Career Growth: What It Is And Why It Matters

Career growth opportunities

Ever felt like you’re stagnating in your career because you’ve been in the same job position for too long?

Lingering in the same role for too long affects your development and earning potential. Fortunately, there
is a way out of your situation, but pursuing career growth opportunities requires a proactive approach.

With the right mindset, you can achieve your ideal career path.

What is Career Growth?

Career growth is a long process of evolving professionally from the moment you step out of college. Whether you’re looking to start your own company or become a CEO, it’s the journey of climbing up the stairs of your career.

People often mix up career development with career growth.

Career development is when you enhance your skills to land a specific role, while career growth refers to the entire progress of your professional life.

So basically, career development is the short-term steps, whereas career growth is the long-term master plan.

Benefits of Career Growth

Comfort is the opposite of growth. The more you stay in your comfort zone, the harder it is to advance your career, even when you work from home.

Humans, by nature, are relentless learners. But fear often has a tighter grip on their minds, forcing them to set aside their plans. Still, expanding your career can be fulfilling. That’s why career growth is beneficial.

Here are more benefits of career growth to think about:

  • Growing your career can strengthen work relationships, giving you greater job satisfaction. As you create deeper connections, new career opportunities can develop beyond your professional circle.
  • Career growth equals financial growth. Every time you progress in your career, your salary will increase, allowing you to achieve personal milestones as well.
  • Career growth makes you more confident. As you develop a growth mindset within your workspace, the habits you create at work will eventually spill over into your personal life.
  • As your career progresses, you’ll have more possibilities to create a positive impact within your industry. That’s how career development can help you face new challenges in your professional goals.

Your professional development and career growth go hand-in-hand. As you climb the career ladder, enhancing your abilities and knowledge is paramount to achieving your professional goals. So take every experience as a platform to learn new things, such as industry trends and best practices.

6 Tips for Career Growth

Despite the economic crisis looming across the globe, 4 million people in the US alone have left their jobs because they feel like their careers aren’t going anywhere. So take matters into your own hands, and don’t wait for your manager to establish a career plan for you.

Don’t be afraid to try these 6 must-practices for career growth to change the course of your career path:

1. Set your career goals

No matter what you do, having clear-cut goals can make life more fulfilling. However, it’s a common mistake for most people to set career goals without breaking them down into achievable milestones. So figure out what your future role looks like and develop a process-oriented career plan.

A career development plan allows you to level up professionally or switch roles freely if you want to explore other fields. But if you’re unsure what to do, take some time to reflect on your passions while aligning the career that you love with what you’re good at. Doing this will help you gain clarity about your career path.

2. Get a mentor

Finding a mentor with the qualities and achievements you aspire to have can help you realize and reach your potential. You can gain valuable insights from these individuals’ advice and feedback, as their experience can guide you in making informed decisions on your career growth.

Be selective when searching for a mentor. Although it’s okay to seek out someone that holds the position you want, they may not be a reliable mentor. So find a professional who’s an inspiring instructor. These people can give you enough motivating fuel to reach your career goals.

Asking for help and guidance doesn’t mean you’re not capable. Instead, it shows that you’re willing to let your guard down to grow out of your current job.

3. Improve your weaknesses

Turning your weaknesses into strengths is the best way to scale your career. So enhance any skills required for growth opportunities through education.

Improving the right skills will give you a competitive advantage in the job market. You don’t have to go back to a school campus to do this because you can get helpful educational resources online. Unless you think it’s best to get formal training to give yourself an edge, do what it takes to achieve your definition of career growth.

4. Find a support group

Growing your career has challenges, but having a support group can make the climb bearable. Even if you already have guidance from your mentor, seeking out strength from your friends and family can make everything worthwhile.

These people can help you stay on track and keep you accountable for your progress. But on the other hand, they can also assist you in letting off some steam when work stress is becoming overwhelming.

5. Make time to network yourself

Your professional network can help direct you to your career growth goals. But instead of limiting your connections to your own company or industry, build relationships outside your field as well.

It’s intimidating to reach out to people from other walks of life at first. Still, with practice, you can get the hang of it eventually. So build your social capital by joining conferences and online forums where you can meet people in various fields. Or invite coworkers to have a casual meet-up to talk about their jobs. Again, building this substantial, diverse social capital is an avenue for mutual benefits.

6. Explore job shadowing opportunities

Job shadowing is when you follow around and observe how an experienced colleague does their job. It’s an effective way of understanding the role you want to be in while gauging if your skills fit the role. So if you’re serious about your career development, don’t miss out on the benefits of exploring job shadowing opportunities in and out of your company.

You can make the most out of job shadowing programs by asking these questions:

  • What’s your favorite thing about this job?
  • In the next 5-10 years, what changes do you see in your industry?
  • What kind of training would you recommend for me to land a job like this?
  • What skills and characteristics should a person have to succeed in this role?

Career growth is not always vertical

Career growth and career development come in all shapes and sizes. Your definition of growth may look vertical, while others may have a lateral approach. Regardless of what it looks like, no one else, not even your manager, is responsible for your career except you. So map out a game plan as soon as possible.

Take advantage of every learning experience, even the failed ones, because building a monumental career doesn’t happen overnight.

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