Last week, I had a meeting with my manager to set my job objective for the year ahead. Each year, all employees in my company create a two to three sentence objective stating which specific skill(s) they would like to work on and how they will do that in the coming months. When I read the e-mail letting everyone know that we would be meeting with our managers shortly to discuss this, I became a bit nervous. Though, after going through the process of creating my own personal objective, I felt that the whole procedure was really worth it in the end.

First, I read through the Objectives for my specific position at my company and decided which ones I wanted to improve upon first. This was easy since I have already been here for about 9 months and have become familiar with the areas I need to improve upon. After that, I considered what is coming in the year ahead: I know that I am going to be assigned a second journal soon and I thought about how that meshes with the skills that I would like to improve. I finally melded the two together to come up with a comprehensive statement that listed my goals for the year and how I am going to achieve them.

I have never worked for a company that required their employees to work on objectives or meet with their managers to discuss their professional development, and I appreciate that I have this opportunity now. Previously, though I did give some abstract thought to my career trajectory and what I want to be doing in the future, this made me think about it more concretely. What do I want to continue to accomplish in my field? Where can I go with my career? Will I want to continue doing this for the next 5 years? 10 years?

Even if you are in school, in the beginning of your career, or a seasoned pro at your job, it doesn’t hurt to sit down and consider what you want to do and how you plan to do it. I’m the type of person who, once I have a set “list” of things I need to accomplish, can do them with more ease than if I had a vague notion of what I want to do. Hold yourself accountable in your career!

 smart goal setting concept