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Setting Work and Professional-Development Goals


  • Goals must align with and support University and/or department goals.
  • To have the greatest impact, limit the number of goals for the coming year.
  • Goals should be SMART:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time specific
  • Establish a clear action plan to achieve each goal:
    • Action plans should include specific expected results and a target date for completion.

Examples of SMART Goals

Not-So-SMART Goals SMART Goals
Improve the effectiveness of my written communication Read On Writing Well by William Zinsler by January 2012.
  Receive progressively fewer manager edits and rewrites to my memos; track progress and review samples with my manager every 6 weeks.
Learn Excel Find an Excel class and attend. Begin using skills learned in setting up Excel spreadsheets, and follow up with others who have more Excel experience.

Methods of Learning and Development

  • On-the-job
  • Readings (books, periodicals)
  • Networking
  • Following coaching suggestions
  • Employee Development Programs and Resources
  • Self-directed, computer-based learning
  • Participating on task force, special project
  • Benchmarking visit
  • Shadowing others
  • Career Center consultation
  • Career Brochure
  • Professional organizations
  • Symposia, lectures
  • Community organization involvement
  • Cross-training, job "swapping"
  • Mentoring others
  • Being mentored
  • Classroom training, courses
  • The Boston Consortium programs
  • Others