Using SMART goals to get career success for women

Technology has long been a male-dominated industry. However, recent years are bringing about a trend of more women in the sector. For women currently in IT, or those interested in getting started, SMART goals can be a great tool for helping women get an IT career started, or propel those already in the industry, while changing the male-dominated trend.

Women career success

SMART goals are similar to regular goals, but more successful because of their attention to detail, individual steps and time-sensitivity. Rather than a general statement like, “I want to lose weight,” a SMART goal has some specificity and other characteristics tied to it. “I want to lose 10 pounds this month by running one mile per day and reducing my calorie count by 400” is an example of a SMART goal.

If you don’t have a Specific plan in place, how can you expect to know whether a goal is being reached? The goal should have some benchmarks associated with it that can define progress (Measurable). Make sure the individual steps and the end-goal are Actionable and Realistic, which further aid in keeping track of your progress. Since the Time-sensitive element of SMART goals gives you a deadline, you’ll always know when you should be working harder or putting in more effort.

Example #1 – For Women Interested in Entering the IT Field

“I will start my entry into the IT sector by the end of this month by enrolling in IT Service Management training classes, speaking to an IT professional, and gaining experience by volunteering at my church and helping them fix their recent computer issues.”

This goal is quite specific (getting into IT through enrollment, volunteering and learning from IT professionals). It’s measurable, as you can see whether you’re progressing in the one month time frame with the specific steps outlined. The goal is actionable – get out there and start enrolling, making phone calls, and learning as much as you can. Realistically speaking, the goal is absolutely doable and it falls within a time frame that keeps you moving forward.

Here’s what Sadie Redgrave, a one time Graduate and now head of IT Support at www.contractphoneswithfreegifts.com who kindly responded to our Tweet about this article had to say about using SMART Goals to succeed:

“I found the challenge of dealing with lack of female companionship difficult on my course so I had to use SMART goals to succeed otherwise I’d have lost confidence and enthusiasms, the two of which are closely linked. Because I could track my progress I knew I was heading in the right direction, and despite being one of the only girls it no longer mattered to me. I think that young women trying to forge themselves a career in the IT industry today are going to face an even tougher task so have to do the same.”

Example #2 – For Women Seeking to Advance Their IT Career

“I will enhance my IT knowledge, skills and marketability within two years by earning my Master of Science in Information Technology and applying these skills within my company.”

Again, this is Specific and Time Sensitive (in the next four weeks I will enhance my knowledge and marketability). You’ll be able to measure progress of the actionable items (either you’ve enrolled in certification classes and are studying, or you haven’t). It is a realistic goal, as there isn’t anything about the statement that cannot be done.

When making sure your goals follow the SMART model, you’re setting yourself up for success.

While your male counterparts are focusing on beating each other to the punch, you’ll be making actionable and realistic goals that will position you front and center in the IT world.

 


Hello, I am a housewife and love my family. Also love to write on my blog when i am free.

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