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Setting Goals For Career Success

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Staffing firm Accountemps recently surveyed more than 1,000 workers across the country, and 93 percent said goal setting is important to their on-the-job performance.

While more than half of professionals (51 percent) discuss goal progress with their manager at least monthly, 11 percent never broach the topic.

Younger employees place more emphasis on work-related performance goals, the research found.

Almost seven in 10 millennials (69 percent) surveyed thought goal setting was very important, compared to 55 percent of baby boomers.

More men (60 percent) than women (40 percent) discuss performance goals with their manager at least monthly.

Additionally, 17 percent of female workers never bring up the subject, compared to just five percent of their male counterparts.

Accountemps offers five tips for setting — and achieving — professional goals:

  • Retreat and refocus. Goal setting is not something you can accomplish during a coffee break or in a busy office. Remove yourself from distractions to really think about your current job and desired career path.
  • Get detailed. Identify a small number of goals to tackle at once. As you settle on objectives, make sure they are specific, quantifiable, realistic and timely. Always set a deadline to keep yourself on track. 
  • Go long, then short. Start with the destination and then work backward. First determine your long-term goals, and then establish a series of smaller tasks to help you reach them.
  • Enlist your manager's help. Employers want their employees to achieve professional success and job satisfaction. Partner with your boss to set goals that align with department and company objectives, and discuss career paths and next steps during your regular meetings.
  • Put them in writing. Record your goals somewhere so you can review them regularly and hold yourself accountable. This will help you stay on track and ensure the work you're doing is aligned with your objectives.

Take some time to relax over the holidays, then resolve to set – and discuss – your goals for the New Year.