In Case You Missed It! SMARTER Goal Setting for Career-Minded Students

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By: Sumaita Mahmood 

Hi everyone! My name is Sumaita, and I am a Wasserman Career Ambassador in my senior year studying Global Public Health and Chemistry. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Diversity Internship and Career Program (DICP) event, SMARTER Goal Setting for Career-Minded Students. This was a fantastic workshop that delved into how to build your personal brand to enhance your career development. Even as a seasoned senior, I found the workshop incredibly valuable and the information from this session could help anyone further organize the way they think about their career.  

Career planning is an ongoing process. This workshop takes you through on steps take to create a great plan to make sure that you are on track with you career planning for success. Different people define success differently. Some ways people define success include enjoyment, passion, money, influence, status, and work-life balance.

The first activity we did was around envisioning our futures, trying to think of the environment and the setting we could see for ourselves. Next, we created our mission statements and vision statements. To create your mission statement, you want to think of the motivations behind the career choices that you have made so far and will continue to make. These reasons could range from personal experiences, identities, or values. A vision statement answers the question how would you like to impact in the world. This calls on participants to think of what they would like to seem themselves doing in the future based on their current passion. 

The next activity asked us to bring out our creative side with markers and colored pens because we were asked to create a mind map of our career. The goal of this activity was to organize the loose thoughts and dreams we all have about our career on paper, which would allow us to create more organized plans and allow for better strategizing with respect to our careers.

Then, we made two lists, one for 3-5 short term goals and the other for long term. These goals can be related to education, professional development, desired positions, industries, and tasks. Once, we had jotted this down, we worked on creating these goals into positives. For instance, if someone’s goal was to procrastinate less, they could reframe it to “give myself ample time to complete tasks.”

This process of reframing our goals directly led us into learning about SMARTER goals. The acronym, SMARTER, stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound, energizing and reviewed. These serve as guidelines for creating a goal that has all the characteristics that make it great. To develop our own SMARTER goals, we first assigned our top priority for next year, the date we will achieve it and the steps that we will take towards this accomplishment. Next, we created a comprehensive 30, 60, and 90 day plan with subgoals, weekly actions and daily actions. It is also important to include rewards in these plans for meeting subgoals and goals. Lastly, the most important part of a plan is to make sure that there is accountability for following the plan and frequent review of your progress. Some ways to keep yourself accountable are committing to a schedule, using apps like HabitBull, doing a quarterly review for your plan, and meeting with a Career Coach at the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development. 

This was a great workshop to create a comprehensive plan for career development in a group setting. It was nice to hear others share their future plans and get feedback on developing your own personal brand. This event showed that DICP workshops are surely not to be missed!