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Setting yourself up for success as an Early Childhood Educator in 2022

2022 is in full swing, with childcare centres across the country preparing and adapting to the continuing challenges associated with COVID-19. While 2021 came with it’s own unique challenges and hurdles, January is still a great time to review the year that was, your individual successes and areas for improvement.

In this blog post, we explore the importance of goal setting within your childcare workforce and how it is an invaluable tool to set both yourself and your fellow educators up for success and growth in what will no doubt be another year filled with unique challenges.

Take time to review last year's goals and achievements

Goal setting is essential for any working individual to have a path-for-improvement within their career. Often, much like our dreaded new years resolutions, we tend to set these goals and forget about them within the first quarter of the year.

January is an essential time to review your personal goals, career successes and challenges/room for improvement areas from the previous year. By taking a moment at the start of the year to revisit these goals, you bring them back into the forefront of thought, to review and digest as an essential tool for continuous improvement.

As an individual, take a moment to reflect on these goals - were they achieved? If so, how? If not, why? Only by continuously reviewing our goals can we proactively understand our progress and achievements (or lack thereof). If you can’t remember your goals from last year, don’t fear, now is an excellent time to create some for 2022! Write these goals somewhere where you can review and comment on them regularly (notes on your phone, on the fridge, in an important notebook) and set yourself calendar reminders to review these goals each quarter.

As an individual, having these goals on-hand keeps them at the top of your mind. This encourages ongoing awareness in your personal and professional conduct to work towards these goals. Remember KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) when setting goals, as small sprints are more readily achievable than big scary endeavours.

Set goal-reviewing sessions throughout the year

As an individual Early Childhood Educator, it is your responsibility to hold yourself accountable for your work ethic and goals. Get on the front foot and ask to meet with your Centre Director to discuss your goals for 2022.

In proactively approaching your management team to discuss your goals, you achieve several things:

  • Accountability and Rapport - Your leadership team will be impressed by your enthusiasm to become accountable for your progression, making you more independent, trustworthy and innovative in their eyes. This in turn will establish rapport with your manager and work towards your professional independence as they see you wanting to achieve and grow.

  • Establish your individual identity and worth - In speaking with your team about your personal and career goals, you are standing out from the crowd as an individual with their own personal wants and needs. By speaking about your goals with others, you make them a reality by making others aware of what you are about and where you want to go.

  • Career Progression - Without goals, we do not have a bench mark to measure our success and achievements. Without this, we can get lost in the day-to-day cycle of work, with nothing to look forward to and no personal celebrations of success. The most successful people are those who are good at evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, putting them into small, bite-sized goals that can be measured and celebrated as your career advances.

Once you have had this discussion regarding your personal and professional goals, open up the conversation to feedback from your senior regarding your performance in 2021. While sometimes uncomfortable, constructive criticism and reviews of previous actions can be an invaluable tool to understand not only what you feel you are doing right/wrong, but how others view your actions and achievements.

Make sure you set a date in your calendar (both for your individual reflection and for a review with management) to discuss the progress of these goals each quarter. As mentioned earlier, only by keeping goals at the top of your mind will you be able to continually focus on progress.

If you or your team are looking for some helpful pointers and guidance for strong goal-setting in 2022, we’re here to help! Call us today for a no-obligation chat on what you’d like to achieve in the year ahead!

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