Career Growth or Career Development


More often than not, people think that career growth and career development are one and the same. The truth is, there is a major distinction between the two and understanding this distinction will pave the way to achieving both. Let’s discuss how these two different concepts work together in achieving your career goals.


What is career growth?

Career growth is often quantitative in that it involves movement within the corporate structure. Traditionally, it is a vertical move which denotes a promotion. Today, career growth may also be a lateral move towards a career path that an employee seeks. This vertical or lateral movement facilitates the employee’s progress up the corporate ladder.

In order to achieve career growth, one focuses on achieving specific career objectives. For instance, an employee may make it his or her goal to be in a managerial position in five years. In order to achieve this, he or she makes it their objective to spearhead as many projects as they can while enrolling in a Six Sigma course of a Masteral degree in Business. Taking such courses is strategic as it puts the employee in the best position for a promotion.


What is career development?

In contrast to career growth, career development is not characterised by any movement. The employee stays in the same position but enhances his skills and knowledge, therefore developing the needed competencies to advance to the next level. It is the transformation that happens as an employee strives to achieve his goal that defines his career development.

In order to achieve career development, one focuses on learning and achieving self-improvement goals. Key areas of improvement are identified,and plans are made to make the necessary steps in order to gain competency in these areas. It is qualitative in nature in the sense that it involves a transformation within. There is a change that happens within the person. A change for the better.


Get them to work together

A clear understanding of career growth and career development will help advance a person’s career journey. These two facets are intertwined; career growth highly depending on a person’s career development. For example, an employee striving for career growth might make it their goal to be promoted as a manager in 2 years. To achieve this, they would focus on career development and enrol in managerial courses that would help them build their people management skills.

Additionally, an understanding of how career growth and career development are also distinct will help align an employee’s next move, depending on which industry they arein. For instance, a doctor may not aim for career growth as there are few or no positions available for him or her to grow into. Instead, he or she focuses on career development and continuously builds their skills and expertise.

As an entrepreneur, it is important to realise that not all employees will be interested in a promotion. Thus, it is important to know which motivates your employees, as doing so will immensely benefit your business. When a promotion is just not possible, helping them foster new skills and knowledge will be enough to motivate them to strive to outperform.

If you would like to learn more about mapping out your career growth and your career development, contact Carrie Benedet.


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