Step 3: Setting Goals

Goal setting is a great way to keep up with a work plan. Goals are great motivators and achieving a goal you set for yourself helps to build self-confidence.

When in doubt about goal setting, think SMART.

SMART goals are:

  • Specific: Go into as much detail as you can when setting your goals.
  • Measurable: There needs to be some sort of accountability mechanism or way to know how the goal is progressing. This might be the impact achieving this goal is having or an actual number that you can measure.
  • Achievable: Your goal should be action-oriented, and you should be able to identify the steps needed to complete it.
  • Relevant: Goals should be rewarding in some way to you. Whether you are contributing to positive change or changing yourself, your goals should matter to you.
  • Time Sensitive: Goals need to have a definite end date. Remember to save time reflection and assessment.

Other Tips and Tricks

Set goals for things you can control. It can be demotivating to fail to achieve a goal for reasons beyond your control. In business, that could include a shift in the market or an unexpected change to a government policy. In sports, they could include bad weather, injuries, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and draw satisfaction from them.

Thinking ahead allows us to be realistic and to create contingency plans to deal with challenges from the get-go. Set both short-term and long-term goals and revisit them often.

When the timeline for our goals has passed, it is important to assess them on three measures:

  • Were they accomplished?
  • What were the factors that contributed to the outcome?
  • How can I use this to influence my future goals?

Whether your goals change, need to be adjusted or are no longer relevant, it’s OK. Things change. Just make sure you continue to move forward with what is relevant for you.

At the end of term, for our goals, it is always important to assess the impact of these goals, new or otherwise on our lives. Self-reflection is important to maintaining a growth mindset.  

Creating a Workplan

At the beginning of every work placement the student, with the support and guidance of their supervisor, should create a workplan. It should then be used throughout the placement to track and evaluate progress and performance.

Download Workplan Template

Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Work placements are valuable learning experiences. After successfully completing a WIL placement at one of VAC’s regional offices, students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate competency in areas related to general therapeutic counseling skills, case management skills, professionalism, professional ethics, and working with diversity;
  • Demonstrate safety knowledge & compliance regarding company policy, provincial and territorial regulations, and skills application;
  • Demonstrate dependability in attendance, punctuality, and ability to follow instructions;
  • Demonstrate competence in level of job knowledge, adaptability to change, organizational ability, and problem solving;
  • Apply theories and concepts of anti-oppressive practice, social policy and multicultural focus to client situations;
  • Assess relationships with clients, colleagues, and administrative personnel; and
  • Work within the policies, procedures, and legal and ethical parameters of the practice setting.

  • Use good communication skills: verbal, written, and listening;
  • Evaluate and interpret learning and practical experiences in a discussion-based seminar;
  • Assess the education experience through a learning portfolio and self-reflection; and
  • Evaluate their personal practice and identify areas that need further attention and development.