Determinants of your career growth

What makes you chose a particular job is determined by a lot of underlying characteristics. I am not talking of company culture or a toxic work environment. Nor is it about a manager who does not support you.

Across the various stages of career growth one can zero on to a few common fundamentals that are almost universal.

These are:

  • Age/ the threshold you are at in your life
  • Money
  • Designation
  • Passion
  • Temperament

Let us see how each one of these play a role in your career growth and the choices you make.

Stage I – when you are about to enter the job market

You have just finished your studies and are raring to enter the job market. You have skills that are needed by a particular industry/sector. But the job that you want is not coming your way. You take what comes – you do want to begin your career journey. All your friends have started working. You do not want to be left behind. And hey, this is a temporary fill till you get what you want. You need to start somewhere.

Stage II – the first promotion and thereafter

Hurrah! You got your first promotion/incentive. What next? You have already spent three years in this organisation. Time to move on. Being loyal and staying put in just one organisation is no longer the norm. Gone are the days when people stayed in the same organisation for more than two decades. Even recruiters today look for more breadth of experience and discount the duration you may have spent in one particular organisation.

So, you move to a new company. Take on a new role. A hike in your pay packet.

Stage III – your personal responsibilities play a role

You have now hit the age wherein your personal responsibilities are likely to expand. Maybe you have aging parents to take care of. Perhaps you now have a spouse/partner. Or a child whose educational needs become a priority.

You now await a promotion/a change of designation that can lead to more money, more accountability within the same organisation or you decide to change jobs and join an organisation that offers you an enhanced pay packet. Money matters.

Stage IV – skills and competencies

You are well entrenched in your current job. Enjoy a good pay. Have the respect of your colleagues, manager and contribute to the growth of the company. You are doing what you have always wanted to do. But you find yourself stagnating. You do not have an answer to ‘what next?’ 

You are on the search for a job that provides a better fit with your passion, skills and competencies. This becomes a critical job selection criterion.

Stage V – wisdom and temperament 

You have accomplished what you had set out to do. You take pride in where you are today. Your mind is already swirling with retirement/voluntary retirement thoughts. May be the entrepreneurial bug has got into you. Or perhaps you wish to embark on that world tour that you have been eyeing for years. Or you wish to shift gears – go back to studies, pick up a new skill. Take a break. Take it easy. You want to opt out of the rat race. Or do something totally different.

Exciting things happen on their own. New opportunities fall in your lap. The ones that value your wisdom. Your temperament here plays an important role – acceptance of differential pay packet, toppling the apple cart once again, change of routine, kind of back to the grind. But a swansong that elevates you professionally.

To conclude, while job satisfaction and age are still key factors in any career trajectory, there are other determinants that play out. Being aware of those can help you charter an exciting career growth journey for yourself.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

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