It’s been a tough couple of years juggling working or running a business while dealing with the reality of a worldwide pandemic. Many of us have just hunkered down and done what we needed to survive while we navigated a new world of home schooling, working from the dining room table and online shopping.
But as life opens up a bit more, it might be time to take stock of our professional lives and think about any changes we want to make this year. This is part four of our goal-setting guide – check out the other blogs here.
Many of us were desperate for a break from the daily grind when the end of 2021 rolled around. But if you have returned to your job in 2022, and are still feeling flat about your work life, it might be time to look around for another option. Getting a new job can seem overwhelming but here are a few steps that will help you get started.
Update your resume and your LinkedIn Profile so when you start your job search in earnest, you are ready to go.
Consider whether you still like the role you are doing and just need to look at transferring to a new organisation or whether you are ready for a different job completely. If you want to switch careers, think about what new skills you need or training you should undertake and start doing that part-time.
Reach out to former colleagues or other trusted contacts who might be able to help with your job search.
Take your time – don’t rush into another job or work situation that doesn’t feel right.
Even if you don’t want to switch jobs, there might be changes you want to make in your professional life.
Set boundaries. Working from home more has meant blurred lines between our professional and personal lives. Sometimes this works well for everyone but if you feel like you lack balance or can’t switch off from work, it might be time to set some rules around the hours you are available and ensuring you have some time away from checking emails or taking calls.
Learn something new at least every three months. If your organisation offers personal development or training opportunities, sign up for them. If they don’t or if you want to development a skill for a job you don’t have yet, there are loads of free or affordable online courses you can take.
Take on more responsibility. You might not be ready to tackle an entirely new role but there might be scope for you to take on a new task or support a new project. It’s a great way to meet new people, get new skills and feel re-energised about work.
Embrace flexibility – just because we can return to the workplace fulltime, doesn’t mean we have to. If you have proved you can work from home or do flexi hours and manage your job successfully, have a discussion with your manager about how you can continue to work in a way that fits in with your life.
Better in business
When you run your own business, you need to know a little bit about a lot of things – business planning, financial management, people management, marketing and promotion, distribution and health and safety are probably just a few of the things on your agenda. Sometimes it’s hard to take time away from working in the business to work on the business but there are a few things you can do in 2022 to kickstart the process.
Do a SWOT analysis looking at your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Then make a diary note to do it every year. This is a great starting point for creating a basic business plan of what you want to focus on – some people find it works well to have six-month goals, one-year goals and two-year goals. It can be hard to look much further ahead than that, especially for a small business.
Research your competitors. Look at what they do well or badly to improve your own processes.
Consider joining a business networking group – then you can get support and advice from other business owners.
Decide where you need expert help. If you know you need support with cyber security or digital marketing and social media, find someone you can contract for a few hours a month to help with that. If finances and paying wages are not in your skillset, get a good accountant. While it might seem to be an extra expense, it’s likely that bringing in this expertise will help you save money or increase your income in the long run.
Think about what you should stop doing – are there services or products you are offering that have run their course? Are there processes that need an overhaul or could be automated or outsourced to give you more time to focus on growing your business?
Think about what you should start doing – are there new areas of development in your industry you should be moving into? Is there a new position or role you could create that would help grow your business and provide a good return on investment?
Make work something you enjoy in 2022, not something you endure.
This is the last blog in our Goal Setting guide for 2022, we really hope you have found some inspiration in the series. If you missed any here's a link to each of them below.