Career development. Is it possible to climb the corporate ladder and not fall down?

By Vladimir Marchenko

  1. What is Career development
  2. Why building a career
  3. Why is Career development not everyone’s dream
  4. What personal qualities need to be developed for career growth
  5. Growth-enhancing background
  6. The rules of getting promoted

Building a career is a very individual process that depends both on the chosen specialty, personal qualities, and on external factors. It is not always possible to do it the first time or climb to the very top, but it is never superfluous to “pump” some skills.

What is Career development

In many textbooks and manuals, the desire to rise to the top of the labor pyramid is presented as organic and even necessary. It is believed that literally every employee wants to lead a certain enterprise, lead the team and manage available resources. An equal sign is placed between career growth and success, demand, happiness. It is also often considered a natural process, since over the years the employee builds up competence, his ambitions and desire to earn more money grow, accordingly, he or she begins to look for growth points, if not in the current company, then in another. 

Career growth is most often understood as moving up the corporate ladder (for example, trainee-assistant customer service specialist-customer service specialist-deputy head of the sales department-head of the sales department-director of the branch-director of the company). Usually it involves the growth of competence, authority, responsibility, income, social status. At the same time, both “vertical” career growth (as in the above example within one company) and “diagonal” career growth (when an employee gets a promotion when moving to another company) are distinguished. What is also mentioned is "horizontal" growth. In this case, the employee expands his or her competencies within the chosen profession almost indefinitely (for example, a practicing lawyer is engaged in corporate, family, criminal, labor law, etc.), both within the framework of one enterprise and by changing the workplace. Sometimes this type of growth is called professional, and its main difference from career growth is that it does not guarantee leadership positions and increased welfare.

woman career growth
Some of the fastest growing professions in the United States include Personal Care Assistant and Occupational Therapy Assistant

In recent years, the concept of a career grid is often being used. It most fully illustrates the path of an employee in the profession, takes into account both horizontal movements and vertical ups and downs.

Why building a career

First of all, career growth can give one a completely new life experience. His knowledge, abilities, skills are recognized from the outside and receive additional stimulation, but they are not limited to this.

Career benefits

  • New prospects;
  • Self-development;
  • Studying other methods and business technologies;
  • Enhancing the status in the eyes of loved ones and society;
  • Material growth;
  • Establishing new connections;
  • The ability to do what you love at a higher level;
  • Getting a source for investments in your or your children’s future.

Why is Career development not everyone’s dream

However, one can lack the desire for career development and this is not a deviation. Simply by virtue of the fact that all people are different and even in the wild, only a few exhibit leadership qualities. In the human population, there are no more than 5% of natural-born leaders, and more or less active members of society — about 10%. For example, in the 40s of XX century the American psychologist David Clarence McClelland highlighted the three main motivational forces driving the personality - achievement, involvement and power. It was the achievement motive that was considered key in the world of work and could lead to career growth. McClelland considered it more valuable than relevant practical skills and experience.

At the same time, it often happens that the motive for achievement is expressed very strongly, the motive for participation is implemented at the secondary level, and there is no power at all. That is, the personality is burning with the desire to develop in the chosen area and to raise its own level, appreciates relationships within the firm, with colleagues and clients, corporate events, but at the same time does not show an attraction to management and control over subordinates.

For many, comfortable communication and environment within the team are more important than career growth

According to another classification, which is very common in the HR sphere, it is believed that proactive employees who are ready to carry the others along make up no more than 20% of the company, 60% are excellent performers who need to be inspired and motivated, and the remaining 20% are "ballast" in need of constant kicks.

The concept of work motivation is similar to it, assuming that all employees of the company are divided into:

  • “Avoidant” - workers with low qualifications, willing to do any job and not seeking to improve their competence;
  • “Professionals” - highly qualified ones who enjoy their work and are ready for a relaxing improvement;
  • “Patriots” - the most loyal subordinates who may have both high and medium competencies, but with a constant desire to learn for the sake of “business”;
  • "Artisans" - excellent performance of their duties, but not seeking to expand the range of responsibilities. They exist in the ideally built, in their opinion, "cocoon";
  • "Administrators" — able to establish uninterrupted work on their site. They try to make everything work on its own, without their active participation, and readily take people under their control.

The best candidates for career development in this case are “patriots” and “administrators”. Others may fear career growth due to a number of fears:

  • fear of responsibility;
  • unwillingness to command and ruin relationships with colleagues;
  • they do not want to take on more responsibilities;
  • they do not have the need to improve their financial situation (there is, for example, side income);
  • they believe they will not cope;
  • inability to get along with people;
  • fear of facing difficulties;
  • feeling that they are not worthy of a high position;
  • procrastination and apathy.

This is not a complete list, but there can be a great variety of factors hindering career development, and not all of them need to be urgently corrected if a person is satisfied with everything or almost everything in the current situation.

What personal qualities need to be developed for career growth

In addition to the professional skills required for a particular occupation, an individual seeking career advancement must also have general characteristics in order to attain the desired. Among them are:

  • leadership;
  • initiative;
  • ability to take responsibility;
  • hard work;
  • ability to analyze;
  • organization;
  • flexibility;
  • focus on results;
  • self-discipline;
  • ability to present themself.

Thus, you need to first of all develop these qualities. The biggest problems are caused by the lack of leadership qualities, unwillingness to take responsibility, as well as the inability to present oneself.

Growth-enhancing background

Along with the necessary personal qualities, there are also a number of written and unwritten requirements, without which any career advancement would be problematic. Most often these include:

  • completed higher education;
  • specialized training, for example, MBA;
  • work experience in one position (or company) for at least 5 years;
  • confirmation of continuous skills improvement (courses, certificates, foreign languages);
  • positive recommendations from past places of study / work.
young woman interview
Employers value Level 2 “moderate” careerists more. They adequately assess their capabilities and are often informal leaders in the team

The rules of getting promoted

Of course, career development does not always 100% depend on the employee. There may be a number of reasons why it may not happen. Strict corporate rules in the company, nepotism, presence of more successful careerists around, crises and contingencies, etc. However, this should not stop one on their way towards the goal.

1. Sincerely love what you do. Otherwise, no growth is possible. Attempts to work reluctantly in the wrong place will only lead to a desire to quit everything as soon as possible.

2. Do the work on time, efficiently and slightly better than others. This will demonstrate your initiative and sincere desire to work.

3. Make a career plan. Of course, you can let the development take its course and not be attached to strictly fixed dates, but this stimulates further progress not that good.

4. Constantly engage in self-development and learning new things. You should study regularly and absorb actual knowledge like a sponge.

5. Come to work a little earlier and leave a little later than your colleagues. Make sure that at the same time they do not think as if you are constantly running out of time, but delay, because you do more for the company than others.

6. Listen carefully to the comments on your work from the management and calmly correct mistakes. Do not take dissatisfaction personally and do not conflict.

7. Do not fence yourself off from new assignments by saying "this is not my job." Perhaps your boss is testing you for your willingness to expand the scope of your tasks.

8. Think less about money. Financial success should not dominate your mind during your career. The main thing is the desire to make yourself and the company better.

9. Look for new options for business development. Perhaps in your company there is a need to open a new direction and you can do it.

10. Maintain old connections. Even if you did not work for long or did part-time jobs, maintain good relations with all people, because you never know what role they can play in your career in the future.

11. Try not to gossip or complain about working conditions. Employers value loyalty and the ability to maintain a positive workflow.

12. Do what you promised to do. It is important that words do not diverge from deeds. First of all, managers mark reliable people for whom deadlines and quality are not an empty phrase.

13. Take an example. Ideally, you can find a mentor or role model that you want to follow. In addition to adopting some qualities, this will contribute to meeting the right people.

14. Be prepared to sacrifice something. It is impossible to increase the number of hours in a day, so you may have to sacrifice something — entertainment, rest, etc. However, all this should pay off in the future.15. Get enough rest and sleep. The desire to do all the work in the world and make the same amount of money can lead to breakdowns and burnout. Know how to leave work at work.

The psychological attitude is also important. You can regulate it without outside interference using thematic affirmations. An appropriate set of short motivating statements is contained in the Hypnopedia iOS app. A distinctive feature of the program is that affirmations are reproduced during the user's sleep, but they do not awaken him and do not require thoughtful listening - the perception occurs at the subconscious level. The effect persists even after waking up, and with regular use, mental health and psychophysiological characteristics necessary for career growth are strengthened.

Ссылка App Store

Remember that building a career is a long and difficult journey where everything does not depend just on you. In any case, develop the necessary qualities and, over time, you will feel that the work and the environment bring you predominantly positive experience.

Hypnopedia Suggestion Motivation Positive thinking