Saturday, October 11, 2008

Modeling tips: plan your career (2)

Last week's article was about setting goals, defining steps and taking action. This week, I'll discuss the evaluation of your plans and actions. Normally, you wouldn't evaluate after a week of course, so read the article now and bookmark for later use.


Many people seem to wonder when they should evaluate their goals. In fact, it is pretty obvious. Remember what the "T" in S.M.A.R.T. means? Right, timely. It means that the definition of your goals include a deadline. And when the deadline is there, the moment of evaluation has come as well. Of course, if your reach a goal before the deadline, don't hesitate to evaluate before that deadline. Since all your goals are measurable, it won't be hard to note if you've reached one.


Evaluation. It sounds like something very complicated for high-educated people. It's not. In fact, you do it all the time in daily life. Did I like that meal? How do I look in that dress? How much money do I have left? Was that movie any good? Answering these questions means you're evaluating. Evaluation is nothing more than posing the right questions and answering them as good as you can. It's the same with goals: Did I reach them? Why(not)? Did I follow the steps? Did I take the actions I defined? Did I take other actions instead because an opportunity came by? And so on.

Note that there are no right and wrong answers. Also note that you are not on trial. There is only one person you are evaluating for, and that is you. So be honest and serious. No socially desirable answers, you'll be fooling yourself and yourself alone.

Then what?

So, okay, I've answered the questions, now what? First of all, be happy and proud of every goal you reached. Great work, well done. Now go find new, higher, goals to follow up on your success. Second, learn from the goals you didn't reach? Why didn't you? Were they set too high? Adjust them. Were the steps insufficient? Add more steps. Didn't you work hard enough? Work harder. Was it bad luck? Are you sure? Hope for more luck next time and think of how you can increase your luck.

In short: every time you reach a goal or deadline, evaluate, learn and adjust your planning. Plans are dynamic in nature, because they involve progression. Don't be afraid to adjust your plans, be worried if there is no need to.

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