To advance your career and amp up your happiness at work, you need to stay ahead of the curve on career trends. For 2022, most of these trends are connected to the new hybrid model of work. This overnight evolution to “work anytime anywhere,” thanks to a tragic and severely disruptive pandemic, will continue to morph. The workplace of 2019 has joined the ranks of the fossilized fax machine. Mastering the skills and mindsets of this new paradigm—and then taking action—will position you for growth and success.
1. Talent retains the edge. The Great Resignation is a boon for those seeking to make a change, grow, and to try new things. It provides permission to pursue roles that didn’t make sense before or weren’t the next logical step in your career path. You’re in the driver’s seat of your career with more power than ever. This opportunity won’t last forever. What are you going to do with it?
2. Side hustles emerge from the shadows. Along with the hybrid model of working, side hustles have become a central component of many professional lives, even for people who already have a full-time employer. The idea of working for a company while building your own business is now more likely to be seen as a symbiotic, non-competing activity. This should spark a new way of thinking about your personal brand, career and the value you deliver. Talent providers and aggregators like Outside General Counsel for lawyers and MarketerHire for marketing soloprenuers help those who are employed get additional gigs. LinkedIn also recently announced their response to this trend.
3. Digital dexterity becomes essential. From AI to robotics to data analytics, technology is part of everyone’s job. You need to proactively digitally enable your tasks to free yourself up for the more human parts of work—like building relationships and creating strategic plans. This helps you deliver value and stand out. Mastering tech is also essential to being able to communicate in the hybrid world of work (check out #4 below).
4. Soft skills take center stage. As tech takes a prominent place in the world of work, your humanity becomes even more important. After all, being human is the one valuable thing you can offer your employer that tech cannot. And it is more important that ever. There’s a humanity deficit at work. Focusing only on building hard skills will backfire. Be deliberate about empathy and insight, counteracting the daily digital deluge.
5. Remote work creates a challenge for career growth. “Out of sight is out of mind” is a dire warning to those who choose the “all or mostly remote” work option. Remote workers need to work harder to gain equal exposure. Sure, when you moved to your home office, you eliminated or reduced your commute—great. But you also reduced your visibility among the people you seek to influence and impact. Recency bias comes into play here. It’s a cognitive bias that favors recent events over historic ones. In this context, it means that seeing your boss in the hallway right before she has a plum assignment to dole out could give you an advantage.
6. External feedback is crucial. You’re living in a bit of a vacuum, more isolated than when you were collocated with all your colleagues. That means you start to live in your head—in your own, limited reality. You need to regularly seek feedback from people who matter so you have the real scoop on what people think about you. Your personal brand is held in the hearts and minds of those who know you. Proactively pursue input so you can keep your career on course.
7. Demonstrating a team mindset makes a major impact. Now more than ever, showing you are an engaged, connected member of the team is essential as the things that traditionally held teams together are dissolving. That means fully contributing during Zoom meetings and making time to check in on colleagues even when there’s no project activity to require it. Act like the team leader, whether or not you have the title.
8. Your relationship with your manager matters more than ever. Of course, don’t make your manager jealous of your leadership skills when you act like a leader (above), but make an extra effort to seek out ways to support your boss. Find out how you can help, and follow through with enthusiasm. Leaders are experiencing burnout too. Make yourself more visible and valuable to your boss—daily, and virtually!
9. Meetings get an upgrade. If looking at your calendar filled with back-to-back Zoom meetings makes you want to scream, here’s some good news. Tech innovations will make meetings more meaningful and fun. Mmhmm and Prezi Video offer major enhancements to the basic video conference. Zoom created the Zoom App Marketplace, offering tools to make the video conferencing experience more impactful. The new version of Apple Keynote lets you integrate yourself into your slides when delivering a presentation. Meetings will become more interesting. Be out in front by mastering meeting tech and introducing your stakeholders to new features.
10. Video gets its closeup. Video is finally becoming the primary communications medium. I have been talking about the power of video as a communication tool since 2003—and various video related topics have made it into my annual trends list. At last, all of this has come together, and 2022 will be the year of video. It truly is the next best thing to being there and your personal brand’s most powerful tool. Last year was about getting comfortable with video. Now it’s time to get really, really good at using video so that you can deliver a richer more compelling presence and be remembered for all the right reasons.
Identify the trends that will be most helpful to defining and growing your personal brand and make the most of 2022.