So you’ve applied for the perfect job, interviewed for the position, left a great impression, and landed the job. But now what? You may be wondering how to grow beyond these first moments of your career. We’ll walk you through some strategies to excel at your job and soar to the top of your industry.
What is career growth?
As women, we need to pay close attention to our own career growth and development opportunities. The gender pay gap in the U.S. still hasn’t been resolved. Women only earn $0.82 for every $1 a man makes, meaning our work is not as respected as the work of our male counterparts, even when we do the same job.
This statistic doesn’t even address the decline in women’s quality of work and life as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers estimate that the pandemic has set back women’s participation rate in the economy by 30 years. The strains of childcare and having to work from home have pushed many women out of the workforce entirely.
As women, how do we rise above the issues that try to hold us down? The answer is by taking action. By focusing on ways that we can expand our career growth over time, we can seek out opportunities and look for ways to circumnavigate these obstacles.
Career growth refers to the advancements you are able to make within your field. It’s akin to climbing a ladder. You stay on the same ladder, or in the same career, while getting higher up the more you climb! Climbing the career ladder is more quantitative, meaning you can measure your success through numerical values like your salary.
Career growth vs. career development
You can physically witness career growth because it takes the form of raises, promotions, and more advanced positions. But don’t get it confused with career development.
Unlike career growth, career development is the intangible transformative act of gaining skills and knowledge that relate to your career. In other words, career growth is quantitative whereas career development is qualitative. Examples of qualitative forms of career development include enhancing your work-related skills and furthering your expertise in your field.
Why does career growth depend on career development?
Career growth depends on career development because the more you advance in your job, the more valuable you are, resulting in greater pay and higher chances of receiving promotions. As women, we unfortunately have to work harder to climb the career ladder, but by focusing on the cultivation of our skills, we can further our career growth.
9 career tips for professional growth
We’ve already outlined a list of tips to help you move up in your company. So today, let’s focus on valuable career growth advice for women.
Have a career development plan
Where do you see yourself in five years? It’s helpful to always have an answer to this question because it’s one of the most common questions future employers will ask you during a job interview. Formulating a career development plan will help you figure out how to reach your goals. Think about what you want out of your career, and then set goals to get you there.
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
Don’t just set any goals. Set smart ones! SMART stands for specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
- Specific: Make sure your goal isn’t too vague.
- Measurable: Goals should be measurable so that you know when you’ve achieved your goal.
- Attainable: Pick realistic goals.
- Relevant: Goals should be relevant to your career and your overall career development plan.
- Timely: Set a time frame for your goals.
Maintain work-life balance
As women, we’re prone to dropping everything and focusing on caring for others. We’re guilty of this both at home and at work. But this habit must stop if we hope to accomplish our goals. Make clear boundaries in your life. Don’t be afraid of prioritizing yourself. This might mean turning off your work emails while you’re at home or being more present in your day-to-day life.
Seek out opportunities to learn new things
The best way to work on your personal brand is by pursuing opportunities that can expand your repertoire of knowledge and your skill set. Always volunteer to learn something new at your current job. You never know when this knowledge will come in handy. There are also plenty of free resources for people looking to learn more skills that will promote their career growth.
Connect with other women in similar industries
It’s great to have work friends, colleagues, and mentors. But you should also consider connecting with fellow women in similar industries. It’s essential to connect with someone who shares your perspective because it gives you someone to relate to professionally. You should befriend someone who also knows what it’s like to be a working woman in your industry. Having that support system will mean there’s always someone looking out for you with your best interest in mind.
Believe the positive feedback that you receive
Women are guilty of undervaluing themselves. So when you get positive feedback, believe that it’s true. We often focus on negative feedback, which is valid. It makes sense to want to be the best version of ourselves, especially in our professional careers. But it’s also okay to acknowledge positive feedback, and over time, accepting compliments will help us truly believe we deserve to be treated as equals.
Define your own success
Performance metrics are not necessarily goals. Part of goal-setting is defining what success means to you so that you know how to measure it. Performance reviews are a great time to talk with your boss about the future of your career, but they should not be how you measure your success. Ultimate career growth and development comes from reaching specifically-defined goals over time.
Ask for more
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for what you need. Whether it’s support in the workplace, more time for projects, and additional resources that can help you improve your performance, don’t be nervous about standing up for yourself, especially when it comes to negotiating a higher salary. Many women don’t get paid as much as their male counterparts, and women often don’t say anything about it because they don’t want to come across as pushy or overconfident. But knowing your worth doesn’t make you arrogant, and don’t let that thought make you refrain from asking for what you deserve.
Invest in yourself
Women are less likely to take the money they earn and invest it into themselves. But your career growth and development needs to be centered around you. It should include your plans for the future, both professionally and personally. Take the time to develop an investing strategy that will provide you the resources to achieve your goals.
Start investing in your future with MoneyLion
You’re on your way to career growth and development. It’s as simple as setting the right goals and having a plan in place to reach them. You just have to put in the time and the energy to achieve your goals.
It’s no different from investing. We make it easy to formulate a strategy. You can start setting investing goals with as little as $5 today. MoneyLion can help you manage your income and begin building your investment portfolio. Get started today.