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How to set goals to improve your career in 2022

How to set goals to improve your career in 2022

With the new year brings new ambitions and dreams to fulfil – our personal goals might see us sign up to a gym, commit to reading more or create a new budget for savings. But did you know that by setting specific, scalable goals, you can vastly improve your career prospects too?

How to set goals to improve your career in 2022
January 18, 2022

Your career goals could be anything from reaching for that promotion and a salary leap, to completely switching careers, opening a new business and committing to a course of study to enhance your skills. Indeed, your livelihood, career or business could look completely different by 2023. But how do you set up scalable goals that can help you to reach your aspirational milestones?


The importance of setting goals

First of all, you need to understand why setting goals is important to your development.

You know that feeling of satisfaction you get when you tick off tasks on your to do list? Setting small goals and completing them prompts a similar response in our brains because we’re dedicating time and effort to achieve something huge, which is rewarding in itself.

Evidence suggests that goal setting in a structured way also means you’re more likely to reach your goal. Even if tasks are divided and some menial and small, you’re inching nearer and nearer to completion.

The key here is to visualise each goal and divide them up appropriately into bitesize short-term tasks and long-term goals.


Short term goals vs long term goals

A long-term goal can be defined as the end product. For example, if you want to lose weight, then your long-term goal would be your desired dress size that you want to get to by a specific date. Meanwhile, short term goals are the mini steps you need to take in-between to get there – for instance, lose 1lb per week.

Short term goals are smaller tasks or projects that help you to achieve your overarching goal. It might include sitting a course in your spare time, practicing a new skill a few times per week or building the foundations of your new business venture one month at a time.

Your short-term goals don’t need to be scheduled every week or even every month, and likewise long-term goals don’t need to be year-to-year. In fact, you might have a goal in mind that will take you several years to achieve, such as saving for a mortgage or becoming a CEO of your company.

Either way, the key to success with goal setting is to plan accordingly and realistically. You want to avoid overpromising yourself as you’ll inevitably fall behind on your schedule – and the last thing you want is for your goal to seem as though it is slipping out of reach.


How to set career goals in 2022

Setting a career goal for yourself can be daunting. You might lack the expertise, skills and experience to work in the role you’re dreaming of.

However, it’s never too late to get out of your comfort zone and work towards your professional goals. With career goals at the forefront, you’ll be compelled to take action and move forward with a positive frame of mind.

You may already have targets in your current position at work which has been explained to you by your manager. But performance reviews and targets are internal processes in most businesses, and aren’t really there to help you to strive to become the best version of yourself. For example, you might wish to switch departments, win a company award, work up into a senior position or completely change career paths, some of which you might not mention to your manager.

So how do you set career goals this year? The answer is simple: by following the ‘SMART’ goal framework, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.


What is the SMART goal framework?

As ‘S’ stands for ‘specific’, the first instruction is that you need to nail your goal down specifically. A promotion isn’t specific enough, but a promotion into the role of a supervisor for the sales team with an expected salary certainly is.

Measurable, meanwhile, defines how you will measure your progress over time and how you plan on revaluating each milestone. If you’re looking to start a new business, then you would address skill shortages you may have by undertaking relevant courses. You might need to sit a part-time business qualification, or pursue some online training to assist in your specific niche.

You then need to make sure your goals are actually achievable. Be honest with yourself here as setting unrealistic goals in a strict, unreasonable timeframe is setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. You need to stay motivated and focussed, so make sure you have enough time scheduled to actually meet your short-term and long-term goals.

Relevancy is also important. It’s not constructive to engage in a task, course or experience that isn’t going to help you tick off any of your tasks.

And finally, time stands for making sure you are setting a goal that has a clear start and end date. The best example of this is by starting and finishing a qualification or course of study.

By crafting this timetable, you can stay on track and ahead of schedule. But you should also plan for any roadblocks and hiccups that may occur along the way, so try to keep a few goals and deadlines flexible.


What online courses are there?

The good news about goal setting is that there are hundreds of online courses that you can take in your spare time to assist you on your mission. Most are delivered from the comfort of your own home, too.

From cybersecurity courses for beginners to project management courses, and from catering and hospitality courses to IT and Microsoft excel training, there is truly a course for everyone. At My Training Academy, we have a plethora of resources at your fingertips which can dramatically transform your career prospects – and bring all your career goals for 2022 to life.

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