New Year’s resolutions get a mixed reaction when I discuss them with clients, and I can understand. I’ve had some great wins from seasonal inspiration drawn in years past and I also have had some spectacular flops. Notably, I purchased a nordic track that I was equally happiest the day I purchased it and the day I sold it. But every time, I got a boost to whatever I was working toward – and that incremental improvement over time can add up to quite a lot. So no matter if your goals are small or grand, I applaud you for every resolution you are planning this year.
If you haven’t already considered adding career goals to your list for the year, I thought I’d share some ideas to assist you in your career development in 2022.
Add reading into the mix by setting a monthly reading goal. Your professional development can skyrocket from introducing new ideas through reading. Whether related to your profession directly or business and the world of work generally, there are both classics that have stood the test of time and new authors with great value to add to your work life. Whether you love the smell of a new book, enjoy the convenience of an e-reader or your phone, or if you have figured out the time-saving hack of audiobooks – all are good. I have no snobbery about how you digest your reading, but encourage a couple of practices that can make it more meaningful and useful. First, see if you can find a high-quality summary of the book to read after you’ve read the book (or before, if you want to see if it’s worth the read). Many business books have been around for long enough that there are free summaries online and there are also many good book summary sites out there. Having a summary makes it easy for you to reflect on your main take-aways and think about how you’ll apply what you’ve learned. Alternatively, note-taking while reading can be beneficial. Writing notes either in the margin, in a separate digital document, or notebook can help you retain information better. Experiment with note-taking the next time you read non-fiction and see if the experience is different for you.
Add business podcasts or ones related to your profession into your routine. For those of you in an active job search, you might also consider listening to one of these career podcasts. If you haven’t explored podcasts before, they really aren’t dissimilar to radio shows, but since they are self-published and available digitally there is an amazing array of topics available and really, no specialty seems to be too small. I love gaining inspiration from all types of coaches, thought-leaders, and fellow entrepreneurs. Especially as a person who works remotely and runs my own business, I can personally attest that podcasts are a great way to be aware of the larger conversation and current thought trends in your industry.
Have you joined a professional association? Professional associations can be a wonderful way to network, learn more about your profession, stay on top of trends and new technology, and a place for you to educate and mentor others as well. If you’re a member of an association, but haven’t been very active, consider volunteering for a role in a local or state chapter, creating and sharing a presentation to help colleagues tackle a common or pressing problem, or reaching out to see what the association needs help with in 2022. Having a “givers gain” mentality when you are meeting with and associating with colleagues is a good way to proactively strengthen your network and feel good about your contribution to your profession. Some professions have multiple associations you can pick from, so do your research and find the right fit for you. See if you can check out meetings and resources before joining and reach out to active members to learn more.
Update your resume. The best practice I recommend is to update your resume quarterly with new accomplishments, projects, and skills. Even if you don’t polish the addition, adding the facts and details while they are fresh is one of the best bits of regular professional development you can do for yourself. This one activity will help you be prepared, no matter what happens in your year; it can make preparing for professional reviews easier, it can help you if a great internal or external opportunity becomes available, and it will aid you tremendously if you suffer a sudden job loss.
No matter what you set out to achieve in 2022, I wish you loads of success in ways both small and big!
If you are interested in developing deep professional development goals with a career coach, please reach out any time. You can message me on LinkedIn or set up a time to discuss your obstacles and goals with me in a free introductory, here: https://nerdygirlcareercoach.as.me/schedule.php