It’s that time once again to make resolutions for the New Year. While we often set aside time to ponder personal goals, your career also needs love.
Are you ready to take your career to new heights? Do you have an eye on a new job? Now is the time to set goals to get where you want to be.
Here are seven game-changing goals you can add to your New Year’s resolutions to actualize your professional desires.
Learn a new skill
It’s always a good time to learn something new. So, why not kickstart your career by adopting a new skill? Learning new things can help you become more adaptable in your field and industry. Changes are always happening, and it’s in your best interest to be ready for them. The world evolves, and so should you.
Continuing your professional development helps you remain updated with changes in technology and relevant amid a transforming landscape. Moreover, adding additional qualifications to your resume can make you more marketable for jobs and possibly even open up new career growth opportunities.
To start learning a new skill, think about what competitive skills can help you achieve your career goals. Conduct your research by reading industry articles about skills needed to drive innovation. You can also review job descriptions of desired roles for in-demand competencies.
Don’t forget to also inquire about training and development programs available via your employer. If that’s unavailable, you can consider signing up for courses, certifications or webinars to help you develop skills on your own.
Make 5 meaningful connections
Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean you should put a pause on professional networking. Building a community of meaningful connections is a strategic move that all job seekers should prioritize. It never hurts to place people in your corner that nurture growth or opportunity in your professional career.
For 2022, set your sights on building 5 meaningful connections that can help drive your career in the direction you want. Ask yourself the following questions to help identify who you should network with:
Is there someone you know employed at the company where you want to work?
Could you befriend a peer in a similar role you desire for yourself?
Would you benefit from a professional mentor?
What professional community can I join to keep me connected with peers and industry trends?
Who would I like to collaborate with on a project?
Create a personal brand
There’s no better time than now to draft the narrative you want people to know when it comes to your professional life. Set a goal for 2022 to create a personal brand that showcases who you are, your abilities and your passions.
By doing so, you’ll help differentiate yourself from your peers, especially when it comes to finding your dream job. To get started on creating a personal brand, follow these steps:
Step 1: Decide who you want to be
What do you want employers or peers to know about you? Getting a grasp of how you want to be perceived is critical to developing a personal brand. Ask yourself what do you want to be known for? If you could be a go-to expert on a specific topic, what would that be? What’s unique about you?
Step 2: Establish your presence online
People can't learn about your professional brand if you’re not actively living it. Be sure to establish your digital footprint online to keep others abreast of your brand. Identify online social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram that will help you connect with your target audience. From there, frequently engage with others by sharing industry insight, your expertise or resources that can help others.
Step 3: Tell your story
Branding isn’t effective without a message. What key message do you want your audience to know about you? How can you market or reinforce your message with content? What value do you provide to your peers and future employers? Consider these questions to help craft a message that tells your story online.
Step 4: Network and repeat
By focusing on your persona, remaining active online and telling your story, you make it easier for employers and peers to see value in connecting with you. Use your personal brand to build your network online and offline. Don’t be timid to connect or friend someone online or in real life. Networking will always help your personal brand go the extra mile by expanding your exposure to new people and opportunities.
Step outside your comfort zone
Your career might be on halt if you're doing what you’ve always done. For 2022, make a point to step outside your comfort zone.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised that many professional rewards come from doing the very things that make us nervous or uneasy. After all, challenges make us grow. And growth should always be a priority in your career.
To identify opportunities outside your comfort zone, ask yourself the following two questions:
What are the things you believe are worth doing?
What are you afraid to do because of the potential for failure?
Answering these questions will help you clearly outline your comforts and discomforts. From there, take things deeper by asking yourself: Why am I afraid to do these things?
Completing this introspection will help you identify the key fears that hold you back from advancing professionally and what your next steps should be to step outside your comfort zone. For instance, you might find it difficult to engage in meetings but valuable to be seen as a contributor to your company. It might be possible that you stray from participating in discussion due to a fear of not being adequately articulate to express your ideas, thoughts and opinions to others.
Knowing the key fear behind discomforts can help you create a game plan to address issues head-on. For example, in the previous scenario, you can strategize to prepare notes before meetings or task yourself to lead a call to help encourage overcoming your fears about activities.
Apply for a new job
We would be remiss not to encourage you to set your sights on the ultimate professional goal—actualizing your dream career. With that said, be sure to prioritize applying for a new job in the new year if you desire a role.
Before applying to jobs, ensure that your resume is updated and tailored for each application. Ready to take your career to new heights? Apply to a job today.