Owning Your Career Growth
Changing Your Mindset
"It’s essential to own your career growth."
"By relying on managers to help you grow, individuals often have opportunities to fall through the cracks or take on responsibilities that don’t interest them."
Something I’m passionate about is nourishing the growth of other fellow engineers. My mentor once shared an important lesson that it’s essential to own your career growth. That means ensuring that you need to find opportunities that will help you scale your role into something you want.
Rather than letting someone tell you how you should move through your career, owning your career growth changes that perspective. Managers are often busy with their own schedules, tasks, and growth. By relying on managers to help you grow, individuals often have opportunities to fall through the cracks or take on responsibilities that don’t interest them.
The Importance of a Clear Career Ladder
On the reverse side, it is essential that managers have a clear career ladder to inspire the growth of their reports. At my company, we have a transparent career ladder that describes the levels of growth. For example, engineers move through being junior, senior, staff, principal.
Each level in the career has its own description, typically split into two main parts: technical and communication. I recommend that leadership adds items that are important to be at a certain level, such as working on projects or mentoring other engineers.
The engineers on my team have access to the career ladder and requirements for each level. If a company does not have this transparency within their company, it would be a good chance for individual contributors to start a conversation with their managers. Without career ladders, team members are unable to set goals or understand the expectations for the next role.
I recommend that team members keep a journal of any work they do. This can be broken down into specific tasks that are notable, achievement-worthy, or day-to-day work. During quarterly or end-of-the-year reviews, this journal comes in handy to remember important tasks that may be overlooked during these meetings.
When you are ready to grow your career or transition into another role, the journal holds your experiences at your fingertips. At the end of the day, your promotion or career growth depends on the results that you have shown.
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