While we can set goals at any time, the start of the year is naturally a good time to think about what we want to achieve in our work life. We feel renewed and re-energized after the holiday break, ready to tackle whatever the new year brings. So, why not use this positive energy to create yearly goals that will advance your career, increase your income, and bring you more fulfillment?
If you’ve never created a career goal before or didn’t achieve the objectives you set last year, fear not. Here we’ll discuss the types of work goals you can establish in 2022 and how to ensure you achieve them.
What career goals should you set in 2022?
Goals should always be a personal choice, regardless of whether you’re creating objectives around work, home, or family life. However, most career goals fall into one of these categories.
Progressing in your career
Many people set career goals around progressing in their career. These objectives could be anything from getting a promotion, gaining more clients, increasing your income, or taking a leadership role at work. Be sure to narrow down exactly how you want to progress in your career so that there is a clear path to reaching it.
Switching careers is probably one of the biggest goals you can set yourself. Depending on the career you are switching to, it might take you longer than a year, especially if intensive studying is involved. What’s more, you may know that you want to try something different but are unsure what. In this case, part of your goal will be to discover what excites you and figure out how you can make a career from it.
Alternatively, having a goal to get a new job might not be such a massive objective. Perhaps you already have the skills needed, or maybe you’re planning to go back to a previous career from which you took a break. It’s also much easier to change jobs within your current company, so your goal for 2022 may be to move into another department and take on a different role.
Gaining new skills (or improving existing ones)
A preparation goal to advance in your career or prepare for a new one is to learn new skills that will benefit what you do. Similarly, you might want to learn new software or a specific program that you know will help you become more efficient or save you time in the long run.
Or, rather than learning something new, you might want to brush up on your existing knowledge to help you stay ahead in your industry. This might involve taking a course, attending a workshop, or reading newly published books or papers in your field.
Creating a better work/life balance
Sometimes our most significant objective is to find a healthier balance between work and family. Perhaps you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, and you decide that this year, you will take things slower, say no to extra projects and stop working overtime. Setting boundaries between work time and family time is as important a goal as any.
How to set and achieve career goals
- Reflect on your values and dreams
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when setting goals is creating career objectives you think you should achieve or someone else wants you to do. If your plans are not aligned with your deepest values and desires, you’ll unlikely find success.
So, before you set your career goals for 2022, take some time to journal what is essential to you. Think about what success means to YOU only and not anyone else. Ask yourself, “if I could do anything (which you can), what would I do?”
Some people like to create a mission statement, which can be anything from a sentence to a page declaring your purpose. So, once you are clear on your values, you might like to create a mission statement and then read over it before setting any new goals.
- Set SMART goals
Often, the goals we set are very abstract things that we want to achieve. However, one of the most common reasons for not achieving goals is not being specific enough.
I recommend following the SMART method when setting your career goals. SMART stands for:
Specific – Is it clear and well-defined?
Measurable – Can you measure your progress by using numbers or amounts?
Achievable – Is it attainable and in the laws of nature?
Relevant – Is it aligned with your values and life purpose?
Time-bound – Give yourself a deadline.
This method will help you organize your goal and clearly understand what achieving it will look like. It will also help you determine if it is realistic or if you have to adjust it to make it more attainable. Setting career goals that are specific and achievable will significantly increase the likelihood of achieving them.
- Break your goal down into actionable steps
Once you are clear on your goals, it’s time to create an action plan of steps you need to take. This process involves breaking down your big goal into smaller ones and setting individual deadlines for each one. Action plans help make goals more tangible and serve as a ladder to completing the final objective.
For example, if you’re setting a big goal like changing your career, it may seem impossible at first. However, when you figure out precisely what you need to do to make it happen and in what order, it starts to feel much more achievable. So maybe your first action is to clarify what you want to do with your life, then your second action will be to research possible careers in that area. From here, you’ll have to learn the skills needed and perhaps enroll in a course, and so on.
Thinking about what we want to achieve is all well and good. However, career goal setting involves getting specific and breaking things down. Once you’ve got a clear objective and can see the ladder to success, all that’s left to do is take action!