Let’s Chat…Creating Professional Goals

Welcome back, everyone! We hope that you had a great weekend and are ready for another week of work. As the end of January nears, many of us are not throttled fully into the winter season, with pockets of snow coming more frequently and ready to stick. So, get cozy and tune in to learn about year-end review processes and creating goals for the upcoming year.

Let’s Chat… Professional Upkeep!

Step 1: Year-End Review

Before aligning on goals for the new year, you will likely engage in a year-end review conversation. Whether this takes place before the New Year or after, these conversations surround your performance for the entire year prior and are the time when you will likely receive your performance ‘rating’ or metric as executed at the company level. These conversations are crucial to your professional development. They will play a big part in how you shape your upcoming year, identify skill sets you want to work on, and ultimately document your progress at a company to date. After these conversations wrap, you receive confirmation of any bonuses or compensation increases, it is time to realign on your goals! While many of these may be trickled down from the department or business unit level, there are still many opportunities to define skills you want to develop in a personal or professional way – have you been thinking about a specific LinkedIn course? Are you falling short on networking? Have you given any presentations in your current role? These are all questions to begin asking yourself that can tie into your goal-setting plan.

Step 2: Creating New Goals

After your review conversations wrap, it’s time to begin thinking about your goals and identifying specific attributes to call out. If you’ve received constructive criticism in any area… this is a great place to start! Are there any goals you did NOT get to meet in the year prior? Were these discussed in your last conversation? Additionally, is your team’s responsibilities shifting at all in the new year? Will you still be in the same role (are you part of a development or rotational program)? Begin thinking through what the next 12 months will look like and how you want to be viewed on your team and throughout the company as you jot down your ideas.

  • Extra Note: Remember, you will not be expected to complete the goal-setting process alone! Your manager is a crucial resource to guide you, as well as your mentors. So, make sure to actively engage in conversations about department-wide goals, team-wide goals, and any scorecards or metrics you are required to meet (i.e.: Sales, Emails sent, Provisioned accounts, Open rates, Click-through rates, Sales calls, Quotas, etc) so that you can embed them and follow requirements when it comes time to document.

Step 3: Check in on your Goals… and Often!

Finally, when the hard work is complete and your goals are secured in place (whether this is in an HR site, a word doc, an email to your manager, etc.), it’s time to continuously check in! Many employers will guide their employees through a structured goal-review session on a continued basis (often quarterly), and these are incredibly important to your improvement. Make sure to come to these check-ins with specific questions, ideas, and a readiness to receive feedback. Oftentimes, actively asking for feedback on specific skills or projects will be a key to your success as well as a fantastic framework you’re requesting from your manager through which they can guide you.

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