Part 1: Goal Setting

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Create achievable SMART goals (LO1)
  • Connect academic knowledge with a professional setting (LO2)
  • Analyze how to achieve personal growth in industry (LO5).

An Introduction to Goals

In all aspects of life it can be beneficial to set goals. Setting goals can promote change, growth, development as well as provide a sense of accomplishment. This book will focus on work-related goals, but many of the concepts can be applied to your personal life as well. Worth noting is that while you may set a goal, this does not mean that there is a rigid path to follow to achieve that goal. Often, new opportunities may become available that change or shorten your path toward your desired goal.

Professional goal-setting revolves around what is important to you. Review this list and identify which items may be important to you professionally:

  • Earn a promotion
  • Apply skills learned in graduate program
  • Obtain full-time status in current occupation
  • Develop new skills that would propel you into a new position
  • Create a network of field-related colleagues that serve as a support and knowledge base
  • Locate a potential mentor
  • Financial security
  • Health insurance benefits

This is by no means an exhaustive list of professional goals. Before moving forward, consider, what your priorities are in life? How many more items could you add to this list?


Long-term and short-term goals are fantastic components in everyday life, but are they SMART goals? SMART goals meet certain criteria. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed. Review the slides below to learn more about SMART goals.

Evaluating Yourself

Once you have a goal in mind, it is helpful to take a moment and evaluate where you are currently. This may help you develop your SMART goal. For example, here’s an evaluation of someone in the restaurant industry:

Goal: Owning a restaurant

Strengths, which will contribute to the successful completion of this goal:

  • Will complete Cook Apprenticeship program this year
  • Three years’ experience working in a restaurant
  • Worked as a bus person and server during high school
  • Knowledge of wines as a result of my wine-making hobby
  • Have been promised a full-time job as a cook on completion of apprenticeship
  • Confident self-starter
  • Highly motivated
  • Need little sleep
  • Can work long hours
  • Supportive family
  • Uncle owns a restaurant

Barriers, which may be obstacles to overcome in order to complete this goal:

  • Lack business management skills and experience
  • Have not developed a menu on my own
  • Do not know the market for new restaurants in this community
  • Do not know the legislation and legal requirements for opening a restaurant
  • Do not know how to mix drinks
  • Do not know how to deal with customers or sell
  • Lack the capital to start a business
  • Have a car loan of $5,000
  • Make child support payments of $200 a month
  • Work irregular shifts which make it hard to attend courses

Goal Development

Now, you can start planning your goals and how you will complete them. A couple strategies that may assist you are finding a mentor and setting a timeline to adhere to throughout the process.

Please watch this video, which offers strategies and insight about finding a great mentor. After viewing the video, scroll down to find an example of how to align goals with a timeline.



Here are some proposed timelines and steps for the goal Owning a Restaurant

Step Planned Completion Date Actual Completion Date
Rework personal budget to save $200 per month March 31 March 31
Give notice to present landlord March 31 March 31
Find new accommodation that fits new budget April 15 April 6
Sell car and pay off car loan April 15 April 18
Use proceeds to buy older car without loan (brother may have a lead on a good car) April 22 April 23
Move into new apartment May 1 May 1
Write Cook Red Seal exam May 15
Increase monthly savings to $400 as a result of having no car loan June 1
Borrow Restaurant Operations Manual from uncle and study legal and legislative requirements section; rework action plan if necessary June 15
Register for a bartender’s course to start in September June 15


Additional Learning Materials:


  1. Student Experiential Education Agreement (LO2) (LO4)


  1. Why the secret to success is setting the right goals (11:51) (LO1)

References for Remixed Content:

BC Cook Articulation Committee (n.d.) Working in the food service industry. Pressbooks.

Papalouka, P. (2019, January 25). How to find a great mentor [Video]. YouTube.

Queensland Government (2022, February 22). SMART performance goals. Pressbooks.



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Graduate Internship by Andrea Bearman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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