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Career Development

How to Set Development Goals for Work

October 7, 2019

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Creating development goals for work can help you achieve more, expand your skillset and increase your job satisfaction. Knowing how to set and achieve your goals can make career progression more attainable and further your professional trajectory. In this article, we will discuss ways you can create development goals. 

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How to create professional development goals for work

Development goals for work help you improve key skills, such as being a strong leader or efficiently managing your time. There are numerous tactics to approaching your professional development goals, depending on your aim. Here are several examples of how to create good development goals:

  1. Take a leadership training course
  2. Get feedback every few months to know what to improve
  3. Learn more about the company
  4. Know how to manage your time
  5. Work on your emotional intelligence
  6. Improve relationships at work
  7. Develop your listening skills

1. Take a leadership training course.

A leadership training course can help you learn new practices and skills in any stage of your career. It can also help you discover ways to improve your current job position and skills that may enable you to advance in your career.

If you are interested in taking a leadership training course, see if your local community college offers this class. You can often attend a night class or online class to make it work with your current schedule. 

Related: SMART Goals: Definitions and Examples

2. Get feedback every few months to know what to improve

Feedback should be something you ask for before the end of the year. Take the initiative every few months to request feedback on what you can improve. This will bolster your performance at work and show your boss you are willing to change and adapt if needed.

Being open to feedback will help understanding how you can help make other people’s jobs easier. It is also good way to see how your practices and behaviors affect people around you. Feedback will give you insight into what is working and what may need to change.

Even when you have busy days at work, take the time to ask others for feedback. Setting regular goals of getting feedback from both your coworkers and boss will constantly enhance your skills. Schedule one-on-one meetings so you do not forget to talk to them about your development goals for work.

Related: Setting Goals to Improve Your Career

3. Learn more about the company

It is important to understand how the departments run in your company. Periodically take some time to communicate with different departments to see how they interact with yours. This approach shows you what departments need to work seamlessly with yours, and how you can do your best to improve protocol.

4. Know how to manage your time

One of the best work development goal ideas is learning how to manage your time. When you have good time management skills, you will succeed in meeting your deadlines. You could become more efficient, productive and content in your job.

One way to manage your time effectively is to keep track of how you spend it. Use a time management program that tells you how much of the day you spent on each task. Make sure you are only spending time on that specific task so you are not distracted by others. If you find yourself distracted often, consider setting rest periods after designated lengths of work time.

5. Work on your emotional intelligence

Another work development goal is to work on improving your emotional intelligence so you better understand your emotions and those of others. Being able to both understand and relate to others’ emotions increases communication with coworkers and clients and can motivate them to perform better.

Working on your emotional intelligence also helps you with self-awareness. Begin by observing your workplace interactions to understand why people are acting the way they are.

Related: Emotional Intelligence: Definition and Examples

6. Improve relationships at work

Improving your relationships with coworkers increases team performance because it encourages coworkers to support each other. Mutual consideration and collaboration is essential for team success.

For your relationships to improve, engage with others as much as possible in a way that is honest, open and real. An example is sharing non-work related news, such as a recent engagement. This way you will be able to build trust and improve your relationship with those you work with.

7. Develop your listening skills

To enhance your listening skills, practice actively listening to who is talking to you. Focus on what they are saying, and give them your full attention. You should also note their body language, as this is a strong method of communication. Ask questions if you need some of their points clarified, and let them finish their thought first before responding.

When you take the time to listen carefully to your clients or coworkers, you will hear crucial information and details that will help you serve your customers better and do your job effectively.

Setting development goals for work is a great way to increase productivity and make your work experience more enjoyable. Working toward goals will show your supervisors that you are serious about improving your work, which could make them more likely to consider you for a promotion or raise.

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