The start of a new year is a great time to set some fresh professional development goals for work. Think of it as a set of new years resolutions that can help make your career dreams come true.
Setting professional goals at work can help motivate and inspire you to achieve better results, get more done and enjoy your job more. But not just any old goals will do.
Your professional goals list has to be a roadmap that leads you step by step to the success you want to achieve. It has to start with something real and attainable, so that you stay focused and positive about where you’re going.
Whether you freelance, work for a company or manage a business, everyone can benefit from setting some new goals in 2022. Here are 10 examples of professional goals for work you can pursue for greater career fulfillment, plus how to get started on them.
Why Setting Professional Goals at Work Is Important
Setting goals is important for success in life. Your professional career development goals are the short- and long-term goals you use to advance your career. Each goal is like a stepping stone, taking you down the path to your dream career aspirations.
Whether you dream of getting a promotion, landing a new client or starting your own firm, the only way to get there is one step at a time. Setting professional goals at work allows you to use short-term goals to achieve results down the line.
But besides leading you down the path to success, working through a professional goals list also makes your job more enjoyable. Career development goals can give you new skills, better relationships with your coworkers, improved productivity and something to work towards for your future.
How to Pick Good Professional Development Goals for Work
It’s important to note that there’s a method to choosing good professional development goals for yourself. Using the method will make your goals more enjoyable to work on, and more effective at advancing your career.
Set a Long-Term Goal
The first step is to decide on a long-term goal. This might be the answer to that eternal interview question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” or it might be a goal that’s a bit closer.
Ask yourself what you would like to achieve and then work backwards — your professional goals list will be short-term goals that lead you toward that long-term goal.
Improve Weak Areas First
Work on your weaknesses before taking your strengths to the next level. This helps you become a more well-rounded professional.
To identify your weaknesses, try a self-assessment, look at your most recent performance review or ask your manager or a trusted mentor.
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Use the SMART Method
Make the professional career development goals you set for yourself SMART goals. The SMART method is a classic tool used around the world to achieve business and professional goals.
The SMART in the SMART method stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. When setting goals, be specific enough that you can measure your progress and achieve your objective and make sure they are directly relevant to your career and set a deadline to motivate yourself to complete them.
Break Down Larger Goals
Make your task easier by taking larger goals that will require a year or more to achieve and break them down into more manageable mini-goals.
Smaller short-term goals offer you an easy win and are a great way to get started with your professional goals.
Track Your Progress
Be sure to track your progress as you work through your professional goals list. Putting things in writing will help you stay on track.
Write down both long- and short-term goals, your time frame for achieving them and your progress toward completing them. Review your list regularly to stay focused and keep yourself motivated.
10 Examples of Professional Work Goals for 2022
Good professional development goals will always be personalized to suit you and your career pursuits, but a good place to start is with these 10 examples of professional work goals for 2022.
1. Grow Your Network
A great choice for a professional goal in 2022 is to grow your network. More than ever, opportunities often come down to getting to know the right people.
Make sure your networking goal is specific to your situation. Options include joining a professional organization related to your current or ideal career or attending a certain number of networking events, conferences or meetups.
2. Learn About Your Company
Learning about your company is a great way to become better at what you do. Whether you’re in sales, IT or even management, knowledge of your organization is a powerful predictor of success.
To get started on this goal, consider choosing another department at your company and researching it, or try asking someone on another team if you can buy lunch and ask them about what they do.
3. Research a Competitor
It’s also great to have an understanding of who your company’s competitors are. Researching a competitor is a professional development goal that can give your team insights about how to improve.
Choose a competitor in the same space as your company and focus in on your area of expertise, such as marketing or customer service. Document how the competitor operates and where your company has opportunities to outperform them.
4. Level up on Teamwork
Teamwork skills are essential for success in today’s world. This is an area that’s always worth improving so that your team can be more effective and your work can be more enjoyable.
Try improving your communication and collaboration skills with better email etiquette, or work on giving and receiving more productive feedback for this goal.
5. Improve Your Public Speaking
Public speaking is difficult for lots of people, making it a great area of focus for a professional development goal. Being able to explain your ideas in front of a group of people is a great skill to have.
Make a plan and start small. Practice speaking in front of a mirror, speak up during small groups, learn a new presentation tool and look for opportunities to talk to a crowd.
6. Take a Course
If you’re not sure where to start with professional development, taking a course can be a solid option. Education offers you an opportunity to learn a new skill, meet new contacts and demonstrate your initiative.
For this goal, the sky’s the limit. You could take a course online, attend an in-person workshop, obtain a new job-related certification, or take a class that counts toward a degree.
7. Improve One Skill
Another great example of a professional development goal for work is to single out one skill and work on it for a month. Everyone has at least one job skill with the potential for improvement and the benefits are obvious.
Remember to make your goal specific and time-bound. Focus on how to add a little bit of improvement for your chosen skill every day for a month. Then, choose a new skill to focus on next month.
8. Learn a New Tool
Consider making it a goal to learn a new tech tool for work. The right tool can help save you time and hassle so that you can get more done in your day.
There are many tools available to help you improve task work, time management, collaboration, scheduling, organizing and more. If you spend a lot of time on your email, we recommend giving Folio a try.
9. Work on Time Management
Getting better at time management is a must for a list of professional work goals for 2022. It seems like there are more things to do than ever and not enough time to do them.
10. Improve Your Productivity
Productivity is another great career development goal to work on if you’d like to get more done in your day. Like time management, improving your productivity at work is easy if you’ve got the right tools and process.
For this goal, focus on removing inefficiencies, automating what you can and eliminating unnecessary distractions.
Now is the perfect time for setting professional goals at work for a productive new year. All the steps you take today will pay off for your career in the years to come. Plus, working toward your goal will make your days at work a lot more fun.
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Folio can help you cross several of your professional goals for work off your list in a flash. Level up on teamwork, learn a new tool, work on your time management and improve your productivity all in one go.
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