Set SMART goals

Use this popular mnemonic device to create effective goals 

You may have heard of “SMART” goals. This mnemonic device was first mentioned in 1981 in an issue of Management Review. It was originally developed to help people set and accomplish given tasks. Since then, this strategy has been implemented in virtually every field — and is proven to help people accomplish their stated goals.

See how SMART goals can help with your transition.

Instructions: Click each letter to reveal what it stands for and how you can use it to begin writing your goals.

S is for specific.

By being as specific as possible in what kind of job you want (and why you want it), you can narrow down your options considerably.
Read these two sentences and determine which is more specific.
First example:
I want to work in an office during the day, 40 hours per week.
Compare that to:
I want to work as a project manager, to fully utilize the leadership skills I learned in the military. I want to work 40 hours a week, but am open to working more to get the job done.

M is for measurable.

M stands for measurable. In setting goals, it’s a good idea to create timelines that are realistic and measureable. For example, you can set a schedule where you will search for jobs every day during a three-hour window. Or you can set a goal of sending out at least four targeted resumes a week.

A is for adjustable.

The A in SMART goals can stand for a number of things — actionable, appropriate, or adjustable. For your job search, focus on “adjustable.” If your job search is not going as well as you had hoped, scale it back, change your parameters, or otherwise adjust.

R is for realistic.

Take a good hard look at your goals — are they realistic for what you want, for the job market where you live, or even the national or local economy? Remember to be flexible — a part time job can quickly turn full time, or you may need to accept a job with fewer benefits than you wanted.

T is for trackable.

Make sure you stay organized and track all your efforts during your job search. If things aren’t working, you can go back and see what you’ve done and try to find ways to change the results.

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