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Focus on Manatee: Here are some tips for setting goals in your career development

My grandmother used to say that if you don’t aim for anything, you will hit it every time.

People often drift through life without aiming for anything, and then they wonder why they cannot get things done and feel of sense of futility. They often lack structure and focus and talk about what they want to do “someday.”

People who are doers have definite goals. Focusing on a goal helps one ignore the small irritants in life and often leads to more life satisfaction. Achieving a goal can give a confidence boost and sense of accomplishment.

In addition, having a goal sharpens the why and how one spends time, effort and money.

At CareerSource Suncoast, we are always talking about goals, whether it’s with our staff or clients. Formulating a goal should follow the SMART principle. A goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.

Breaking goals into manageable bits is also helpful. Rather than saying, “I want to get back in shape by Christmas,” instead say, “I will work out three times a week for one month.”

Having met that goal, it is much easier to add another month.

The same holds true for career development. Decide where you want to be in five years and break that into one-year and six-month goals.

Are you in a job that you like but want a promotion? Maybe you need a training or additional skill.

Do you hate the job you’re in and want a new career? Maybe you need someone to help you determine your skills and the available job opportunities.

These are the principles our career coaches discuss with career seekers on a regular basis. We are prepping the future workforce not just for the short-term, but hopefully for long, sustainable and fulfilling careers.

Linda Benedict is the business development director for CareerSource Suncoast.

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