Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future

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Personal and Professional Goals

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn this vision of the future into reality.

The hardest choice for a person in making a good career choice and goal setting for career is to decide what exactly you want. Although sometimes it is very likely that you know what you want to be, but even then you have doubts whether your choice is right or wrong for you, whether it will going to work for you or not.

The goal setting process assists you to decide where you want to go in life. If you know exactly what you want to achieve, where you want to be in your life, you are always clear about the areas where you need to put your efforts. You can also identify the distractions which can potentially lure you from your course.

More than this, properly-set goals can be incredibly motivating, and as you get into the habit of setting and achieving goals, you'll find that your self-confidence builds fast.

Key Skills to Meet Goals and Objectives

Following are the key skills that can be helpful in achieving your own and organizational goals:

Personal Skills

Self-awareness: Is the process of identifying the own need actively, your mind-set, your way of thinking, your potencies, and flaws.

Resource application: Vigorously classifies and develop a broad choice of resources while looking for other points of view and estimation.

Profession/educational planning: Vigorously think long-term insinuation of one's studies and daily activities and is dedicated to a well-developed, yet dynamic plan.

Time management: Make sure you are using time well to perform daily activities during the Project/Assignment to complete your allocated tasks on time; the other team members do not have to change their routine because of your poor time management.

Approach and Inspiration: Always encourage self; regularly and positively engage with the learning community.

Pride: Your best efforts are always recognized by the efforts you put in.

Working with others: Almost constantly try to take note to other person, distribute with, and supports the efforts of others; on a regular basis express understanding and faith in others; tries to keep people working well together.

Check your attitude at work - make sure it's professional and positive. It is always you who starts the process of creating a better work environment (This can be good news for someone and bad for other). Are you expecting something extra from your manager, staff, or colleagues? Are you dejected and unenthusiastic at your work? Work and daily life conflicts are mostly two sided and that means that somehow you are also contributing towards a poor working atmosphere. Feedback from your colleagues will really help you to achieve your career goals, so always ask them about your job performance and approach towards work.

Keep the close details of your personal life separate from your professional life. It is sometimes good to talk about your leisure pursuit, general family circumstances, professional and life goals, and overall health. But even if you feel that your coworkers are most likely to become a close friend then try to avoid getting too much personal with them. If you have any family issues or have any crises at home, try to leave all that at home or outside the office. You have to be very clear about your boundaries to be happy at work, this will make you more productive and you have better chances to get the job promotion/raise.

Enjoy the different personality types and traits at work. Your colleagues are not thinking or acting in the same way as yours. For example, shy persons usually do not like to chat and they feel less relaxed in the large meetings. Assertive persons always try to be the center of attention, and they can talk about a small point for hours. You need to accept the personality qualities of your colleagues in order to achieve the career objectives.

Professional Skills

Learn how to build relationship with your coworkers and patrons. It means that you are always ready to hear to your colleagues and clients and ready to understand their point of view by putting yourself in their shoes. It will be helpful for you to synchronize you with them and create the belief and likeness. Determined to attach with your colleagues will not only move your career forward, it'll help you enjoy your job more.

Active listening: It gives the complete awareness to the speaker on regular basis; you can use the suitable body language and present remarks, queries, and precisely rephrases.

Quality preparation: You need to finish your allocated tasks on the regular basis; you need to express a rational interest through autonomous explorations of the topic.

Strength in diversity: You need to show very much respect for the people who are from the other social backgrounds and faiths, this includes ethnicity, their religion, their sex, their race and ability to do the certain tasks by establishing the relationship with them.

Negotiation and mediation: You need to show your ability of achieving the creative resolutions that fulfill the requirements of all the people involved. This can be achieved if you listen all the parties, you negotiate with them and you use a median approach.

Teamwork: You need to constantly work with others to achieve a common objective while representing guidance and/or idea.

Public Dialogue: You need to constantly show a capability and enthusiasm to speak about the concerns of the community on different forums. You should have the good awareness of the audience, you must have the in depth information of the concerns, and you must show your depth of thought by considering the concerns from the different points of view.

Addresses complex problems: You need to constantly express the combination of acquaintance and ability to resolve composite troubles.

Connections between related concepts: You need to constantly use both apparent and slight relations between related notions.

Consideration of consequences: You need to constantly predict and eloquent possible consequences.

Sufficient, appropriate evidence: You need to constantly spot on and make use of adequate and suitable proof.

"Why is this important": You need to constantly able to identify and eloquent why new information and/or skills are important.

Effective ways to Improve

Besides the above mentioned key skills you must always take care whenever you set your personal or professional goals that they must be SMART.

One of the best ways of making the goals more great and achievable is to use the SMART mnemonic. SMART means:

S Specific

M Measurable

A Attainable

R Relevant

T Time-bound

Following is the table that lists down the aspects step by step that you may require while you are trying to set and analyze your professional objectives and goals.

All professional goals need to be defined and written down in the required hierarchy.

 

List down all the advantages and identify the benefits you will going to get if you achieve your goal, This will work as a motivation factor.

List down the all major steps you required to take.

Setting the realistic deadline for your goals is the next step.

List down all the resources and support you require to achieve these goals. For example I need these resources from this person to achieve this goal.

Now you need to list down what went according to your planning and what not and why not. This can be very helpful for your future use.

The table given above explains the basis (what, when, who, where and how) of your professional goal setting. This is very much similar to the approach used by journalist to write a story. This is how they find the facts for a story.

You just need to follow their approach when you are trying to set your career goals and objectives. The following table shows exactly how it works for you.

Who

What

Where

When

How

Who will you need to ask for help?

What is the outcome I want to have?

Where will I have to start from?

When will I start working on a task?

How will I start my work?

Who will be the beneficiary from the objective?

What will I do to get started?

Where will be I after 10 year if I achieve this goal?

When Do I want to achieve these goals?

How my future will be affected by these goals?

Who will be my partner to achieve this goal?

What will actually give me happiness?

Where will I use my resources?

When will I use my information to start achieving my objectives?

How do I actually feel about the goals that I have chosen?

The above mentioned questions need to be answered by you before you can actually start working on your professional objectives. You need to complete them with full thought and honesty, once you are done with this you can set their hierarchy. After this you will have to find the way to complete a task and as soon as you complete it you have attained your objective.

Personal Skills Audit

Skills audit assess performance, from both a job and procedure- management viewpoint. The most common ways to assess any person in an organization are performance appraisal forms and TNA.

Performance appraisal forms are done by the management side (both line manager and HR manager are involved in it either directly or indirectly). Most of the time they have the certain predefined question related to the performance and the potential of the employees, where they evaluate the performance of the employee in a specific time period and try to discover the potential employee have, so that it can be used in setting the goals for employee.

The process of classifying the areas where both the folks and groups in an organization would benefit from the training is called the training needs analysis (TNA). A typical TNA engages the following fundamental steps:

Classifying the goals of the organization.

Assigning a training co-coordinator.

Combining details about the proficiencies and capabilities of the folks that is required now and in the future as well.

Analysis of the available data.

Spot out the existing gap between the present position and what is/will required.

As an IT Professional when I see my TNA, it can contain the following major areas:

Project Management

Soft Skills

Domain Knowledge

Technical Skills

Tools

As I am a Sr. Software Quality Assurance Engineer, I will take each of them and evaluate myself where I stand at the moment and what I want to achieve in the next one year. There are following four skill levels defined at the moment:

No Skill

Beginner

Intermediate

Expert

Project Management

Team Management

Time Management

Risk Management

Test Planning, Designing

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Intermediate

Beginner

Expert

Intermediate

Intermediate

Beginner

Expert

Intermediate

Soft Skills

Communication Skills

Interpersonal skills

Work Ethics / Personality Building

Company's Policies and Standard

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Expert

Intermediate

Expert

Intermediate

Intermediate

Beginner

Expert

Intermediate

Domain Knowledge

Claims

Referencing

Policy

Billing/Financials

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Expert

Intermediate

Intermediate

Beginner

Intermediate

Beginner

Intermediate

Beginner

Technical Skills

SQA (Audit, review Planning)

Automated Testing Tools

Quality Standards (CMMI / ISO)

Data Base (DB2, SQL Server, Oracle)

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Beginner

No Skill

Expert

Intermediate

Beginner

No Skill

Expert

Intermediate

Tools

Quality Center(QC)

Quick Test Professional (QTP)

Team Track

Load Runner

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Desired Competency

Current Competency

Expert

Intermediate

Expert

Intermediate

Expert

Intermediate

Beginner

No Skill

Identification of Preferred learning style

People study in a different way. Some wish using pictures. Others like working in groups. Here are the three main factors creating up your learning style.

The three senses - auditory, visual and kinesthetic

The two reasoning types - deductive and inductive

The two environments - intrapersonal and interpersonal

Stages of Personal skills

A different plan is just to sit physically down and create a list of what you know you are good at. This will come easier to some than to others.

Step One

Just start writing. You already know at least some of the things you are good at. You'll find there are some skills you feel very certain with and others where you imagine you can do them 'a bit'.

Step Two

You will come up with some skills without any prompting, but there will be many more.

Step Three

Why not directly ask some of your friends and colleagues what they think are your main powers and skills as they see them.

Step Four

A list is not enough. It is important that you rate your skills by level of skill and level of pleasure.

Personal Development Plan

If we take a look at the Personal Development Plan we will find the following three steps:

TNA

The prioritizing/urgency assessment

Development Needs and Training Opportunities

We already cover the first part. Now we will explore the rest of the personal development plan points. Let's look at the second point "The prioritizing/urgency assessment" first.

The Prioritizing/Urgency assessment

Once we are done with the TNA we need to prioritize each and every task under the long term and short term goals. According to the above TNA I have prioritize my task and trainings in the following way:

Short Term Goals:

Time Management

Risk Management

Test Planning, Designing

Communication Skills

Work Ethics/Personality Building

Company Policies and Standards

Claims

Policy

Automated Testing Tools

Quality Standards (CMMI/ISO)

Quality Center QC

Quick Test Professional QTP

Team Track

Load Runner

Long Term Goals:

Team Management

Interpersonal Skills

Referencing

Billing/Financials

SQA (Audit, Review Planning)

Data Base (DB2, SQL Server, Oracle)

Development Needs and Training Opportunities

This area will list down the basic information and trainings required to achieve the goals and objectives. As per above list I need to do research and study on Time Management, Risk Management Test Planning & Designing, Team Management.

I need to attend trainings internal and external on the Communication skills, Work Ethics/Personality Building, Company Policies and Standards, Claims, Policy, Quality Standards, Load Runner, Inter Personal Skills, Referencing, Billing/Financials, SQA (Audit, Review Planning) and Data Base(DB2, SQL Server, Oracle).

I need to get hand on experience of Automated Testing Tools, Quality Center QC, Quick Test Professional QTP and Team Track.

On the other side I have to get books from office library about the domain, HR policies from HR portal and forward my name for all the trainings required. So that, HR can arrange training calendar for me for the next one year.

Evaluation

The process of evaluation consists of reviewing and making value judgments about what you have been achieved from your goals and what not. It is also used to judge the quality of the process being used to reach those goals. The best way to check whether the personal development measure is working for you or not is to immediately put your personal development achievement into test. If someone is working in a business oriented company he/she can put effort to improve business and can check whether the management notice these efforts or not. The other potential positive point for you can be the communication skills (both verbal and the written). If all goes your way and you are successful in achieving your personal objectives then you will feel the difference in which you are regarded in the organization. You would be asked to make major decisions and could even be promoted to a higher rank.

The most appropriate approach in my own PDP evaluation is biannual Performance appraisal where you and your line manager sit together and discuss how much goals you have achieved and how much are still pending. Then you find and change your TNA if required and re prioritizes your tasks.

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