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New Year’s Resolutions: 11 career goals to achieve in 2022

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay


It’s that time of the year again: setting your newest priorities, goals, and resolutions for the next 12 months to come. As pandemic restrictions continue to ease, it’s worth planning your next career steps to take full advantage of 2022 – including opportunities for new connections, projects, and skills development. 

We break down our top 11 career goals to achieve in the new year, the importance of having a professional plan, and how to ensure these resolutions don’t fall by the wayside. 

11 career goals to achieve in 2022 

  1. Rebuild professional relationships.
  2. Foster new contacts.
  3. Achieve better work-life balance.
  4. Build new skills.
  5. Consider having a mentor.
  6. Polish your resume.
  7. Update your social media profiles.
  8. Consider professional organisations or associations. 
  9. Clean out your digital files.
  10. Consider new personal projects. 

1. Rebuild professional relationships.

The extended lockdowns of 2020-2021 have likely strained many business connections with the inability to meet and catch-up face-to-face. This 2022, take the opportunity to revive these old relationships, setting dates to discuss your new goals or business ideas – or to simply get up-to-date on their current ventures.   

2. Foster new contacts.

Of course, don’t forget to establish new connections. As with every year (pandemic or none), expanding your professional network is a must. Take the time to reach out to others via LinkedIn, virtual networking events, or mutual contacts through friends or colleagues. Be open to their ideas as you share yours – and be genuine in your interactions, as this helps build long-lasting rapport. 

3. Achieve better work-life balance.

Despite the many productivity benefits of working from home, plenty of Australian employees have reported increased workloads and low work-life balance priority during lockdowns – much of which play a driving factor in the looming “Great Resignation” movement. 

This new year, consider how to better balance your work, family, and personal commitments to achieve better wellbeing and thus, greater career engagement. 

Making this a priority career goal? Here are some industries that offer great work-life balance. 

4. Build new skills.  

Aside from helping you advance the career ladder, upskilling offers a wide variety of psychological and social benefits – including the ability to build your self-confidence, spark new passions, and make connections with new, like-minded people. Additionally, as Australia continues to face growing skills gaps (particularly in tech and manufacturing), an upgraded skill set can help expand your potential job opportunities.  

5. Consider having a mentor. 

confident man

Get the career advice and assistance you need from those who know the industry inside and out. Partnering with a mentor will not only grant you a valuable professional contact – but will also equip you with the knowledge, guidance, and encouragement you need to succeed in your field. You’ll learn from their experiences, as well as expose yourself to new ideas and a new perspective. 

6. Polish your resume.

Updating your resume to accurately reflect your current skills, knowledge, and experience is a mandatory practice. After a year of new experiences and skill-building, it’s important to give your CV the well-deserved revamp it needs. This also prepares you for any new job opportunities, helping you quickly apply for your desired roles when they become available.  

7. Update your social media profiles.

Of course, don’t forget to keep your online socials up to date, too. LinkedIn, in particular, functions as an online version of your CV – and as such, requires just as much regular review and improvements. With three people hired on the site every minute, it’s important to keep your profile relevant and accurate for any new contacts or opportunities that come your way.  

8. Consider professional organisations or associations.

Joining an industry association lets you verify your skills, expertise, and experience for the job market; as well as take part in a community of like-minded professionals and potential business contacts. 

Plenty of these organisations also offer resources for further career development, access to networking events, and the latest happenings in your sector. 

9. Clean out your digital files.

With another year gone, you’ve likely got plenty of cluttered folders and inboxes to clean out. Just as companies reorganise their physical file cabinets by the fourth quarter, it’s important to do the same with your digital files. Delete any documents you no longer need; clear out the spam in your emails; uninstall useless programs, and give yourself a fresh new slate to work with by 2022. 

10. Plan to overcome one thing that scares you. 

Resolutions typically involve self-improvement – and what better way to achieve this than facing long-held fears or anxieties in your career journey? Build the courage to overcome a long-time challenge you’ve faced as a professional; this could be as small as attending your first networking event – to taking the leap and starting your own business.

11. Consider new personal projects.

Finally, it’s also important to focus on your specific passions. As you work to improve your skills, experience, and character for the workplace, think about any personal projects or side hustles you’d like to work on come 2022. 
Pursuing your own unique goals will likely lead to more meaningful, fulfilling experiences in the new year – and possibly new pathways in your career journey.

Why are career goals so important? 

Taking the time to review, assess, and reflect on your professional progress can help you pinpoint your strengths and any key areas that need improving. By establishing the milestones you’d like to hit for the new year, you can ensure a significant level of progress by the end of 2022. 

Having realistic, clear-cut career goals ahead can also help keep you engaged with your work, boost your confidence in the workplace; fuel your drive and ambition; and ensure you achieve (or are making the most of) your dream career. 

How to set realistic and achievable career goals 

team setting goals

To set manageable goals, be honest with yourself about your current career situation. If you’re looking to build your skills over the next year, know where your abilities currently stand – and map out the steps (and potential time frame) it would take to achieve your desired skill levels. 

If you’re looking to make a career change – whether it’s switching industries, roles, or pursuing that promotion – set the incremental short-term goals you’ll need to achieve to get there. You may not score that dream role in a month, for example, but determining the experience, knowledge and expertise you’ll need; the resources necessary to acquire these; and organising time around your current schedule for training and further study can help you set a realistic timeline for achieving these goals. 

How to achieve your career goals 

To set and stay focused on your career goals, determine how satisfied or engaged you are in your current role. Map out any professional changes you desire (i.e. your current work schedule, position, or tasks), any skills you currently lack but need, and where your career interests currently lie. Once you’ve determined your career wants and needs, it’ll be easier to establish clear and accurate goals for yourself. 

As mentioned, it’s important to set short-term as well as long-term objectives – giving you manageable, bite-sized milestones to achieve. It can also help to use the “SMARTER” system when setting goals: ensuring your targets are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely, empowering, and reviewable. 

If necessary, discussing with your boss, colleagues, or family may help in further refining your goals or gaining the encouragement you need to achieve them. 

New year, new skills, new you! 

Gain new skills and passions for 2022 by delving into an online course (or a few). Upskilled currently offers a wide variety of online courses across Australia’s most in-demand industries, from community services to IT. 
 
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