First Things First: Setting Goals for the Job Search

First Things First: Setting Goals for the Job Search

Whether you’re fresh out of college, deciding to start down a new career path, or making any sort of big life change, you absolutely MUST set goals. Goals are an important part of making any change in your life, they give you something to strive for, they give you purpose. Without clearly defined goals it is easy to flounder when making decisions. Goals structure your path to succeeding by giving you something to achieve.

You may have goals that are not clearly defined, such as “I want to work in Public Relations” or “I want to lose weight.” And that’s all well and good. You go, girl. Now, let’s come up with something specific enough that won’t allow you to rationalize less-than-ideal outcomes. By specifying your target, you know exactly what it is you’re aiming for and what it takes to get there.

If you aren’t exactly sure if your goals are specific enough, try using the “SMART” mnemonic. This can be extremely helpful when determining if your goals are sufficiently laid out, and worth charting out an action plan.

SMART stands for:

  • S– Specific (Significant)
  • M– Measurable (Meaningful)
  • A– Attainable (Action-Oriented)
  • R– Relevant (Realistic)
  • T– Time-Bound (Trackable)

So, instead of “I want to work in Public Relations,” your goal should look more like, “I want to work as a Manger of Emerging Media for a major PR firm by 2016.” Now, you may need to form smaller goals which would lead you to this result, but if you don’t have a clear objective, you’ll never get where you truly want to be.

Next step? Take action! If you’re looking for a new career, or advice on job searching, resumes, or interviewing, check out

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