When you take a road trip and have the benefit of a GPS mapping out how and when you will get to your destination, that provides a level of confidence and comfort. Professional goals act in a similar fashion. These goals guide you along the way in your career progression and keep you on track to get you where you want to go.
Professional goals are essentially a roadmap to success. Studies show that people who have clearly defined goals are more successful than those who don’t. Writing down goals and tracking progress also influences success. An often-cited study by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, found that more than 70% of study participants who sent weekly updates to a friend reported successful goal achievement (completely accomplished their goal or were more than half way there), compared to 35% of those who kept their goals to themselves, without writing them down.
Goals are the foundation of any career advancement plan. The most successful Health IT pros have a vision of where they want their career to go and make that vision a reality by setting goals that will help them get there.
Here are four tips to help get you started on setting professional goals.
1. Create the vision
Before sitting down to document your professional goals, take time to think about where you are now professionally and where you want to be. Then, envision what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it and how you are going to achieve it. Elite athletes use visualization tactics like this to finish first and numerous studies support the conclusion that visualization techniques improve their performance. If visualization can help athletes achieve their goals, it can work for you.
2. Develop SMART Goals
There are many methods for goal setting and there really is no right or wrong way to develop your goals. However, using a framework like the SMART goals method can inspire ideas and ensure your goals are well defined and attainable. SMART stands for:
· Specific — Goals should be clear and specific, answering the questions of what, why and how. Goals that are specific allow you to better focus your efforts on achievement and success as opposed to open-ended, vague goals that will not deliver the results you are aiming for.
· Measurable — Measurable means that goals are quantitative, providing a tangible way to track your progress and enabling you to stay motivated.
· Achievable — This means goals are realistic and attainable. A goal is achievable if it is within your control, and you have the ability to make it happen.
· Relevant — Relevant goals align with your overall career objectives and priorities.
· Timed — These are time-bound goals with clear timelines and specific deadlines that light a fire under you to act on them.
3. Create a plan of action
Once you have developed your goals, it’s time to create a plan of action. Look at which goals are the most time sensitive and which goals are steps to other goals and aim to tackle these first. Then document an action plan or roadmap for each goal to help you stay organized and focused. As you develop these action plans, it is helpful to break goals down into smaller, manageable steps. Doing this will make goals seem easier to attain and boost your motivation.
4. Be accountable
Holding yourself accountable for achieving your professional goals will bring you closer to achieving them. Documenting your goals and scheduling time each week or month to evaluate your progress is an effective way to make sure you follow through. Sharing your goals with a supportive family member, friend or mentor is another great way to keep you accountable and help you stay on track.
Setting professional goals gives you greater direction, helps you stay focused on your career development and keeps you motivated. With greater direction, focus and motivation, you can confidently move forward on the road to professional success.
Abra can set you on the road to professional success, helping you achieve your career goals in healthcare IT with a steady pipeline of relevant opportunities that get you hired. Sign up today.
Download the app and create your free profile in minutes, then we’ll take care of the rest!
Sign-up for a demo today and see Abra’s skills matching technology in action.