Setting SMART Goals for Career Success


Are you looking for a new way to turn your goals into reality? A useful tool for setting professional goals is the SMART acronym.  Whether you are looking for a new job, preparing for a practicum, or just want to keep your career on track, try writing SMART goals.

SMART goals are:

  • Specific: Provide a detailed description of what you plan to accomplish.
  • Measurable: Use numbers to quantify how many or how much.
  • Attainable: Set realistic, achievable expectations.
  • Relevant: Relate directly to what you plan to achieve.
  • Time-Specific: Include a deadline for completion.

Review these examples before writing down your SMART goals:

SMART Goal Example #1: Career Exploration

By the end of this month, I will research two career options in my field of interest using the following tools:

  • For each career option, I will determine the qualifications, employment outlook, opportunities, and salaries in my location using Career Services’ Career Exploration page.
  • I will research job titles related to my career options using Career Services’ Job and Internship Search page, and register on the two custom job search systems, iGrad Job Search and GoinGlobal.
  • I will review LinkedIn profiles of professionals who work in my field of interest to identify the training, skills, and experience I will need to be competitive, in addition to my degree.

SMART Goal Example #2: Informational Interviews

By the end of three months, I will conduct six informational interviews with professionals in my field of interest to “get the inside scoop” on my selected career options. When meeting with professionals remotely or face-to-face, I will ask the following questions:

    • How did you acquire your job?
    • What do you enjoy the most about your job?
    • What are the challenges associated with your job/career?
    • What are the top qualifications that your organization seeks?
    • What is the workplace culture like?
    • What are your organization’s top challenges?

Are you ready to try it out?  Take some time to jot down your SMART goals and review them often to stay on track.

 Webinar setup photo Dina

Written by Associate Director of Career Services, Dina Bergren

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