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The get-ahead guide to career success in 2022

By Gaelle Blake, Director, Hays Permanent Appointments, UK and Ireland

There’s never been a better time to think about your career and how to get ahead, move up the ladder, land a promotion or move to a more fulfilling role. According to the Hays Salary and Recruiting Trends Guide for 2022, job vacancies are at an eight-year high, with 69% of companies reporting that they are looking to hire new staff this year. Many of these roles are offering more flexibility than ever before – with a huge emphasis on hybrid working, employee upskilling and career progression.

So, how can you set yourself up for success in 2022?

1. Identify your goals

Thinking about the big picture and long-term goals is important for any professional, regardless of the level you’re currently at. If you have an idea of the role you’d like to eventually be in, write it down, and think about what you need to do to get there. Plot out the different routes you could take and think about what qualifications and experience are real must-haves. Look at job descriptions for the role you hope to aim for at the height of your career, and make a note of any recurring systems, software, skills and experience so that you can research them.

If you’re hoping to move up within your current organisation, speak to your manager about progression and to find out what you can do to start taking steps in the right direction. Or, if you’re hoping to change career paths, jobs or industries, consider speaking to a career expert in a relevant field to glean some insights.

2. Assess your skills

Identify your current skillset and list all the technical abilities you have, plus any job-specific skills. Then, assess your ‘soft skills’ – this includes things like communication, time-management, team-leadership and presenting, for example.

Career growth almost always comes with continuous learning, and what may have been the most-desired skill a decade ago will most probably not be so today. So, while you may have heaps of experience in your sector, it’s important to upskill to stay ahead of the competition. Make a list of the attributes you’ll need in your “dream job” and start working towards ticking them off.

3. Consider a career mentor

Whether you want to progress at your current organisation, stay in the same role but move to a different company, or change your career altogether, sometimes it can be helpful to seek advice from people in the know. A career mentor is someone who can help you achieve your goals, steer you in the right direction, and provide support and advice. A great way to find a career mentor in your area is to look on LinkedIn, where you can see testimonials and comments from other people they may have helped.

4. Learn something new

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to keep learning new skills, regardless of what stage you’re at in your career. Whether you want to expand your soft skills – such as time management, public speaking and leadership techniques – or your profession-specific skills, like being literate in specific software or programmes, there’ll be a course for it. Use the lists you created earlier to determine what skills you need to work on, then start researching training providers.

5. Social media

It’s more important than ever to ensure that your online presence matches the person you are on your CV. Social media can be a great networking tool, whether you use it for connecting with people in your company or industry, or if you want to see what people in other sectors are doing. Make sure your LinkedIn profile accurately reflects your experiences and skills, use a work-appropriate photo and keep posts professional. Use your profile to shout about your expertise and achievements and remember to keep it updated regularly.

For more in-depth advice about how to further your career in 2022, watch our Career Forum, where experts Judy Bullimore and Hannah Salton joined me in a discussion about how you can get ahead.

About this author

Gaelle joined Hays in 1999, and in her time with the business, she has led dedicated teams providing expert recruitment services for a wide range of sectors and professions. In 2018, Gaelle started her current role as UK&I Director of Hays Permanent Appointments, where she works with 800 Permanent Appointments consultants across the UK and Ireland. She helps organisations to find the talent they need to achieve their goals, and help customers to find the roles they need to move their careers forwards. In July 2020, Gaelle was also appointed as UKI Director of Hays Construction & Property, leading the 300+ recruitment consultants in the largest specialist Construction & Property recruiter in the UK.

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