Professional Goals

Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Professional Goals

The workplace landscape has gone through some major changes, with remote work on a steep rise, and hybrid work environments flourishing. You may be working entirely from home now, or still visiting the office, but what hasn’t changed is your need to achieve professional goals. The path toward financial and professional success might seem intimidating – but if you follow a few easy steps designed to enrich you, both professionally and personally, your professional goals are well within your reach!

Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Some are more productive in the early morning, while others reach peak productivity using noise or music. No matter the method, mindfulness meditation is a valuable tool to centre your thoughts and get productive fast! Mindful meditation is a mental training practice proven to stop racing and unproductive thoughts, release pent-up negativity, and calm both your body and your mind. Using mindfulness meditation to release stress throughout the day, is a smart way to make sure you achieve your professional goals with the most focus.

Set SMART Goals

Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based, or SMART goals, are the metric by which you judge tasks as productive or non-productive. A generic example of a SMART goal is “Today I will enhance our work safety culture by reviewing and updating our company safety training materials, and complete a new training for employees in the next week.” By removing any element of this goal, for example the word “today,” you lose your timeline, complicating the task of performing a training later in the next week.

Refresh your Home Office

Refreshing your home office is more than impressing your co-workers with a cool background on Zoom calls. A great home office set-up depends entirely on your specific needs. 77% of remote employees report higher productivity – and it’s not because they are working on a TV tray or in bed. Think carefully. Would you be more productive with a standing desk, or do you prefer a straight-backed kitchen table chair? Spend some time (and money) making your home office comfortable, useful and distraction free.

Keep a Planner or Work Calendar

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else,” Peter Drucker reminds us.  Many employees find planning and organization of their day difficult. It’s more important than ever to stay on task when you work from home, so keep a planner or calendar in your workspace, and update it regularly. It might seem a little old-school, but having a quick glance at a list of daily tasks will help you get motivated and prioritize effectively.

Set Personal Goals

While you use your planner to prioritize work goals, set personal goals for outside work hours. It’s unlikely that the world’s most successful people clocked-out and sat down to eat chips and watch movies after work – as fun as that might sound. Setting a personal goal could be as simple as reading one book per week, or going to the gym. Or go big, with a volunteering commitment or visiting one new country per year. Your personal goals will fulfil you outside work hours, and ensure that you feel successful both at, and after work.

Networking & Professional Development

Plan a time to meet virtually, or in person, with your co-workers or attend a virtual industry event or webinar. Most attendees of this type of event have the same goals you do!  To meet their industry peers and enhance their skills. Some businesses will even pay for you to attend a conference or event, as your professional development equates to a more successful and well-rounded employee.

Value Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a good work-life balance is more important than ever in 2021. Just ask your co-workers!  42% of workers say that their colleagues need help with stress management, and 65% say that workplace stress has affected their personal lives negatively. Effects of a poor work-life balance range from trouble sleeping, to physical pain or burn-out. Make a habit of not accepting calls or meetings after work hours, unless in an emergency, and turning off your computer when finished for the day.

Take Action on Performance Evaluations

Performance evaluations are a valuable way to gauge your effectiveness and productivity, and also where you need to improve. Ideally, your manager or evaluator has your best interest at heart, will know both your strengths and weaknesses, and will set SMART goals to help you progress in your career. Take this constructive criticism to heart, and take action to adopt new techniques that will make you a more successful employee. We all have professional goals we reach for – and while achieving them might seem like a subjective process, the steps we have discussed today will put you on the path to both professional success and personal satisfaction and happiness!

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