Why You Should Set S.M.A.R.T. Career Goals

You have big plans for your career. However, despite knowing exactly where you’re headed, things haven’t been progressing as quickly as you’d like. You’ve set plenty of goals, but they always end up falling by the wayside. 

The thing about goals is they’re not all created equal. Vague goals  i.e., increasing your patient base by next year  are meant to be broken, because they don’t hold you accountable. Therefore, it’s important to make them S.M.A.R.T.  specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound  so you have an answer for your progress. 

Here’s a look at why S.M.A.R.T. goals can help your career. 


In goal setting, there’s no room for ambiguity. It’s important to be as specific as possible, so you can tailor your actions to your desired objective. For example, deciding you want to go back to school is great, but setting a goal of enrolling in a nurse educator program for the 2020-21 academic year provides the details needed to make it happen. 


It’s hard to hold yourself accountable if you can’t track your progress. Quantifying your goals serves as a motivator because it allows you to see how far you’ve come. For example, instead of simply saying you want to increase your patient base, set a goal of boosting it by 25%. This gives you a solid number to look toward and helps you determine whether you’re on track. 


Dreaming big is great. It’s important to want big things for your career and strive to make them happen. However, there is such a thing as setting goals that are unrealistic. For example, if you’ve just started your behavioral health career, having a goal of being an administrator in three years isn’t reasonable. This is essentially setting yourself up for failure, which won’t get you anywhere. 


When looking at the big picture of your life, goals need to make sense. For example, if you have no desire to start your own practice, you probably don’t need to take business courses. Streamlining goals to ensure they align with your overarching objectives is important because you don’t want to waste time and money on something that doesn’t promote your success. 


You have a busy life, so it’s easy to push goals to the side when they don’t have a time limit. Attaching a deadline to your goals creates a sense of urgency that compels you to make them a priority. For example, setting a goal to learn how to use a new software program is great, but deciding you’ll do it by the end of next month makes it a priority. 

This is important because each goal opens a new door. In order to get to the next level, you need to complete learning and growth activities that propel you upward.  

Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals can be the push you need to make the career move you’ve been pondering for years. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at info@psychpros.com. 

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