Growth is essential for career happiness and satisfaction. Do you wonder why people are most excited about their jobs when they first start it? It’s not just because it is new, beginnings are usually where most of the learning takes place. In the beginning, you have the highest potential and most room for growth. And the longer you stay, you either grow within your company or you get more and more comfortable in your position.
What is growth?
Growth can be measured by the difference between where you were in the past and where you are today in your career. Career growth isn’t limited to promotions or changes in titles. It’s about how much you have learned, what you discovered and how much more effective have you become at your job.
People typically grow fastest when they first start, then slow down. This happens because people often lose interest and enthusiasm in their jobs over time, not because there are fewer growth opportunities.
Growth and your resume.
In the past, during the baby boomer’s time, company loyalty was highly regarded. As a result, having 10 plus years with the same company was a huge asset. Not so much anymore. Currently, what employers want to see is a career progression. There’s nothing wrong with staying with the same company for many years, as long as your work history shows growth and progression every 2 to 5 years.
You may have started as an assistant or an intern. Then you were promoted to an associate role, then a manager, and so on. However, if your role shows the same position for a long time, that usually implies you got too comfortable in that role. Perhaps you weren’t really pushing yourself enough to reach your full potential.
Growth and your happiness.
We are the happiest in our career when we are growing, learning new things and have a vision or a goal to move towards. As a result, the happier you are in your career, the more motivated you will be to keep going. There is something extremely satisfying about being able to successfully overcome a challenge. This is how growth happens.
Some people are very conscious about their career growth. They can spot right away if their job is offering opportunities to grow and expand. And they are not willing to stick around when they feel trapped in a dead-end career. Others get too comfortable and stick around for years in the same role without a promotion because the pay is decent, the benefits are good, and they love the people they are working with.
Growth and stability.
For those of you who love stability in your career, I have to say, there is no stability without growth. If you are not growing in your job, most likely you will not last there. Of course, nothing can guarantee stability and layoffs can happen any time and anyone can be at risk. However, when downsizing happens and hard decisions must be made, most likely, employees who show the least progress are the ones who get affected.
So please, for the sake of your career, pay attention to your growth. If your work assignments aren’t challenging enough for you, be more proactive about it. If you haven’t gotten that long wanted promotion, don’t get resentful, it will hurt you more. Try looking at it objectively and see if there is something you could have done better, using this knowledge to grow move on with your career.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.