You will get what you focus on..
What on earth do I mean with that?
You know all those really successful people that we read about, hear about and even see within our own organisations? They all have got one important thing in common. They all have an end goal they are working towards. They have a vision of where they want to end up and what they want to achieve along the way. They also have a clear plan of how they will achieve that outcome or end goal.
To have a successful Business Analysis career you must do what they do. So lets have a look at how you go about when creating your vision or end goal and what other steps you need to take.
Your Career Goals
Your goals are the ‘map’ for reaching your Business Analysis career outcome or vision. It lays out the milestones or ‘cities’ you need to get to on your ‘map’ to be moving closer to your vision or outcome.
You must set your goals with the end goal in mind. The goals you define can be short term (next week, next month or in 3 months), medium term (6 months to 2 years) and longer term goals (2 to 5 years). Also you must revisit your goals every week initially and then every month when you are in the habit of revisiting the goals. Remember that your goals will change and you must therefore revisit your goals very often, re-evaluate them and redefine them. You will gain more information on your progress and direction as you work on achieving them and this is why it is OK to change them. The key here is for you to revisit them often and to always strive to align them with your overall outcome or vision!
When you define your goals, you must ensure you define them to be S-M-A-R-T goals.
What is a S-M-A-R-T Goal?
SMART is an acronym for attributes your career goal statement definition must have. Each career goal statement must have these attributes to ensure that they are clear and achievable. Have a look at the description of each letter below and then apply it when you do your goal definitions:
Example Career Goal Statement: “I have completed reading this book in 7 days from today.”
S – Specific
An example of a “Specific” attribute would be that you are specific about what it is that you want to achieve, i.e. finish reading this book. You are not saying you want to have looked at this book (that could mean anything from looking at the cover to scanning the pages, who knows?).
In this example we use the word “completed reading the book” which is very specific in what the goal is.
M – Measurable
If we continue with example above, that goal is measurable because you are saying you want to complete reading the whole book. So you will be able to measure whether you finished reading this book or not by simply looking at which page you are at in 7 days from today.
A – As if it’s already happened
The goal definition must be written in a way that it sounds like it has already been achieved; it is already a fact and completed. In our example above it states the goal as if it has already been completed.
R – Realistic
Also remember that you want to set goals that will stretch you but at the same time you must be able to achieve your goals. It must be feasible and realistic.
T – Time
The time attribute is important because you need to know by when this goal should be met by you. In our example it says in 7 days from today. In your real life goal definition you will include a date.