Career Growth

By Sean Stevenson – Latest Revision April 15th, 2021

Understanding Career Growth

If career growth and maximizing your success interests you, then investing in your own development is a must!!!

Given that most people are working 40 hours (or more!) for their entire adult life, it makes an awful lot of sense to make the most out of a career.  By developing your skills and talents, you will not only enable yourself to be a better worker, but you’ll also turn your career on its head (if you haven’t already!).

Successful people know and understand this trend all too well.  It starts by taking personal accountability for your own career growth and trajectory.  Once you get a better handle on where you are and where you’d like to be, developing yourself becomes intuitive rather than exhausting.

Surprisingly, most people do not consider where they’d like to be a year, or even several from now.  They fail to take the time to develop their own career-oriented ideas – much less plan ahead.

To get yourself started, consider the career growth checklist below:

Career Growth For Employees – A Checklist

For those of you who are eager to spur your own career growth, here are several powerful actions that lead to success!  Think of this as a personal checklist you can refer to time and again.  It will help keep you on track as you develop both your skillset and your professional interests:

Create a roadmap for career growth & success

A career map tells you exactly where you want to go.  From the humblest of beginnings to the endgame goal of an advanced career.  Your roadmap can give you a step-by-step plan to follow with ease.  You should easily see the beginning and the end.  This helps create a reference and personal guide to keep you driven and focused.  Along your journey, you should also create numerous milestones.  These will help signal your achievements as they happen, propelling you forward.  The easiest method of creating a roadmap for career growth and success, is to think where you would like to be in 2-5 years.  Try to brainstorm ways you can get there!  Moreover, always be on the lookout for new opportunities that interest you!

Pursue personal development

With a roadmap in place, you can now actively plan your personal development.  Try to seek out professional and technical courses that make sense for your career trajectory.  Many courses today are entirely free online and can help you get your foot in the door with a prospective employer.  Further, always be open to new experiences.  If your employer happens to offer courses or additional training in-house, pursue these with dogged ambition!  You would be amazed at how quickly your credentials can add up!  These are incredibly useful for any career!  Moreover, they always help boost your resume’s profile!  Lastly, you should also pay attention to “soft skills.”  These include communication, leadership capabilities, sales tactics, and even marketing.  Soft skills are invaluable tools that are often overlooked in many professional settings.  They can easily make or break a career! 

Record and track your career growth

It’s not enough to create a roadmap and pursue opportunities alone.  You also have to keep a meticulous record of your career growth and trajectory.  This can take the form of a journal, a series of voice recordings, or a diary.  Reflecting on how much you have grown and how far you’ve come, is a personal imperative.  It helps to keep you accountable, and to recognize that your efforts have made a difference in your life.  Moreover, you can always refer to your own notes for inspiration before a job interview.  It will help give you a powerful perspective when answering tricky questions that may normally catch the unwary off-guard.

Network everywhere you go

The people you associate with are integral to your career development.  A large network can offer you increased opportunity and serve as references for that dream job you’ve been waiting for!  An excellent website to develop your own network (without even having to leave home!) is LinkedIn.  I would absolutely suggest you start conversing with anyone and everyone from your industry that happens to be online with LinkedIn.  Try to create as many meaningful contacts as possible.  The great thing about doing so, is that you can be a part of a wonderful professional community at no cost!  Lastly, volunteer work can also provide a unique opportunity for networking.  You can pick up some great experiences, along with varied and unique references for future job opportunities. 

Ask for tougher assignments

Being willing to work the long and hard hours will quickly set you apart from your peers.  For any amount of career growth and advancement, it is necessary to display a consistent professionalism.  Couple this with a positive attitude, and you will gain a reputation for being a positive “go-getter” who never backs down from a challenge.  Further, this method will ensure you garner a great deal of experience in a much shorter timeframe.  This can open the door to new and exciting opportunities even faster than you imagined.  

Search for mentorship

No successful person on earth ever got to where they are without some form of mentorship.  Searching for a mentor is one of the best things you can do for career growth of any kind.  Often, an experienced operator will be eager to take you under their wing.  These people tend to be seeking the opportunity to share their own professional wisdom with up-and-comers.  It tends to reflect well on them, and they get the benefit of moulding their new apprentice into a highly productive self-starter (which will likely benefit them as well).  A good mentor will offer meticulous and situational advice that can help jumpstart your career.  They may even introduce you to important ideas, people, and opportunities that you may never have heard of otherwise.

Career Growth

You can find career growth and mentors almost anywhere!  The trick is to recognize them!

Types of Career Growth

Career growth can take many forms.  It is important to understand these variants so that you can decide which is best for your own goals and objectives.

Here are some of the most common types of career growth today:

Specialization

Specializing in specific skillsets that make you more effective in a certain role or industry can be a very smart career move.  Specialists are always in high demand for the unique skills that they possess.  Moreover, there is often huge opportunities for advancement.  Those enterprising enough to seek out additional education or certificates will likely soon find themselves earning a much higher paycheque.

However, it must be noted that specialization can also work against you.  For example, seeking an education in an increasingly saturated field can prove a waste of effort, finances, and time.

Generalists

Creating a diverse skillset allows you to work within a much larger field.  You may even be eligible to operate in several industries at once.  This skillset makes you highly marketable to employers.  It also gives you added job market security, provided you are unopposed to the various roles available. 

Leadership

Many companies are increasingly on the lookout for willing leaders.  Leadership is itself, a rare commodity.  The ability to influence large groups of people and motivate them to work together towards a common vision is a unique property that many organizations will pay top-dollar for.  While there is no school or degree in “leadership,” you can certainly build a resume -and career- around it.  Learning to engage productively with others is the first step towards grasping the fundamentals of leadership.  Once you can direct a person, you can then learn to direct a team.  Once you have mastered the synergies of leading a team, you can then manage more.  As Sun Tzu famously stated, “Management of many, is the same as the management of few.  It is a matter of organization.”  In short, it simply requires consistency, determination, and practice.

Management

Managers are always in demand for their ability to effectively direct the finite resources of an organization.  However, this does require a great deal of personal accountability (see: potential overtime).  It is not uncommon for managers to oversee investments, productive processes, project management, or even other employees, as part of their tenure.  A great advantage of management is that there are many career growth opportunities available today.  From executive management, finance, information technology, or marketing, there are no shortage of options to be had.

Career Growth

Career growth, development, knowledge, learning, training, and coaching, are limitless.  The key is to make them work for you, and to remain consistent!

Finding a Career Growth Company

Crafting your own profile steeped in professionalism does not happen overnight.  In fact, you may find yourself “in limbo” and without a company you can proudly serve for several years.

This can mean taking on “odd jobs” or “part-time work” to support yourself in the meantime.

While you may be forced to struggle in the short-term, never lose your vision for serving a high-quality career growth company.  Always stay on the lookout for an opportunity that sounds like it may suit your skillset.  If necessary, consider relocating to a more populous and prosperous area that can offer you more opportunity.

The irony is that we often stumble upon the greatest opportunities of our lives unintentionally.  It just takes vigilance and personal accountability to determine what that opportunity must look like. 

In fact, it is becoming commonplace for people to work several jobs before finding where they best “fit in.” 

In my own experience, I can absolutely confirm this to be true.  If you find yourself lacking a career growth company, do not fret.  Just keep developing your skillset and remain on the lookout for that elusive opportunity you crave.  In time, you will get it!

Career Growth and Opportunity - Conclusion

Most of us have not seriously considered our next career move.  We tend to get comfortable in our current position, and as a result, give little thought to broadening our horizons.

However, it should be noted that time is always a factor.  Adding deep value to your career growth and trajectory is imperative if you want to climb the corporate ladder.

Therefore, never be afraid of new opportunities and always be meticulous in approaching your own development.  Keep records and direct your efforts to where they will give you the most benefit. 

Pushing consistently in one direction will ensure you get the most out of your time spent improving your career growth prospects.  This will inevitably lead to breakthrough results!

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