As one year ends and a new one begins is a great time to start reflecting on career aspirations. Have you set your goals yet for 2022? If not, it’s not too late to do so. It all starts with a career analysis of where you are now and where you would like to be.

Career Assessment

To decide what you want to accomplish by the end of the year, look back on what has already been accomplished and how you got there. What worked well, what are you proud of and what could you have done better? Evaluate where you are today in your career. Areas to focus on are satisfaction in your current job, your career progression, your professional and personal brand, and your work-life balance. Being satisfied in your current role can look like being happy with your company culture, ability to learn new skills, or if you genuinely enjoy your day-to-day tasks. Think about how your current role plays into your career progression which could include having upward mobility, a mentor to work with, certifications available, or the ability to take on new responsibilities or leadership. Professional and personal brands are something that is often looked over but can help boost your career. LinkedIn is a great place to build your personal brand. Look over your profile and make necessary adjustments to stand out. Participate in others’ posts and create your own content to share. These are simple ways to put yourself into the eyes of your network; you never know who you could connect with and what opportunities they could bring. Work-life balance is self-explanatory. Are you satisfied with your current work-life balance? If not, is there any way to improve it? These are questions to ask yourself in your current situation to help determine what areas you would like to improve by the end of the year.

Career Road Map

Think of your career goals like a road map. There is a starting point and a destination. The starting point is where you are today, and the destination is where you would like to be in your career goals by December. To get to your destination, you have to think about what needs to happen to get there and what roadblocks may appear. What are the big picture goals that would make you feel successful at the end of the year? It may be learning a new skill, making new hires to your team, starting a new job, getting a promotion, etc. Take those large goals and break them down into smaller and more manageable goals to create an action plan. Decide what actions need to happen to accomplish each of those goals.

Make a Commitment

To see your goals come to reality, you make a commitment yourself to make it happen. Write your goals down where you can see them often. Tell a friend or a coworker what you would like to accomplish. Sharing with others not only can offer support and encouragement from a peer but will make you feel more obligated and motivated to stick to it. Goals won’t happen unless you put in the work. Create a plan and commit to it. Make 2022 a year to look back on and feel accomplished in your career.

-Written by Brooke Hughes: Researcher for Specialty Chemical Recruiters