How to set a SMART career goal in the next 6 months

5 Min read

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals

Are you working hard to outshine in your career and still unable to get the one you want? Have you checked on your Goals? Are your goals set per your career and life? If not, it's high time to set your goals to fulfil your dreams.


You’re going to learn:
Why set goals?
What are SMART goals?
Examples of SMART goals
How to set SMART career goals for the next 6 months



Why Set Goals?


Setting goals is a highly effective method for visualizing your future and inspiring yourself to make your dreams come true. You can decide where you want to go in life by creating goals. Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish helps you focus your efforts in the right places. 

And having specific career goals will help you stay motivated, move forward in your career, and have something to strive for. Keeping your career development goals SMART is as essential as achieving them.


What are SMART goals?


‘SMART’ stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The theory of ‘SMART goals’ was developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham in their 1981 article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives”. ‘SMART’ is a useful way of making goals more efficient.


S - Specific 


Your goals should be precise so that you can concentrate on your efforts or be fully inspired to accomplish them. Try to get the answer for W’S - What, Why, Where, Which & Who while setting your goals. The more specific your goals will be, the more the chances to accomplish them.


Wrong Example:


I want to pursue a degree in Arts after my higher secondary school.


Right Example:


I want to pursue a degree in Mass Communication after my higher secondary school.


M - Measurable


You have set up your goal, but how will you get to know that you are successfully moving towards it? Thus, it is important to keep your goals measurable. With measurable goals, you can assess your progress. You can set short-term goals, and then progress the long-term goals. Achieving small deadlines can boost you up and keep motivated to achieve your primary goal. 


Wrong Example:


I’ll apply to as many job openings in the coming months.


Right Example:


I’ll apply to a minimum of 10 job openings in the next 2 months.


A - Attainable


It is significant to set goals that can be practically attained within a set period. Keeping your goals realistic keeps you motivated to achieve them. It should be challenging for you, while still being doable.


Wrong Example:


I’m going to write and publish an e-book.


Right Example:


I’m going to write 4,000 words per week so as to complete my e-book.


R - Relevant


Think about whether or not your goals are relevant when setting them. It involves making sure that your goal matters to you and that it is somehow connected with your other important objectives and contributes to your long-term objectives. Taking into account your overarching goals, check whether the time and efforts you are putting into the short-term goals are worth it and then take the steps towards it.


Wrong Example:


I want to take up a $15 course in Data Science now to complete my project, but I’ll want to get a job in the Management sector.


Right Example:


I want to take up a $15 course in Data Science now to complete my project and help me get my dream job as a Data Scientist. 


T - Time-bound


What’s the meaning of setting goals without a timeframe? It’s just like a body without a soul. Time-bound objectives make it easy to complete the goals and stay focused and motivated. This SMART goal criterion helps you keep your daily duties from taking precedence over your longer-term objectives.


Wrong Example :


I want to pursue a Master’s degree after graduation.


Right Example:


I want to pursue a Master’s degree within 4 years from my graduation.


Refer to this to know more about SMART Goals.


Example of SMART goals


Wrong Way :


I want to build a website from scratch for my Startup.


Right Way:


S: I want to build an interactive website for my startup and launch it 3 months from now.

M: For this, I’ll work on the backend and for the frontend part I’ll hire a UI freelancer.

A: I'll be able to accomplish my aim of having a working website up and operating before the formal launch, with the freelancer’s expertise and my knowledge. I'll accomplish this by dedicating 12 hours every week to my website.

R: I’ll also work on the database collection for the website so that the data will come to utilization in future.

T: I’ll have to achieve my goal within 3 months, so I’ll dedicatedly work on it 10 hrs per week and additionally keep a keen eye on overall development on weekends.


Hr Facts!
A statistical study shows that people with SMART goals attain success 10 times as compared to people without goals. And only 3% of people use SMART mnemonics to set their goals.


How to set SMART career goals for the next 6 months


To set SMART career goals for the next 6 months, keep your vision clear about your short-term goals and long-term goals. And follow the mnemonics of SMART that demystifies goals by breaking them into small steps taking into account the timeframe set by you. Additionally here are some things you should follow:

  • Start with baby steps - Take small steps initially until you get used to it and then gradually increase your daily goals.
  • Write down your goals - Write your goals such that you can see them regularly and remember what is waiting for you.
  • Check on your progress regularly.

The best amount of time to complete any task is 6 months. Set your timetable back 6 months and include regular checkpoints or progress indicators that will show you are moving in the right direction.


You may advance in your work and attain the success you desire by setting SMART goals. Although setting objectives might be difficult, employing the SMART framework can help you organise the procedure and give it structure. It's your turn now! Spend a few minutes creating a SMART goal that will bring you one step closer to your dreams.