towards your goal. Thanks to this, you will also know when you have achieved your goal.

  3. Achievable (and sometimes additionally "Attractive"). In short, it could be said that the ideal goal should be attractive and appealing to you, but attractive enough to be achievable for you. Are you sure you want to fulfill your mission? Or maybe you just think that you should develop in this direction? Are you ready to make the right efforts and meet an attractive but not easy challenge? The motivation to make you meet your assumptions is key. It will play an important role, especially in the more difficult moments that will surely arise on the way to the goal.

  4. Realistic. Is what you would like to achieve in the first instinct feasible? Are there any insurmountable barriers that will prevent you from achieving your goal? Here it is especially important to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. "R" can sometimes mean "Relevant" - the goal is to have a specific value for you and relate to things that are important to you at the moment.

  5. Timely, that is, defined in time. Setting a time frame will increase your motivation to pursue your goals. Set yourself a kind of "deadline". Just remember that it should be a source of positive motivation, not stress. You're doing it for yourself!


Sometimes the SMART method is extended to SMARTER. The extra two letters refer to the words:


  • Evaluated, that is, possible to be assessed on an ongoing basis. This is a very useful feature that allows you to easily see how well you are implementing your plan to achieve your goal.

  • Recorded, that is, written down. Best handwritten on a piece of paper. Not in electronic form. It really makes a big difference. It is a strong commitment to yourself and has a positive effect on motivation to achieve your goal.


The SMART method is derived from management science but is universal in nature. It can be successfully used to solve problems not only related to a professional career but also private life.



See also:

Why do we need professional goals?

What is a professional goal?


New Year resolutions for busy people Loyalty at work. Corporate life Imposter syndrome Sunday depression