With 2022 just getting started, it's the perfect time to begin setting new career goals for success. You may have already come up with some personal resolutions when you brought in the new year, but don't forget to focus on your career aspirations too.

From earning a promotion to taking the lead on a project or upskilling in a specific area, there are plenty of career goals you can set and smash in 2022. 

Defining your career goals 

The first step toward achieving your career goals is figuring out what they really are. This may seem obvious however many people don’t actually map out their career goals and take the time to think about them properly.

For many people, it’s hard to adapt vague thoughts about career direction into tangible goals and steps for progression. Career goals should be concrete and specific, as this makes them easier to recognise and monitor. This might include robust targets such as taking on a new project, getting a pay rise, or finding a work mentor. Once you have defined concrete goals, you can start working out how you are going to hit those targets moving forward. 

Here at Michael Page, we want to see you succeed. So here are our top tips for hitting your 2022 career goals like a pro. 

1. Give yourself time, and know your limits 

When it comes to career goals or achievements you want to reach, you need to put yourself first. If you want to get ahead, you need to invest in yourself and give yourself the time and space you need to grow as a professional and an individual. The last thing you want to do is burn out, so give yourself permission to take on fewer responsibilities and longer deadlines so as to avoid this. 

As well as defining your goals and setting achievable timeframes, it’s also important to know when to say no.

One thing that can derail a lot of people from hitting their career goals is their reluctance to turn down external requests. But if such requests are peripheral to your main goals, they can become a distraction. Know your limits and make sure you are setting out enough time to focus on yourself. 

2. Get organised and get automated 

While learning a new skill is always great, actually allocating time to do so whilst also applying it can be challenging. Start by freeing up your schedule with automation and shortcuts. Freeing up some of your time, anyway you can, will mean you’ll have more time to build new skills. 

Finding ways to automate your workload, such as using more advanced software or even keyboard shortcuts, can help you save time. By optimising your workflow, you can reach more of your career goals in 2022. 

Working on your organisation this year will also help you to achieve your goals. We recommend setting daily routines and schedules for your working week. That schedule can consist of everything from free time and family time, to allocated brainstorming sessions or collaborative meetings with colleagues. But most importantly, it has to carve out work time to achieve specific goals. If you set aside an hour each day or week, it’ll ensure you’re hitting deadlines and staying on track of your 2022 goals. 

3. Make your goals digestible 

When it comes to working on your goals, always makes sure they’re digestible and manageable. It's tempting to dream big, but when it comes to the results, it's always good to start with small actions by breaking down all your bigger tasks into smaller ones. Completing these smaller tasks will then make you feel more accomplished and motivate you to continue moving forward.

To make sure your goals are achievable within a clear timeframe, we suggest using SMART goals. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each goal you set yourself should be:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

Setting SMART goals means you can clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and increase your chances of achieving what you want in your career.

4. Always be accountable

Lastly, to keep on top of your goals throughout the year, find a way to make yourself accountable. That could mean finding an accountability partner or network to share your journey with — including both its successes and challenges. Alternatively, it could mean creating visual reminders to keep your goals front of mind. 

Scheduling regular check-ins, either with yourself or your accountability partner, to monitor and reward your progress is a great way to stay on top of your progress. That could be weekly, monthly or quarterly, depending on the cadence that works best for you. Personal accountability can be hard, but it’s an important way to stay on track. 

What’s next? 

If one of your top career goals for 2022 is finding a new job, then Michael Page are here to help. With teams of dedicated consultants across the UK, who can help put your CV in front of top companies in your industry. 

Download our free Job Applicant Toolkit today for expert insights on securing a new job, or submit your CV today to become discoverable to all our live roles. 

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