At some point in our lives, we have been asked “where do you see yourself in three, five, or ten years from now? ” and our answers all depend on our definition of success, career choice, dreams, and aspirations which amount to our goals.
Setting work goals as employees or entrepreneurs is very important as it gives you something to work towards and it also helps one to come up with effective action plans. The best kinds of work goals we can set are the ones we create for ourselves. This is because, when we take out time to decide on what we truly want for ourselves, only then can we effectively make it happen.
Simply put, work goals are keys to answering the question; ‘where do you see yourself in three years from now? It can be long term or short term.
Short term work goals are goals that one set to achieve within a few weeks, a month’s time or whatever, as long as it is within a year.
Long term work goals on the other hand, as the name implies takes longer (years) to get achieved. Unlike the short term work goal, a long term work goal requires more time and planning. A long term work goal is not something you can do in a week’s time or even in a year. It is a goal you plan to achieve in a few years’ time.
Apart from the fact that work goals keep you motivated and contribute towards your career advancement, there are other reasons why you need a work goal which includes the fact that it provides visions, provides clarity and helps you stand out.
However, when setting work goals for 2021, it is essential to ensure your goals are SMART, that is, our work goals must be specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time based. This is because setting up work goals can be easy, however, getting to the process of achieving these goals can be quite difficult.
A clearly defined SMART goal statement should clearly state exactly what you need to do to reach your goal, that is, it should be Specific. Your goal should be clear, simple, sensible, well defined and significant.
A SMART goal should also be Measurable. This simply means that your goal should contain specific criteria that measure your progress toward the accomplishment of the said goal. That is, there must be an indicator of progress.
Goals should also be Achievable. Most times, people tend to set unrealistic goals which can lead to disappointments. Sure, a goal should make you feel challenged, however it must be defined well enough to ensure that you can actually achieve it. In essence, Your work goals should be realistic and achievable
Your goals should also be Relevant and align with your values and desired end result or work plans.
Every goal needs a target date, that is, it should be Time bound/ Timely or Time sensitive. This is so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward.
The bottom line is, many people set themselves up to fail by setting for themselves general and unrealistic goals which have no sense of direction. SMART goals however set you up for success by
making your work goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. It gives you challenges which helps to push you further, gives you a sense of direction, and helps you organize and reach your goals.
So, what are your work goals for 2021? You don’t have any? Then the first step you need to take is, knowing where you are going in order to get there. After identifying where you are going (goal), then the next step is setting targets. However, it is very essential to make sure that your work goals are SMART so as not to end up getting disappointed.
Here are some work goals for 2021
1. Learning or gaining a new skill.
The professional world is a war. Every single person is competing with each other, as companies in the world are looking for people with a variety of talents and abilities, and just like in war, victory is always given to the people who have the best arsenal under their command with the mind to wield it. That is, the more diverse your skill, the better chance you’ll have of impressing your current managers or potential employers.
2. Improving on your networking abilities.
Networking is about developing social and professional contacts with whom you can exchange insights and information. One’s ability to progress most times rely on one’s capacity to network with people and develop influence. Networking is a multi-step process. Not only do you need to learn the skills to connect with others at events, through social media, and via other means, but you must actually build your network once you’ve mastered networking skills. Connecting with others in your field of work can ultimately lead
to immediate and long-term opportunities, such as; landing a coveted position, being promoted in your current job, learning new skills, learning more about your industry and much more.
3. Improving time management skills
One can easily lose track of time when working on projects. Managing time effectively is a very important skill needed to stand out in one’s work which is why it is important to improve one’s time management skills. Time is everything,hence, you have to make everything count. Effective time management helps to be more productive at your work.
4. Improving communication skills
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, most companies have been forced to move their meetings online. Hence, while up work goals for 2021, improving and learning of new communication skills should be included. Writing, verbal and auditory communication skills part of work. To thrive in your role, collaborate with others and generally be an efficient professional, you must be able to articulate, describe and convey information effectively, be it a quick email, updating your colleagues on a project’s progress in a meeting or undergoing a performance review.
5. Improving presentation skills
At one point or another in your work life, you’ll have to deliver a presentation. Modern working public speaking and presentation skills. Hence, you need to make it a goal to
hone your public speaking skills, create eye-catching visuals and learn how to connect with your audience, even in a virtual setting.
6. Improve your productivity level
Everyone wants to become more productive, but you don’t just become more productive just by wanting it. You need to make it a goal by cultivating habits, improving on your time management skills and setting or mapping out tasks to be achieved, be it daily, weekly or monthly.
7. Know your strengths and weaknesses
We all have areas of weaknesses as well as strengths. You should make it a goal to take time to figure out what your weaknesses and strengths are and not just what you want to be. Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are would enable you to leverage your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses effectively. This would in turn distinguish or separate you from people who don’t go far in their line of work. This is because not so many people know how to leverage their strengths and weaknesses efficiently.
8. Always find new challenges to complete
Finding new challenges at work is a great way to ensure that you don’t ever have a boring time working. The problem however is that it is not possible for all of us to find new challenges and face it head on. As most people already have problems with solving or interacting with the problems that already in their lives. This is why we first have to recognize our strengths, only then can we be aware of the things we can do and challenges we can take on.
You still have some time to come up with your SMART work goals for 2021, hopefully this list inspired you in a way or two to make a positive change in your life. Even if you don’t really know what you want for your future, making goals will help you feel like you’re making progress in some way. Things can dramatically change over the course of one year (just like the dramatic change that happened in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19), and the truth is, if you know what you want to go for, you don’t need to wait for the start of a new year before you start working towards your goals. Start today on just one thing that you feel like you can really focus on.
It is also important to remember that your goals may change over time, and reevaluating and adjusting them is a big part of ultimately being successful. Personal growth doesn’t happen in one big surge of effort. It happens slowly over the course of time by keeping up with your realistic goals and making small–but effective–changes to your life.