As we head towards the end of 2021, it’s good to take some time and set yourself up for a career push in 2022. Get yourself prepared before the new year starts so that you will be ready to hit the ground running come 3rd January 2022 (after a little break for New Year’s!).
Check out 6 things you can do to plan out your career and achieve success in 2022:
1. Evaluate your current state
It’s always good to start by reflecting on the past year and assessing where you currently are in your career. Here are several good questions to think about when evaluating your current state:
Are you happy with your job?
Do you feel satisfied with your progress in your career?
Have things gone according to plan in 2021?
What were some things you could have improved on this year?
2. Figure out what success looks like to you
Success means different things to different people. For some, a big pay raise is less important than having access to learning and development opportunities in their roles. For others, it could be having a better work-life balance so that they can spend more time with their families. Be clear about what success looks like to you. Do you want to lead a team in 2022? Or do you want an opportunity to work on a prestigious project at work?
Reflect on what is most important to you at this point in time, and what you want your career to look like in the future. Do not limit yourself to only short-term goals. Make sure you think about the long-term so you can figure out what success means for you.
Great, you’ve now defined your version of success! Subsequently, you need to chart a timeline for you to achieve these goals that you’ve set for yourself. Remember, you’re not just thinking in the short term. Be specific, and break down larger and long-term goals into smaller ones. Jot down these smaller milestone goals and when you want to achieve them on your timeline. The more detailed your plan is, the better it is for you to periodically review your plan and stick to your goals.
3. Solicit feedback
After you have a clearer idea of what your goals are, speak to your peers, mentors, and manager. Get their feedback and advice. Your mentors may have gone through a similar situation in the past and they will be able to share what worked for them. Feedback from your peers and manager can often surface the things that you are doing well and the things that you can improve on. Get different perspectives and points of view that will aid you in achieving your plan.
4. Open up communication with your manager
Share with your manager the goals that you set for yourself and have a discussion on what career advancement opportunities exist within the organisation. These opportunities may not necessarily mean a promotion but it could present in various forms such as training opportunities, mentorship, and others. By being open with your manager, you may be able to get their support, help, and advice that will put you one step closer to achieving your goals.
5. Connect with recruiters
If opportunities within your company are limited or if you feel that your next step is to find a new challenge, then connect with a recruiter. Recruiters have a good pulse of the market. They will be able to share with you exciting opportunities, offer you a different perspective, and provide useful advice. You will also get a better idea of the experience, skills, and mindset you will need for your career push. By speaking to a recruiter, you will also be cultivating a good and professional relationship with them. Even if you may not end up pursuing a role outside your current company at this time, your recruiter may reach out to you in the future when another suitable opportunity pops up.
6. Leverage your network
There is immense power in your network. On your path to achieve your goals, you will need support and help from others. Leverage your network to get more information that will bring clarity to your plan. Sometimes when you initiate conversations with others, you may get more than what you bargained for. Your network could open up other opportunities for you, connect you with people in their personal networks, and be your pillar of support.
Sometimes the first step is the hardest. Don’t wait till a few months have gone by before figuring out your next career step and goals. Start now, so you can make 2022 your best year yet!