New Year, New You 2022 Career Goals

UC Berkeley Extension
6 min readDec 8, 2021


4 steps to find and realize your passion

Image of person holding lightbulb as part of 2022 while typing on a laptop

If 2021 taught us anything, it’s that there’s no time like the present to take ownership of your career. Dubbed the “great resignation,” this year saw a record number of 4 million Americans quitting their jobs in July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That same study showed a record-breaking 10.9 million open jobs at the end of July.

Professionals are re-evaluating what makes their hearts sing-what they want to do every day, the type of company they want to work for, the professional-development options available to them.

So whether you’re looking to change your career or advance to the next level, here are four things we learned this year to find your job in 2022.

#1. Treat Your Career Like a Business

Let’s start at the top-assessing your current skill set. Career Boot Camp: Get Your Next Job instructor and longtime certified career coach Vaneese Johnson poses this to you:

“If you don’t update your product, services or offerings, then you are going to become outdated in the marketplace. Look at your current offerings. Is that what the marketplace is buying right now in respect to your particular profession? In your industry? Do you have current skill sets that are attractive to the buyers, the employers? What is the premium value that you can get for your skills?”

Get more career advice from Vaneese.

#2. Take an Entrepreneurial Mindset

While you’re taking a business view of your career, why not do it like an entrepreneur? It’s a way of thinking that everyone should incorporate. Why? An entrepreneurial mindset can help identify new growth paths-for both your own trajectory and that of the organization as a whole. An essential life skill is to think like an entrepreneur. A key part of an entrepreneurial mindset is abundance: know that you can improve a situation, ultimately make more money and create new opportunities.

Read on to learn how.

#3. Find Out What Inspires You via Design Thinking

Instructor and co-founder of big Jeff Eyet revealed three things that inspire him in his search for career satisfaction. You should do the same.

Write down three things that inspire you, such as:

1. I want a career with growth potential.

2. I want to work in a medical field.

3. Sustainability is important to me.

The idea behind this basic task is to find the fundamental things that inspire you to action. And, it’s that simple preposition “to” that carries the weight of this challenge. Find the things that inspire you to do something, to take the steps needed to further your career.

Use design thinking to envision your future.

#4. Make an Impact

In a Future of Work online event, Elizabeth Bille, Senior Vice President of Workplace Culture at EVERFI, pointed out the importance of social impact in finding career satisfaction. “How do I use my role to have a positive impact on the people around me and my organization? How does my organization use the work that we do to drive change in the world? How are we serving people for good?”

Focus on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

In the ever-changing workplace, leaders with expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion are now more important than ever. For the past year, we’ve partnered with EDGE in Tech Initiative at University of California to offer a speaker series that features corporate leaders in DE&I roles who share their journeys and the insights that they’ve gained while advocating for these issues in major corporations. Their voices bring this salient work much higher to light and we are committed to continuing the conversation. Hear how you can bring DE&I into your career.

Interested in making a societal impact in the sustainability sector?

While the renewable-energy and transportation job market is currently robust, the American Jobs Plan looks to continue and accelerate that trend. Now is the time to invest in your education to prepare for the future of green work.

Make a positive impact by volunteering your time.

Volunteering your time is the epitome of altruism, but a related benefit to your selfless service is that it can also give you a career boost. The first thing to do when approaching volunteerism from a position of self-interest is some self-investigation. What do you have to offer and what do you want to gain? Let’s break this down.

Find and be a mentor!

If your company has a mentorship program in place, now is the time to engage with it. If you are not so fortunate, take control of the process and create your own mentorship relationships.

Do the Signals Point to a Career Change?

After self-reflecting from the items are you happy with what you’re doing for a living? Do you wake up ready to take on the day’s challenges? Or are you seriously considering a career change?

A recent study from Microsoft reveals that, “Career anxiety is a major side-effect of the pandemic and it’s affecting workers of every age. Young people are concerned about their career prospects, but the over-45s are just as worried about their future. This has sparked a wave of interest in mid-life professional pivots, with our research revealing that one in four over-45s is considering a career switch or role change.”

But you may be thinking:

  1. I’m too old.
  2. I need to start from scratch.
  3. I have to have this all planned out.
  4. My income will suffer.

You need to take these and other myths out of the conversation. Here’s how.

Do the Signals Point to Applying for a New Job?

Sure, you’ll need to update that résumé (please don’t forget to check your grammar) and start combing through job boards and LinkedIn. But make sure you’re checking off all the boxes to make you as competitive an applicant as you can be.

#1. Put your best foot forward.

Your social presence goes beyond sharing funny memes, status updates and the like to your followers. You may also be sharing it with a potential employer. So before you hit share, re-evaluate the content because your next boss is looking. Take some time in the next few days to audit your social presence and ensure it’s accurately reflecting the professional image you want to convey to the world. If it’s not, now’s the time to get it cleaned up!

#2. Open to work without letting your boss know.

LinkedIn’s product team created a frame viewable on your profile photo that simply says, “Open to work.” Since its introduction in June 2020, 30 million people have used that profile photo frame. Underneath your profile picture, click the “Open to” button and then select “Open to finding a new job.” You can specify the job title that you’re searching for, pinpoint the locations you’re interested in, and select full time or remote.

At the very bottom, you can decide whether you want that information to be open to all LinkedIn members or only share it with recruiters. Get more LinkedIn tips.

Do the Signals Point to Gaining New Skills?

Remember when career coach Vaneese asked, “Do you have current skill sets that are attractive to the buyers, the employers?” Whether it’s now or five years from now, you’ll want to make sure that your skills are as honed as can be.

This can be in the form of professional-development opportunities at your current or future organization.

Taking a single course or a full certificate is a worthwhile investment in your career that many companies will sponsor in order to retain great talent. In so doing, many organizations offer education and training benefits, so your courses could be fully or partially reimbursed. Need to compile a persuasive reason for why your organization should invest in you? We’ve also got a nifty “fill-in-the-blank” memo to present to your manager. Check it out.

If you’re going into interviews, be sure to ask employers about opportunities for growth within the company, how they’re supporting professional-development opportunities and what that’s going to look like for you. You might be getting a nice package from the beginning, but you want to ensure that you’re going into an opportunity that will continue to develop your career growth. Read on.

We’re excited to see what 2022 will bring for you! Whether it’s through a single course or a full certificate, you can learn from working professionals to gain the practical skills that hiring managers are looking for now. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with our Career Services team to explore career-development opportunities.



UC Berkeley Extension

UC Berkeley Extension is the continuing education branch of the University of California, Berkeley. We empower learners to meet educational and career goals.