5 Powerful Reasons To Set Goals

5 powerful reasons why goal-setting is important for your career    Studies show that one in five Australians are unhappy with their careers – but we hang in there for a variety of reasons, from not having the funds to make a change, to feeling like there’s no better alternative out there. But could setting…

5 powerful reasons why goal-setting is important for your career 

 
Studies show that one in five Australians are unhappy with their careers – but we hang in there for a variety of reasons, from not having the funds to make a change, to feeling like there’s no better alternative out there. But could setting goals help catapult you to a happier job and life? 
 
Many experts say yes. And while goal setting is nothing new, it is a technique used by some of the world’s most successful people. CEOs. Athletes. Entrepreneurs. Especially SMART goals, that help zero down on what you want to achieve, and help you set intentions for how you’ll do it. 
 

Wait just a sec. What are SMART goals? 

 
We’re glad you asked. The most powerful goals you set should always be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.  
 
To break this down, you want: 
  1. To be Specific about what you want to accomplish 
  2. To have a way to Measure your progress – such as breaking your goal into bite-sized steps 
  3. To ensure the goal is actually Achievable and what you need to do to meet it 
  4. To make sure the goal is Relevant to your bigger picture 
  5. To make your goal Time-Bound – ie, put a deadline on that sucker! 
 
Here’s why goal-setting can be so beneficial and so powerful for your career. 

1. Goal-setting can improve your performance as an employee. 

Pioneering research by Dr Edwin Locke and Dr Gary Latham has shown there’s an important link between setting goals and performance. If the goals you set (or the goals that are set for you by your superiors) are specific and challenging, but not too challenging that you give up, it can lead to higher performance because you become motivated to succeed.  
 

2. Goal-setting can lead to greater job satisfaction. 

Staying in the same job year after year, even though you’re bored or unchallenged by the work, can lead to feeling miserable. But goals can help. In your current job, goal-setting can provide you with more interesting tasks and challenges, so you start to enjoy your work more. Or, you might feel you’d be better off in a new job – in which case setting goals helps you visualise what you’re after and gives you something tangible to work towards. 
 

3. Goal-setting can boost your self-esteem and help you realise your value. 

Career complacency can happen to anyone, but the knock-on effects can be damaging. Like low confidence and self-sabotage – where you start telling yourself that you couldn’t get another job even if you tried (we’ve all been there, right?). That’s where goal-setting comes in, helping motivate you to learn new skills and actively foster new connections, say experts, which can improve your belief in yourself and what you have to offer.  
 

4. Goal-setting can shorten the job-hunting process. 

It’s often said that looking for a new job is a full-time job in itself, but when you don’t attack it with a strategic plan, you can waste time falling down online rabbit holes or chasing after opportunities that aren’t a good fit for you. Goal-setting, on the other hand, gives you a focus, enables you to narrow down what to apply for – and ensures you’ll spend your time following up on jobs you really want, monitoring your progress and tweaking what’s not working as you go.  
 

5. Goal-setting can add up to a better work/life balance. 

Being stuck in a dead-end job you don’t enjoy doesn’t just impact your work life – it can impact your mental and physical health and spill over into your home life, too. Research shows that 26 percent of Australians unhappy in their careers said that moving jobs would have a positive impact on their mental state. The first step is by setting goals that can move you towards a better job and a better future – and if you need support in doing this, talk to a careers coach.