Career Checklist: 2022 is the Year To Level Up

Career Checklist: 2022 is the Year To Level Up

Welcome to 2022. This year is going to be all about you. It’s your time to strike. No more excuses, and no more letting other things stand in your way. This is the year that you do you and make some major moves for your career.

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, there are a lot of great steps you can take right now to level yourself up professionally. To help guide you along your way, we’ve put together your 2022 professional development checklist. Let’s dive in.

 

Update Your Profiles and Paperwork.

How long has it been since you went through your LinkedIn account and updated your profile with the latest details about your skills and expertise? Starting out 2022, one of your first goals should be to have a fresh online presence for your professional details. An updated quality photo is strongly recommended.

Additionally, your resume needs attention too. Check out some of the latest styles online and make sure that your resume is updated with current details and a clean aesthetic.

Tip: Consider drafting one or more alternate resumes if you’re planning to change careers. Shuffle your qualifications to focus on the most relevant factors for the role you’re seeking.

 

Save the Dates.

Networking has been challenging for the last two years, but it’s making a big comeback. Throughout the year, there are going to be lots of opportunities to attend business events, meet some new people, and perhaps learn some new things. Now, while there’s still time, it’s important for you to start browsing event calendars and saving your dates.

One of the easiest ways to find events like these is to pay attention to business associations in your area. Chambers of commerce are a good start, as well as any industry-specific organizations that may apply to your field. Nonprofit or corporate charity events are also worth attending as there is the potential to meet numerous business leaders at one event. Take a look at what’s coming in the next few months and get yourself registered to attend.

Tip: Create a regimen for following up with your new business contacts. Nurture those relationships and they will grow.

 

Volunteer Selfishly.  

Volunteering is normally about altruism, which is great. But in the context of professional development, volunteering can also be a very good thing for your career. So, we recommend volunteering selfishly this year to reap the benefits.

One good example to consider would be checking into the business events you’d like to attend to see if they’re taking on any volunteers. Many business associations will rely on committee members for things like setup and help coordinating their major events, which gives you even greater chances to meet new people and network. Working side by side with new contacts really helps build camaraderie.

Tip: Pay attention to the volunteering activities conducted by your networking prospects. If you have someone you’d like to meet, perhaps their company has a regular volunteering activity where you could also participate.

 

Ask for a New Challenge.  

People have a tendency of getting very settled into their roles at work without asking for new challenges from time to time. That’s all well and good if one wants to stay in place, but pretty bad for any hopes of advancement. If you want to move up, you’ve got to push yourself.

Plan a meeting with your employer or immediate supervisor to ask them about new responsibilities you can incorporate into your current workload. Be honest with them about why. Explain that you’re seeking to grow professionally and are curious about ways to gain hand-on experience in your company.

Concentrate on activities that will give you new things to learn. This will make a great impression on your supervisors and will also make your role more valuable to your company.

Tip: Hold off on mentioning any additional compensation at this point. This step is about learning and gaining new skills. Extra pay or benefits can be brought up later upon successfully performing any new responsibilities.

 

Attain at Least One New Skill.  

One of your top 2022 goals should be to attain at least one new skill. The more the better, but push yourself to gain at least one new ability. Luckily for you, you live in Indiana. There are a multitude of ways to get yourself a new skill.

The state of Indiana and many of its institutions have put new skill pathways in place for working professionals and people that want to land a better job. For example, for those looking for a new certificate or credential, check out the state’s Your Next Step website. There, you’ll find links to free training under the Next Level Jobs program, certificate programs through community colleges like Ivy Tech, and even free skills training for your current job through the 180 Skills initiative.

Tip: Many certificate programs could earn you a salary hike. Be on the lookout for new skills or credentials that can get you extra pay.

 

Make One Thing Just About You.  

Although it may sound a little silly, professionals looking to level up this year should take on at least one fun learning activity on a personal level. This will be something just about you, and it will ultimately lead to a huge confidence boost no matter what you choose.

Take that cooking class to learn how to make Mediterranean cuisine. Sign up for that woodworking clinic to learn how to craft a barstool. Do your thing – whatever it is you want to learn. This is the year you finally decide to no longer keep putting it off.

Tip: This step may seem like a fun one, but it’s a big-time psychological hack. You’ll be starting the tiny rolling snowball of motivation that turns into an avalanche.

 

Keep a Record.

Make yourself a record of every professional development activity and achievement that you complete this year. This will be a very positive item for reflection and will also be handy when you’re incorporating these items into your profiles and resumes. Also, it will provide excellent documentation to supplement any performance reviews you may have ahead. Show your employer all you’ve done.

Tip: Use this record as a great presentation of your commitment to professional development. You’re determined and self-driven, so tout it.

 

You Can Do It.

This is your year and you’re going to make tremendous progress. Each one of these items on this checklist will be incremental steps that will elevate your career. Set your sights on the career goal you want to achieve and don’t let anything stand in your way. You’re going to make it to that next level before you know it. Now go get started.

Category Cover Story, Features