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5 Career Goals Every Professional Should Pursue in 2022

a journal for writing career goals

Career goals are useful for keeping you focused on your personal and professional growth. But in the daily barrage of meetings and deadlines, it’s easy to lose sight of them.

If you feel like you’ve been coasting at your job for a while now, it might be time to find new goals for your career. Career goals don’t need to be lofty or long-term. You don’t need to switch jobs, ask for a raise, or start a business.  

Your career goals can consist of small, simple steps that improve your day-to-day work life. Let’s cover 5 career goals you can begin pursuing today and some helpful resources to guide you towards success!

1. Explore how your personality impacts your work  

We’ve all heard about the Great Resignation and while most of us can probably agree with the sentiment fueling it—"if you don’t like your job, quit your job and find a new one!"—it may not be the best approach for a number of reasons. Why? The reason you hate your job may have nothing to do with your boss, your company, or your role. It could be the way you're approaching your position.

Sparked is a complementary resource to the free Sparketype Assessment created by host of the top-ranked Good Life Project®, Jonathan Fields. This personality assessment is different from others because it helps you discover what sparks you and what drains you, as well as where you stumble and where you come alive. With this information, the book will help you get clarity on where you should put your energy so you’ll be able to justify focusing on the parts of your role where your unique personality would have the most impact—which usually coincides with the parts of your role you love the most!


Discover your unique imprint for work that makes you come alive, fills you with meaning, joy, purpose, and possibility, then spend the rest of your life doing it.

2. Stand up for your values at work

Recent reports and research show that 25% of employees have been pressured to behave unethically or illegally by their bosses while 40% of U.S. workers say they’ve witnessed unethical or illegal conduct on the job. If you’ve ever experienced a conflict of values in the workplace, then you understand how much your response impacts the way you view your role and your career. It’s never been more important to stand up for core values such as honesty, personal dignity, fairness, and justice. But there’s also never been more pressure to look the other way.

The truth is, you don’t have to accept bad behavior in the workplace as a consequence of having a paying job. You can choose to lead with your conscience and still obtain personal and professional success. In The Conscience Code, Wharton School of Business professor G. Richard Shell provides a set of 10 rules for confronting ethical challenges at work so you will look back on how you handled them with pride rather than regret. This is a one-of-a-kind guide with real-life examples every employee—regardless of industry or experience level—will relate to.


The essential guide to standing up for your values at work. Protect your integrity by committing to The Conscience Code.

3. Take time to think during your workday

Burnout is a huge problem among professionals these days. Couple that with meeting fatigue and a lingering workers shortage and you’ve got a recipe for unrelenting busyness. One of the best career goals you can set this year is to pump the brakes on your ambition and schedule “whitespace” into your work day.

According to the author of A Minute to Think, Juliet Funt, “whitespace” is “freed time in the day to think (and breathe, and ponder, and plan, and create).” Over many years of teaching and testing, including hours of client surveys, research, and observation, Funt and her consulting firm have developed an array of strategies to help employees incorporate whitespace into their calendar as well as how to effectively use whitespace by eliminating distractions, making better decisions, and improving your workflow.


The American workforce is burned out. What we’re lacking is an essential missing element—“WhiteSpace”—that when inserted back into our days, changes the very nature of work. Juliet Funt is redefining productivity in A Minute to Think. Using research and client stories, Funt will show readers how to reinvent their busy lives and add creativity and zen back into their lives.

4. Become the office MVP

Maybe you aren’t in a position to ask for a raise and you don’t have any desire to leave your current employer this year. Sometimes your career goal can be as straightforward, yet ambitious as being the person everyone in the office feels like they can go to when they need something done and done well.

Having this as a goal can obviously lead to bigger and better things. For one, you’ll get greater responsibilities and more exciting projects. Plus, you’ll nearly guarantee that you’ll be first in line for any promotions when you do have enough experience under your belt and fire in your belly for the opportunity. Liz Wiseman has another word for people like this—your office MVPs. She calls them “impact players.” Her book of the same name shares the secrets of 170 top contributors including the 5 practices that differentiate Impact Players from their peers, which you should know if this is a goal you want to make for your career in 2022.


Researcher and bestselling author Liz Wiseman has brought together managers from top companies to discover what makes an MVP. When a team is weighed down by increased pressure and unrelenting demands, MVPs make hard work easier. The practices outlined in this book and a positive outlook and mindset can turn any employee into an MVP. Wiseman includes a playbook for individuals to use these principles and grow professionally in a fast-paced world.

5. Learn to work with fewer resources

Has your company’s lack of resources kept you from pursuing an idea? Do you view this lack of resources as an obstacle? Commit to making 2022 your year of resourcefulness! This is a great career goal for everyone from startup employees to professionals who must prove a concept before their company will allocate more time, money, and materials to a new project.

In the Wall Street Journal bestselling book Stretch, Scott Sonenshein introduces a new perspective of resourcefulness based on science that allows you to work with what you have and stop chasing more just to achieve less. You’ll quickly learn that having more resources doesn’t mean you’ll get better results and that what you needed to succeed in your efforts was right in front of you all along.


A groundbreaking approach to succeeding in business and life, using the science of resourcefulness. Using captivating stories to illustrate research in psychology and management, Rice University professor Scott Sonenshein examines why some people and organizations succeed with so little, while others fail with so much. Drawing from examples in business, education, sports, medicine, and history, Sonenshein advocates a powerful framework of resourcefulness that allows anybody to work and live better.

Gabrielle Reed

Editor at Leadership Essentials

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