If you’ve gone on many interviews, you’ve probably been asked the common question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” While this isn’t a difficult interview question to answer, it does tend to catch interviewees off guard. Chances are you haven’t thought ahead to where you want to be in one year, let alone five years!
Developing a five-year plan for your career can help you gain tremendous clarity as you grow professionally and set new goals for yourself. Setting SMART goals is a useful technique to use when developing a career plan that aligns with your short-term and long-term priorities.
Here’s how you can use the SMART goals process to map out a five-year career plan.
1. Get specific.
The first step to any career goal-setting is to get specific with what you want out of your career. This involves pinpointing exactly what you hope to achieve, rather than things like what you want to be called or how much money you want to have. Going beyond the superficial aspirations (such as wanting to be a millionaire) and digging into specifically what you want to do will help you gain the clarity you need to reach your goals.
2. Measure your progress.
It’s nearly impossible to track your progress if you fail to set goals that can’t be measured. Setting measurable goals requires you to think about metrics you can use to monitor your progress. For example, if you want to become a manager, one of your goals may be to acquire at least three managerial skills within the next two years in your current job. Establishing benchmarks that track milestones will keep you focused on your performance and allow you to make adjustments to your goals as necessary.
3. Make your goals attainable.
While it’s OK to shoot for the stars, setting unrealistic goals will only derail you from being productive and motivated to reach them in the first place. An attainable goal for your career is one you can realistically achieve with your own skills, capabilities and limitations. Setting goals that are in reach – even if they require a massive amount of work and effort – is the key to being successful at achieving them.
4. Assess the relevance of the goals.
Often people set goals for themselves that aren’t relevant in the big picture of their life. For example, if you want a job that allows you to travel the world while raising three children, this goal may not be relevant to your personal circumstances. Connecting your career goals with your life goals will ensure you’re taking into account all aspects of your personal and professional circumstances.
5. Set a timeline.
Have you set time constraints around your goals? All goals should be associated with realistic deadlines, so they’re achieved in a timely manner. While you can be flexible in how you approach this, failing to put time limits on your goals can be a recipe for procrastination. Understanding the importance of this will put you on a better path to accelerating your career and managing your time and energy most effectively.
Using the SMART goals technique is a great way to create your five-year road map and set meaningful career goals. If one of your goals is to find your dream jobs in Houston, TX, we’ve got you covered! Carlton Staffing has remained committed to helping job seekers in Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth for over 39 years. Contact us today to start the next step on your career path.