Our career becomes part of our identity. Spending half our life building a professional profile becomes as important as enhancing your personal life. Career development should be a priority as it focuses on learning new skills, facing new challenges and increasing your capabilities and salary.
To many individuals, a job provides more fulfilment than just financial security. We often describe ourselves as an engineer, a nurse, a manager. This is called ‘occupational identification’ and is particularly salient for those in clearly defined professions.
Identifying paths early on in your career that will promote professional growth is crucial to succeeding later down the track. Ideally, you want to position yourself in an evolving culture, where you can help the company grow, while they help you grow too.
Although working for an established large company will offer in-house expertise, name recognition, and scale, you could spend 7 years at the company before meeting the CEO or other company leaders
When applying for a job, here are some essential questions you should consider asking the employer to understand the growth prospectives of a role:
- How do you help employees grow their skills?
- What’s the average tenure of team members?
- Do you have diverse goals or commitments?
- What’s the path for internal promotion?
- Are side projects or cross-departmental collaboration a big part of your company culture?
Growth for employees is only achievable through a business’ own growth and development. Opportunities and challenges arise through change.
Here are some of the consequences you can face if you do not position yourself within a role or company that will promote your career development and professional growth:
- Your earnings will stay about the same
- You won’t be able to rise to a challenge and help clients with innovative products and services
- New and additional roles will not be available to apply for
- You might be left behind in your industry and struggle to find a new role
- You may get bored in the business
- You will not expand your capabilities
Ever heard of a ‘bridge job‘? People should focus on finding the right job for them, but sometimes that can take weeks, months or even years. They may need to consider taking a temporary ‘bridge job’ during that time to pay bills, access health care or meet other needs.
There are so many ways to grow. And the most important thing is that you find the ways to grow that work best for you and put them into practice as often as possible.
Career development gives employees something to look forward to and should be prioritised as it feeds the hunger to learn and grow, in life and at work.