If you ask someone if they want growth, almost everyone says “yes.” Why would you not? Who doesn’t desire more significant opportunities or more career growth? For some, the driver is to take on more responsibility, obtain a higher title, or even make more money. For others, it is about doing something new or finding more meaningful work. Whatever your ambition, if you want growth, it requires embracing personal change.
Pursuing Change Requires Effort
The hard part is that personal change isn’t easy. Changing yourself, your thinking, behavior, how you show up, and your role in relationships takes intentional effort. And because it is challenging, you want to be sure that you are: (1) changing the right thing so that the change will make you happier, (2) aligning your change with the ambition you most desire, and (3) creating a day-by-day experience to make the change happen and keep it up! When you want to grow your career, it requires a meaningful development plan.
Development Plans Provide a Roadmap to Change
Making a quality, meaningful development plan that enables you to project your career in a direction that benefits you and your organization; it’s a big calling. It takes self-awareness of your strengths and growth areas, understanding of your company’s and others’ needs, alignment between your needs and ambition and an ability to plan all of that into everyday “day-to-day” experiences.
The truth about Development Planning is that it must be a joint venture between you and your manager. Only you will execute the plan, so the plan must fit you. If you have a manager or a mentor that is helpful in this way, that is wonderful, but that isn’t always the case. And often, it is NOT the case. Unfortunately, most managers are better at building PIPs (Performance Improvement Plans), generally used right before letting someone go, than crafting development plans inspiring people to stay.
Frequent Reflection Sustains Growth
We have learned in our work that the MORE the individual is charged with and inspired by their growth, the more they grow! The more you change, the more you expand your capability and reach within your organization.
The question is, “What will best enable you to support and sustain your growth?” It all starts with meaningful self-reflection promoting self-discovery and self-awareness. Listed below are some reflection questions to ask yourself when getting started:
- Assess Your Growth – What has been your growth to date? What progress have you made? What wins have you celebrated? In what ways do you still want to be better? What gets in your way?
- Deciding on Your Personal Change – How should you approach personal change? What will you change? Does that support your career ambition, your needs and your organization’s need for the future? Are you personally motivated to change in that area? Will that change make you happier?