• 20 March 2019
  • USB-ED
  • 4 min

How to set smart goals to climb the corporate ladder

We can't predict the future. None of us know what tomorrow will bring, but we can plan for what we'd like to achieve in our personal and professional lives in the months and years ahead.  The New Year brings ample opportunities and a time for new ambitions. What you do with your time and talents is your choice. So why not make 2019 your best year yet? Aim high, climb that corporate ladder and set SMART goals.

Make a plan to get ahead

From a professional point of view, here are our top tips to get ahead and set your career on the right course, through online studies, smart goals and more:

1. Have a plan

The adage goes, 'Fail to plan and plan to fail'. You need to have an action plan. Sketch out a roadmap of where you see yourself a year from now…ten years from now. Ask yourself, 'What does success look like? What is your starting point and what is your destination?' This will give you a better sense of what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it. 

2. Set yourself realistic short- and long-term career goals

Setting short, as well as long term goals is vitally important. Goals help you to articulate what it is that you want to achieve and when you want to achieve this by. They'll help you to focus and will act as milestones along the journey. Once again, the critical thing is to be honest with yourself and keep your goals and objectives realistic and achievable.

Get a head-start by being SMART:

Many people use the S.M.A.R.T goal setting method. S.M.A.R.T stands for:

Specific: Be specific about your goals, make sure they are well defined and keep them simple. Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve? When, how and why?

Measurable: Am I able to measure what success will look like?

Achievable: Given the skills, talents and resources that I currently have, are these goals achievable?

Realistic: Am I being honest with myself, can I really achieve this goal? Do I have the time, determination and resources to pursue this goal? Is it relevant and beneficial to where I want to get to and what I want to achieve?  

Time-based: Setting a deadline for the attainment of goals can act as a motivator in your quest to rise through the ranks – but you must give yourself the time to complete your goals. Make sure the timeline is both clear and realistic.

3. Track your progress and celebrate your successes – no matter how great or small

No one can say that the elevator to the C-suite is an easy ride. There will be challenges to overcome and sacrifices to make. Celebrating 'small wins' will keep you motivated on your journey to achieving longer-term goals.

4. Always remember… knowledge is power

In today's fast-paced digital environment, knowledge is the real and unfailing currency, which makes continuous education key. For those serious about making their way in the corporate and business world, building your career on solid foundations will stand you in good stead – now and in the years to come. Check out what executive education courses are available and always keeping your short- and long-term goals in mind as this will help to achieve your greater vision of professional and personal fulfilment.

At USB-ED, we offer a range of leadership and management development programmes and short courses ideally suited for candidates or aspiring corporate executives wanting to advance their knowledge, understanding and skills in navigating today's' corporate world.

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