As I mentioned in my previous article, growth is extremely important 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.
Let’s look closer to career growth.
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 considered to be a huge asset. Not so much anymore. In this day and age, what employers want to see is a career progression. 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 the manager, and so on. However, if your role shows the same position for a long time, that usually means you got too comfortable in that role.
But we are not here to talk about what looks good on your resume.
What matters most is your happiness and satisfaction. And 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.
So how do we measure this growth? Most importantly, what growth opportunities do we have in our careers? As I mentioned earlier, one way to grow would be to climb the corporate ladder and get into management. However, not everyone makes it and not everyone is even interested in heading in that direction. People who have a strong executive mindset are naturally good at it. You have to be interested in your company as a whole and where it is heading. You have to be able and willing to see the big picture. Above all, you have to be involved in company politics and enjoy playing the game.
What if this is just not your style and you have no interest in managing others? Does this mean you can’t grow? Absolutely not! If you prefer to focus on your job, learn new technologies, make discoveries and have brilliant innovative ideas, while staying away from politics, no problem. There is definitely plenty of room and need for people like you. Additionally, there is plenty of room for you to grow. But you will grow more if you grow as an independent professional. If you stay in the same role for too long, you will eventually outgrow it. You will become comfortable and bored. Consequently, you will either crave for a change or change will be forced upon you in the form of lay off.