Setting Goals: How to Set Goals in Your Personal and Professional Life

Goal-setting is something everyone does in some way or another. Whether it’s saving for a new car or vacation, or having a five- and/or ten-year professional plan, people have goals. In the workplace, setting goals for the entire team and individuals alike can promote a level of efficacy that surpasses expectations.

Setting goals in the workplace involves having a written down, clear-cut plan of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. This is particularly important in any sales environment. Goals can be in the form of quotas; for example, each employee needs to make X amount of dollars in sales each day or create X amount of new contacts in a week. Having these goals not only sets a standard that each employee needs to rise to, but also helps boost productivity by making it somewhat competitive, even if employees aren’t directly competing with each other.

What, Why, How and When

Before setting goals for the company and employees, it’s important to look at what needs done and why it needs done. The why is the most important. Next, it’s important to have an achievable method of reaching the goals, or the how. Finally, you need to set a standard for when the goal needs to be met. Look at previous sales or employee efficiency to create a deadline for reaching the goals. Again, it is important that the deadline be achievable, even if it is a bit difficult.

Positive Reinforcement

Let’s face it, all people work better when there is some type of reward at the end of the tunnel. This doesn’t have to be an extravagant reward, but positive reinforcement goes a long way toward achieving goals — even if it is a pat on the back and public recognition within the company for going above and beyond the call of duty to meet and/or surpass the goal. Additional rewards may include bonuses, small gifts (gift cards, lunch on the house, etc), or something along the lines of some extra paid time off.

Goal-setting is a great way to keep track of who is pulling the most weight and which employees are working hard to meet and surpass your expectations. It is also among the most effective ways to help boost your bottom line.

How to Find a Career Mentor

Mentoring has always been an important part of career growth and advancement. Mentors successfully matched to their protégés can provide a mutually beneficial relationship. The mentor benefits through the o

pportunity of leadership, while the protégé benefits from insight, information, and advice.

The relationship can be both formal and informal, depending on what the parties agree. But despite the formalities, the important thing is to find a mentor that is right for you. (Or become a mentor if you are a leader already.)

Here are some tips on finding a mentor.

  • Choose a mentor with similar goals.
  • Find a mentor who is on a similar career path, or a complementary one.
  • Ensure the person has time for the relationship, and is willing to meet consistently.
  • Take your time getting to know someone prior to initiating a mentor relationship.
  • When you find someone, initiate the contact. Make the steps to get the relationship going.
  • Be sure your personalities, goals, and ideas synch up, but you’ll also want someone who is willing to challenge you as well.
  • Be open, honest, and forthcoming about your desires and expectations for the relationship.
  • Be willing to give back to your mentor.

Generally, a career mentor will voluntarily provide advice and assistance to your growth, and the relationship can last throughout your career.  A mentor’s guidance and insight can be invaluable whether you are just getting started in a new career, or looking to move up the corporate ladder.