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A note book with smart goals written on it

We’ve put together a helpful guide below, including professional SMART goal examples, so you can set yourself some SMART career goals!

SMART is an acronym used for goal setting – it stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Goals are part of every aspect of business/life and provide a sense of direction, motivation, a clear focus, and clarify importance.

By setting professional goals for yourself, you are providing yourself with a target to aim for. Here’s a great article by SEEK on the benefits of setting career goals >>


Be as clear and specific as possible with what you want to achieve. 

To make a goal specific, the five “W” questions must be considered:

  • Who is involved in this goal?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where is this goal to be achieved?
  • When do I want to achieve this goal?
  • Why do I want to achieve this goal?

SMART Career Goal Example: “Within the next 12 months, I want to be employed in a career in the Community Services industry so I can help vulnerable people”

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What evidence will prove you’re making progress toward your goal? If there is no criteria, you will not be able to determine your progress and if you are on track to achieving your goal.

To make a goal measurable, ask yourself:

  • How many/much?
  • How do I know if I have reached my goal?
  • What is my indicator of progress?

SMART Career Goal Example: “I will read through information and/or watch videos to find out what the skills, attributes and qualifications are required to work in Community Services”

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Setting goals you can reasonably accomplish within a certain timeframe will help keep you motivated and focused. The achievability of the goal should be stretched to make you feel challenged, but defined well enough that you can actually achieve it.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve the goal? If not, what am I missing?
  • Have others done it successfully before?

SMART Career Goal Example: “I will watch interviews with real life community services workers, managers, trainers and students to hear about their success and what it’s actually like to work in this industry”

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A SMART goal is realistic if you believe that it can be accomplished. Ask yourself why the goal is important to you, how achieving it will help you and how it will contribute toward your long-term goals.

Ask yourself:

  • Is the goal realistic and within reach?
  • Is the goal reachable given the time and resources?
  • Are you able to commit to achieving the goal?

SMART Career Goal Example: “I will enrol into a training course to ensure I am qualified and skilled to work in this industry”

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What is your goal time-frame? If the goal is not time constrained, there will be no sense of urgency and motivation to achieve the goal.

Ask yourself:

  • Does my goal have a deadline?
  • By when do you want to achieve your goal?

SMART Career Goal Example: “By committing to the training course, I have a set timeline to complete my studies and a set number of work placement hours to do”

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We hope this has been a helpful guide and has given you a better understanding of what SMART Goals are and how you can use them to set career goals as part of your career planning.

If you need some help and would like to speak to someone either face to face or over the phone about career goal setting – please contact your Jobs / Youth Advisor on 1800 007 400.

ETC Training JobLab Customer Resource “Career Planning” Module
Corporate Finance Institute “What is a SMART Goal”
Indeed “SMART Goals: Definition and Examples”



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