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NSPS Self Assessment: Preparing Great Job Objectives

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by Nancy Segal

Like we discussed in the part one of this article, as the fiscal year winds down, it's time to start thinking about end of year activities. One of the key, end of year activities for many Department of Defense employees is the preparation of self assessments for rating year 2009 and the development of effective and relevant job objectives for rating year 2010.

The prior article discussed writing self assessments; this article will explore the preparation of job objectives.

As you saw when you created your self assessment for the last performance year, if you did not have good job objectives, it is very hard to write a good NSPS self assessment.

What goes into creating good job objectives?

Far too many job objectives read like position descriptions. Good job objectives should reflect the three to five main results that you are expected to achieve during the rating year. In addition those results must clearly link to you organization's mission and goals and include a relevant contributing factor. In PAA 3.0, you have 1,000 characters to write a powerful job objective.

We recommend using SMART to prepare your job objectives. What is SMART? SMART job objectives are: specific, measurable, aligned, realistic, and timed.

S (specific): Think about what you are expected to produce; we recommend using a noun, rather than a verb to describe the result expected. Instead of "Complete audits", which is really an activity, try reframing this is "Audits completed", which is the result that is expected

M (measurable): You want to have several measures to show that you achieved your result; measures can be both quantitative and qualitative. We measure things every day, and not all of our measures have numbers associated with them. Do you have "good kids"? You are measuring your kids, and most likely you aren't using numeric measures!!

A (aligned): How does your result contribute to your organization's mission? Your job objective should clearly help your organization achieve success. If your job objective does not support your organization's success, it shouldn't be a job objective and you shouldn't be doing it!

R (realistic): Your job objective should be achievable and within your control. If there are other units or people that impact your success, you should note it.

T (timed): When is your result due? If you have a multiyear project, your job objective should specify what can be achieved in THIS rating year; leave out-year expectations for next year!

A couple of final thoughts:

Don't forget to look at the performance indicators for your pay scale and band when writing your job objectives; these can help you with language (the Resume Place offers a free, key word tree to assist you).

Additionally, be sure to include a contributing factor with your job objective and discuss your job objectives with your supervisor; you need to ensure that your job objectives reflect not only what is important to you, but also aligns with the results you supervisor is expecting!

About the Author

Nancy Segal, a retired federal human resources specialist with 30 years experience, is the co-author of Writing Your NSPS Self-Assessment and works with The Resume Place. Inc. as a training instructor and author. Samples, keywords, personal empowerment writing style, and instruction for writing accomplishments are available in the newly revised, second edition of this book -- and this second edition of the book is in PAA 3.0 format. Click here for more information on Writing Your NSPS Self Assessment

Posted with Permission from: MyFederalRetirement.com



NSPS Self Assessment: Preparing Great Job Objectives
« Previous Article Viewed 567 Times Next Article »