Progress means satisfaction

Occasionally a client will come to me who doesn’t experience enough professional growth in their career. There are a couple of possible solutions for this depending on the situation.

The first thing is to speak to the employer or the manager and ask for more growth opportunities. Employers love when employees are proactive and willing to help solve more of their problems, so this is always a good place to start. Also, it’s often the simplest and most financially stable action to take. So ask first.

However, if you want a salary increase, you normally have to prove to your employer why you’re worth it. Giving you a raise should be a no-brainer for management but only if you’re adding more value by improving efficiencies, increasing value or generating more income for the business. In other words, companies need two things: 1. Fewer problems 2. More money. If you can help them with either of these to prove your worth, it’ll make those salary conversations a lot easier. Having said that, if you find that having done all those things and you still get nowhere, you at least have some solid leverage to take to the next organisation.

If you still want to keep your job and financial stability; then you can look for courses, books or other mechanisms that would allow you to develop outside of working hours - this is a risk-free strategy and will help you scratch the learning itch. If you don’t know what you should be learning, seek out someone who is a few steps ahead of you in their career and see what they have studied; this will often give you a tried and tested pathway to follow.

Failing that, if there’s nowhere to learn inside the company and no promotion opportunities, maybe it’s time to move on to a new organisation and a new challenge. In that case, be aware of finding a position that lists some skills/requirements on the job specifications that you don’t have; that’s where you have space to learn. I think a good ratio of knowing : not knowing is 80:20 (i.e. you know how to do 80% of the new job, but the remaining 20% is new).