goal setting for purpose

How to set intentional goals as a graduate

Taking the time to set intentional goals as a graduate can be difficult. It’s easy to get caught up in daily tasks, whilst your goals get placed down the priority list. However, it’s important to set time aside to prioritise intentional goals, so you can hold yourself accountable and ensure you stay on the right path.

Our last For Purpose Tuesday session was hosted by one of our previous graduates, Shannon Barrett. Shannon set a goal of becoming Recruitment Consultant at 2into3 and in under two years, she has successfully achieved it.

Shannon discussed how to set goals intentionally with our graduates.


Why is it important to set intentional goals as a graduate?


  • Provides direction and motivation to take action
  • Helps identify what’s important
  • Help create your individual pathway
  • Can encourage productivity and reduce wasted time
  • Helps to feel in control of your own future


How to set intentional goals as a graduate

It is important to set time aside to review your goals on a weekly, or monthly basis. Creating a specific time to focus on your goals will help build this habit in your professional development.

Shannon advises our graduates to use the following framework for outlining goals:

The SMARTER acronym

SMARTER goal setting for purpose

  • Specific

It’s important to be specific with your goals, such as asking, What do I want to accomplish? Why is this goal important? Who is involved? Where will I achieve this goal? Which resources or limits are involved?

  • Measured

Create measurable goals to ensure that you have a clear way to define success / failure. Provide exact figures outlining exactly how much you want to achieve. For example, “I will attend 3 webinars to develop my professional knowledge by the end of the year.”

  • Attainable

It’s important to be ambitious with your goals, yet realistic. You should be aiming to push yourself out of your comfort zone, yet not to an entirely unrealistic level.

  • Relevant

Ask yourself if this goal is relevant to your long term objectives. How will it benefit you in the long run?

  • Time-bound

Creating a timeline for when you’d like to achieve your goals will help achieve them in a given period.

  • Evaluated

It’s important to reflect and evaluate your goals to decide if they’re still right for you. Don’t be afraid to revise these goals on a regular basis.

  • Rewarded

Make sure to reward yourself for achieving certain milestones. It’s important to take pride in what you have achieved, reward yourself accordingly and reflect before moving onto your next goal!

Goal setting at For Purpose

At For Purpose, we value intentional goal setting as a means of developing our graduates’ careers. We connect our graduates with a mentor to set intentional goals, reflect on their work and discuss any shortcomings. This provides a safe place for graduates to discuss their goals, or any potential issues they may be having.

If you’re interested in investing in graduate talent and require support, contact our Director of Talent Management, Fergal O’Sullivan.