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How to achieve career growth

What Is Career Growth?

In basic terms, career growth is the process of climbing the career ladder. Most often achieved through promotion, it is the action of advancing from your current post to a position of higher standing.

For example, if you start your working life as a junior developer and three years later become lead developer, you have achieved career growth. The next step on the ladder may be the senior developer or creative director.

Though promotion is the most common form of professional advancement, your career growth plan may involve moving from your current employer to a higher-level role within a new organization.

The term career lattice is also used in reference to career growth. This term is a modern interpretation of organizational structure and suggests growth is no longer a case of simply moving up but may also involve sideways steps.

For example, a sales executive may become a sales and marketing executive, before advancing to sales and marketing lead.

To summarize, career growth is moving from point A to point B, gaining increased responsibility as a result, and forms the basis of many long-term career goals.

 

Career development is an ongoing process that involves self-awareness and improvement.

When you develop in a professional context, you improve your knowledge, skill-set and relationships. These improvements equip you for career growth.

For example, in an entry-level marketing role, you may start out with a focus on written content only, but over time, you learn to produce visuals and video, boosting your skill set and broadening your horizons.

You may start your career with little to no managerial experience but go the extra mile to develop leadership skills that set you up for future promotion.

These are just two examples of career development, and there are many ways in which you can improve your professional self as you work towards career growth opportunities.

What Is the Difference Between Career Growth and Career Development?

The distinctions between career growth and career development can be laid out in a few ways:

·        Growth can be measured, whereas development is more about quality. It’s easy to quantify a promotion as it comes with a change of title and increase in pay. By contrast, development doesn’t necessarily have a measurable outcome. It’s more about identifying strengths and weaknesses, making changes and striving for improvement.

·        Growth is the ‘what and where’, development is the ‘how’. The position you intend to hold in five years' time is your career growth path, how you get there is by setting short term career goals that constitute your development.

·        Growth is rooted in strategy, but development is transformative. To achieve growth, you’ll need to plot and plan your progression up the career ladder. To achieve development, you’ll need to consistently build on yourself to become a better, more well-rounded and more confident employee.

Growth is achieved in the long-term, development is ongoing. You may not succeed in your career growth plan for several years, but you’ll undergo development continually.

Why Is Career Growth and Development Important?

Work is a predominant aspect of life for most people, and without advancement and progression, a career can become stagnant. This may lead to boredom and frustration, and in severe cases, negatively impact an individual’s quality of life.

Together, growth and development make up the foundations of a successful career plan, one that brings increased satisfaction, enjoyment and reward.

The key thing is to focus on them both together.

Career growth and career development should be viewed as two parts of a whole.

If you focus solely on growth, you’re only looking forward and neglecting to take pleasure in the here and now of your profession. Also, growth is rarely achievable without development, as the latter is the driving force behind the former.

Career development may well be obtained without growth, but there’s little reward in taking steps towards self-improvement without a measurable result as a consequence.

In finding a balance between the two, your professional life becomes one in which you find daily fulfillment whilst working towards an ambition beneficial to your future self.

How you achieve your professional objectives will be entirely dependent on your circumstances; however, following few-tips and making research are always beneficial for almost all cases and should provide solid insight as to how you can improve your career growth prospects.

Career growth and career development should be viewed as two parts of a whole.

Development is the process by which you improve as an individual, subsequently improving your prospects, and growth is the reward you gain for your efforts.

Your personal circumstances will dictate your career growth plan – some people may only wish to reach a certain level, while others will aim for the top.

Whatever your end goal, draw up a plan that shows where you want to be and how you intend to get there and you’ll find your career becomes a far more rewarding experience.

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