It’s Never Too Late for New Goals: Looking Ahead
Now that our morning coffee order has switched iced americanos to pumpkin spice lattes, it must be Fall. And once the weather changes, performance and learning goals are usually put on the back burner. As employees we often feel like athletes trying to beat the buzzer, wrapping up end-of-year projects and meeting final deadlines.
Analyzing Professional Goals
What successful professionals have realized is that October is the perfect time to pump the breaks and think about employee performance goals. Working hard in Q4 has its benefits. First, you’ll start the new year with a few more things crossed off your to-do list, freeing you up to achieve even more. Second, you’ll stand out amongst those who aren’t giving it their best effort. Managers notice these things. And third, well, having a growth mindset is never a bad thing.
Yes, it’s October. But there’s still time to make a dent in both your personal and professional 2018 goals and map out what you want to accomplish in the year coming ahead. Let’s take a look at two different kinds of goals, and what you can do now to have the best year yet in 2019.
Looking Back: Measuring Performance Goals
When we think of goals, most of us are thinking about performance. Hitting a sales quota, increasing a customer’s work with your company, writing a certain number of business cases, or even just meeting all set deadlines. All of these goals are meant to measure an employee’s level of performance within their existing role.
At this point in the year, it’s a good time to look back at what you’ve achieved as it relates to your performance goals. Ask yourself:
- What can you do over the next remaining months to demonstrate your competence or proficiency in your role? Be specific.
- How can you make the biggest impact on your team or department goals? Think about how your contributions affect your peers.
- If there’s one performance goal that has evaded you all year, is there anything you can do to chip away at your progress to ensure you hit it next year? Set yourself up for success.
Looking Ahead: How to Set Goals for the Role You Want
Let’s switch gears away from performance. Apart from how well you do your job, we are judged as employees on our ability to grow and develop in our careers. Setting goals focused on our professional development is just as important as measuring success in our current roles.
No one wants to remain in the same role forever, right? To be promoted, we must demonstrate that we’ve taken the initiative to go above and beyond our current job to learn what it takes to succeed in the next. This can be done in the form of taking on extra projects, shadowing others, or enrolling in special courses to gain new skills.
To set goals for the role you want, ask yourself:
- What new skills do I need to gain to accomplish my performance goals for this year? Take the steps necessary to ensure you hit your goals.
- Similarly, what new skills do I need to gain to be considered for a promotion? Consider seeking additional perspective from your manager or career advisor.
- Is a lack of an educational degree or certification holding me back from my dream job? If this is the case, plan for how to make it a reality in 2019.