“Progress is not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.” Khalil Gibran
The majority of job seekers prioritize career growth over other benefits. Most employees that are early in their career, they are more likely to build a long-term foundation. However, individuals in their mid-career are the ones who want to fill gaps in their skills and expertise. Likewise, employees in their later careers usually don’t have enough career moves and therefore want to make sure your next job gets you close to career progression.
In research conducted by PwC, it has been found that career growth is one of the topmost important things that candidates look for in jobs.
So, how can you ensure that the job you are seeking will offer you career growth, or how will it help you drive your own career progression? If career growth and development really matter to you, make it an essential part of your interview process.
Before the Interview
Before you sit in the interview to get your next job, there are few things that you should review. This will help you figure out if the job is worth having, and will it help you grow.
· Weigh the Differences in the New Job to Your Resume
Look at the skill set on your resume and then compare them to the skill set that the job is offering you. It could be the same skills you have but in a different industry or a vast set of different software and systems that you haven’t used before. If the company is offering growth, then taking it is the best choice for your professional development.
· Review the Company
One more thing to ensure career progression is to review the projects and responsibilities you will have if you take on a specific job role. Figure out the answers for:
§ Does the company challenge you?
It’s the right job if it brings you out of your comfort zone and offers you countless learning opportunities. You are challenged and expected to solve issues and difficulties by yourself.
§ Do you see growth?
When companies offer challenges and new roles, they are offering you growth. You get to acquire knowledge of new skills and master new talents.
§ What responsibilities and projects will you handle?
Review the kind of projects and responsibilities you will have power over. Are they the same as before? Or are they newer and better? Taking on advanced responsibilities is also a sign of growth. You get to learn more on the job.
During the Interview
Now, it’s time for the interview! Some things that you should mention in the interview to ensure your development at the new job are as follows:
· Inform them About Your Career Growth Plans
If you don’t inform your employer or manager about your plans for career growth, they won’t be able to help you. Keep them informed that you are seeking progression in your job. This way, they can have a bigger role in your professional evolution.
No one cares about your career development more than you, so ensure your progress by keeping them in the loop…
· Ask the Right Questions
Another thing that you can do to ensure advancement in your career is by asking the right question during an interview. Everyone gets the opportunity of asking questions at an interview, so, instead of the stupid ones, go for the following questions:
§ Ask about what happened to the previous employee in your position
Ask if they got a promotion and now have a better role. If that’s the case, then it’s a good thing. If the employee left for another better role in another company, that’s also a good sign. But suppose the employee went to another company seeking better opportunities for career growth. In that case, that might be a bad sign.
· Ask about career growth programs and other opportunities
Another question that you can ask is about the professional development opportunities or training programs that the company offers. These opportunities can increase your chances of betterment.
After the Interview
To ensure that you can drive your own career development in the company, you should:
· Check the Company’s Track Record About Other Employees
Find out whether the employees of the company get the same opportunities that you desire. If they learn and progress, then this company is the right place for you.
You can also ask about the former employees of other departments residing in the company. Did they leave the company to get better learning opportunities in other companies, or did they get better offers from another organization?
· Identify the Goals You Want to Achieve
“A little progress every day adds up to big results.” ~ Satya
When you take on the job, you have several duties and responsibilities. Identify the goals you want to reach within a certain period of time and break them down. Then you can complete your checklist gradually over time.
To make a list of the things that bring career development, you can ask your superiors or managers to help you out by asking them questions like:
§ What skillset would you require to get promoted?
§ What milestones should you hit?
§ What kind of projects should you go for to gain more experience?
This way, you get ahead in your career by gaining more experience and learning new skills.
· How can Your Manager Help You in Your Development?
Your manager is not telepathic. In order for you to grow, you should seek his/her counselling and inform him/her of your goals.
§ Managers can help you by providing you with opportunities to attend seminars and conferences related to your job and help you develop.
§ Managers assist employees by introducing them to a mentor or expert within the company or outside to help them reach their goals.
§ To help you gain experience, managers are also often informed about upcoming job roles or projects that will help you progress.
The key is to remain consistent in your approach wherever you go and whatever you do. Keep asking your manager about better openings or projects while also being empathetic to their role in the company. Because your managers are under far more pressure, demands, and stress that you don’t know.
So if you have an awesome manager who is happy to invest in your growth, then without taking this blessing for granted, make the most use of it!
Now Comes Progress…
Never underestimate the power of gradual progress. To keep you motivated and content in your workplace is the existence of progress and development. By working hard and learning, you drive your own career progression and ultimately reach your goals.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill