7 ways to use the end of 2021 to boost your career in 2022
2021 has been another year of uncertainty and change, so as you look to 2022 and hope for better days, now is a great time to take stock and prepare your career for its best year yet.
There are many predictions about the future of post-COVID work, never returning to the office, as well as talent shortages and significant turnover on leave. It’s important to be prepared to navigate this changing landscape so that we can enjoy what the future holds.
1. Get rid of 2021
In the iconic words of singer Taylor Swift – “Shake it off”. It’s time to clear your mind and get rid of the preconceived ideas and conceptions that are holding you back. Think about what is holding you back from moving forward, or what expectations may be holding you back. Are there any habits that are unnecessary or unhealthy? Do you think it’s too hard?
2. Think long term, not short term
While every day counts, if you occasionally have days off or slow down, it won’t impact your entire life. You want to manage your energy and give yourself time and space. If you need a break, take it. If you need room to think, find it. As you do this, keep an eye on your career goals and remember that you need to make sure your health and well-being is with you to make sustained progress.
3. Verify your identity
Herminia Ibarra, Charles Handy Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School, has studied what can hold people back as they advance in their careers. She found that the meaning of who we are is shaped by our experiences and the meaning we give to those experiences in terms of the stories we tell ourselves. At specific times, these stories are no longer useful. Understanding your professional identity is understanding how you see yourself and how others see you. This is an essential part of professional success because your career can stagnate when there is a mismatch between the two. You may need to do some work to elevate your reputation and what you are known for.
4. Know your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
Everyone brings specific skills and modes of operation to their work. It’s the value you deliver through your work. It’s the way you engage and lead. This is what sets you apart from others. These elements constitute your unique selling proposition. Being able to articulate that value and how you can help an organization, business or client achieve their goals is essential. However, what is valued changes over time, so make sure your USP is meaningful, current, and focused. You may need to acquire additional knowledge or skills.
5. Develop what you have
Even if you are considering moving on, don’t ignore the options available to you. Look for opportunities to expand your current role and get involved in tasks that you find stimulating. Volunteer to get involved in projects that interest you or look for initiatives that allow you to learn new skills. Take the initiative and talk to your boss or other leaders to find out what’s possible. Besides making your job more interesting, you will expand your network and bring more value than you expected, which is good for your career progression.
6. Prioritize ruthlessly
Avoid the trap of being “busy” with things that don’t matter. Instead, be “busy” on purpose. Ask yourself: will the activities I do today bring me closer to my goals? How much time do I waste on activities without added value? Plan your working day and set aside the morning for very complex reflections. It can be easy to accept every social invitation or underestimate the length of a job and set unrealistic deadlines. Prioritize your day in a ruthless way, so that you think about what you are saying “yes” and “no” to.
7. Log in
Focus on building a network of people who are ready to support and defend you. This means that you need to spend more time thinking about what you can do for others than what they can do for you. The more proactively you help others, the more they will want to help you.
is a workplace expert and the author of three books, including her latest