Man and women smiling at camera with fists up in the airThe start of a new year can be a great time to set new goals for yourself. Discover some goal-setting techniques that may help you succeed and find out how Social Security's Ticket to Work program can offer you supports and services if your goals include pursuing work this year.

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A Fresh Approach to Setting Goals

Jan 15, 2019

Man and women smiling at camera with their fist up in the airWelcome to 2019! People typically make resolutions and set goals at the beginning of a new year. But, how many of us know how to set achievable goals that are also truly meaningful to our personal and professional lives? Below, we mention a few ways to approach goal setting. However, no matter which way you choose, working with a Ticket to Work (Ticket) program service provider can help.

Types of goals

Some goal-setting experts suggest setting "SMART" goals — goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. SMART goals help you map out a plan for reaching your goal and identify the steps you need to take to make progress. Having measurable actions to complete in a certain amount of time may also help you stay on track and stay motivated, especially when you're working toward a large goal that may take a long time.  

Even if you've established a SMART goal, you may also want to think about what your short- and long-term goals are. For this method, short-term goals should be smaller steps on the way to reaching your larger, long-term goal. If you have a long-term goal of finding work in a particular industry, consider setting short-term goals to complete any necessary training, certifications or education you may need to reach the larger goal. This way, you can focus on what you want to achieve now and build on that success as you pursue your long-term goals. 

Setting goals with Ticket to Work

Whichever method appeals to you, consider working with a Ticket program service provider. The Ticket program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. This free and voluntary program actually begins with goal setting. Once you have selected a service provider (Employment Network or State Vocational Rehabilitation agency) that meets your needs, you can talk with the provider about what you want to accomplish. Together, you will discuss what experience you have that relates to your work goal, what steps are necessary for you to reach your goal and how the service provider will help you.

Once you and your service provider agree that your goal is realistic, your provider will discuss with you how they will help you. For example, they may provide career counseling, job-search and job-placement assistance, resume writing, and benefits counseling. They may also help you request job accommodations. Once you begin working, they can help you focus on some of your long-term goals, like maintaining employment, finding another job or increasing your earnings.

If you agree to the services they offer, you and your service provider will both sign a document called an Individual Work Plan. This plan is an agreement that states that your service provider will invest time and resources to help you become employable, find work, keep a job and maximize your earning potential. Your part of the agreement is to follow the work plan and make timely progress toward your goal.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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