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Aren’t Goals And Projects Part Of A Person’s Job Responsibilities?

Why does an ideal appraisal form have a separate section for goals and projects?

A goal or special project is a part of the job that an individual does in addition to meeting the key job responsibilities of her position.

There are two elements that make goals different from key job responsibilities. The first is the time focus. Key job responsibilities focus on the job as it is right now; as it is captured in a job description. On the other hand, goals are major projects and activities that focus beyond the existing job responsibilities. They may transform the job from what it is today to something new.

The other element that distinguishes goals from key job responsibilities is the concept of ‘‘discretionary time.’’ To work on a goal, or to be involved with a major project, the individual must have some free time. If the individual’s time at work is expected to be devoted 100 percent to the items laid out in the job description, then the individual has no discretionary time to apply toward achieving a goal.

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Consider a person doing a telemarketing job. The person comes in to work and goes to his workstation. He puts on the headset, brings up the list of names to call on his computer screen, dials the first number, and as soon as the target has answered, goes into the pitch. Spends eight hours a day dialing for dollars; goes home. There is no discretionary time in that job and therefore little opportunity for meaningful goal setting. The entire focus of the telemarketer’s job is to call and sell, call and sell.