Will Your Next Job Give You the Chance to Grow?

Professional development is a key part of job satisfaction and career growth. Learn how to determine if your next job will give you the chance to grow.
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  • Professional development helps you build your career and increases job satisfaction.
  • Learning new skills may pave the way to better opportunities.
  • Choose workplaces that support your professional development.
  • Invest in your development to enhance your career potential.

The Great Resignation is in full swing. A staggering 52% of U.S. workers sought a job change in 2021 alone. While better pay and benefits are attractive reasons to jump ship, lack of professional development may also be a driving factor. According to Deloitte, 63% of millennials believe they aren't being developed for next-level positions.

Professional development is a critical element of job satisfaction and retention. And yet, studies show less than 5% of companies have invested in leadership development across all levels of their organization. Meanwhile, companies prioritizing leadership development and career growth are more likely to outperform those that don't.

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Ready to Start Your Journey?

If you're feeling stuck at your job, keep in mind that switching jobs isn't the only option. No matter your situation, you can take steps to work on professional development, improve your job satisfaction, and unlock better future opportunities.

What Is Professional Growth?

Professional growth involves developing new skills and gaining a variety of experiences.

Understanding the growth you want out of your career is the best place to start. Do you want your professional development to lead to a promotion or help you land your next role in a different industry? Clearly defining your target for yourself will guide your development.

Once you're ready to develop your plan, human resources experts recommend using the 70-20-10 rule to guide professional development. There are three different types of experiences, and you can separate your time as follows:

challenging experiences and assignments

mentorships and networking

coursework and training

Taking an approach like this ensures your efforts are balanced and you're learning new things while growing your skill set and network.

Types of Professional Growth

Accomplishing development goals can build confidence, enhance hiring potential, and increase opportunities with long-term payoff. Here are a few ways to invest in your growth journey.

Continuing Education and Skill-Building

Pursuing increased knowledge and advanced skills on your own is empowering, shows dedication to your current employer, and can lead to future opportunities.

Many online courses and certificate programs are available to tackle skill-building that can be done on your time — and a lot of them are free!

If you're considering an advanced degree, there are resources to help you offset the financial burden. Check your employee benefits to see if they offer programs to support you going back to school.

Professional Organizations and Networking

Seek out organizations within your industry or profession and attend events. Use professional networking sites to find connections who are currently in the roles or industries you are seeking. Identifying potential mentors to guide your professional development can also bolster your networking efforts.

Leadership Assignments

Communicate your aspirations to your current supervisor, and schedule time to have a conversation about your development. Taking on important projects and temporary leadership assignments and mentoring peers are all ways to stand out at your current job and build your leadership skills.

In the meantime, push yourself to contribute in meaningful ways in meetings and other communications to show your leadership and to strengthen connections.

Signs It's Time for a New Job

Feeling connected to your job and supported by your company are important factors in employee retention.

In a recent study by LinkedIn, 94% of employees said they would stay with a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. If your company is not encouraging those efforts, you may want to look at other opportunities.

Here are some other signs it may be time for a new job:

  • Check Circle
    Lack of development opportunities
  • Check Circle
    Limited growth potential
  • Check Circle
    Salary caps
  • Check Circle
    Feelings of stagnation

If you do decide to move on, use the information you've gained throughout this process to determine what you're looking for and communicate with your next potential employers about what sort of professional development you want.

Questions to Ask During Your Next Interview

Higher salaries, better benefits, and more flexibility have all been major factors for job seekers over the last two years.

However, long-term job satisfaction can depend on growth potential. Identifying how a company supports your development in the interview process may set you up for success from the start.

Here are some questions to ask in your interview:

  • What mentorship opportunities does the company provide?
  • What opportunities for career development and skill development are available?
  • Does your company provide tuition reimbursement or opportunities to take classes?
  • How does the company define qualifications for promotion opportunities?
  • What skills are required for a more senior role?
  • How often do senior roles become available for consideration?
  • How many positions have been filled by internal promotions?

Take the time to evaluate where you're at on your career path and where you want to be. Understanding your worth from a financial and experience perspective can guide you along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions About Professional Growth

Does professional growth guarantee a promotion?

Professional growth does not guarantee a promotion. However, building your skills and career experience are likely to prepare you for better opportunities.

Expressing your interest in growing within your company and seeking feedback from your supervisor on your performance can provide clarity around what growth opportunities exist. Ask for direct steps and timelines to guide your development plan. Don't forget to schedule check-ins and follow up as you move forward.

What are some professional growth goals?

Simple and time-bound professional growth goals usually work best.

Some examples of professional growth goals are:

  • Completing a training course
  • Taking on additional responsibilities
  • Learning a new software or program used in your industry
  • Attending a professional conference
  • Meeting someone in your network for coffee once a month

Your professional growth should leverage and balance your strengths and opportunities. Identify skills you are more and less confident with and choose goals that will help you improve and stand out.

How long should you stay at a job with no growth?

Three years is long enough to stay at a job with no growth, according to Ian Siegel, co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter.

Evaluate the climate at your current job. Are other people getting promotions or title changes regularly? Are there growth opportunities? Could you negotiate a title change or other benefits like training to keep your career moving forward?

Remember: Job hopping isn't the red flag it used to be. Knowing your career goals and seeking out opportunities — even outside of your company — might be necessary for your career growth.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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