Measuring Career Growth – Part I

In one of my previous articles, I talked about various measures of success that one can use for their career planning and management. Specifically, I talked about 4 ways:

  1. Financial goals
  2. Learning/competencies goals
  3. Job complexity goals
  4. Career Plan goals

Note that setting any kind of measurable goal is an exercise in itself (see a series of great posts on Cube Rules about setting SMART goals)

In this post, I want to talk about time factor which plays an important role in any career plan and measure: 5 skills picked in one year is hugely more important than the same done over 3 years, everything else being equal. Similarly, a salary increase of 20% over a year is much more important than done over 3 years (obviously!).

However, things start getting trickier when one of the measures improve while another deteriorates over the same period of time. These are common situations where for example your learning is happening well in your job but your boss refuses to increase your salary, what do you do about your career goals? One approach that works is to assign priority to various parts of your goals and then do the necessary trade-off. So in this example, if these were initial years of your job and the goal was to learn a lot, you would still continue working with the same enthusiasm even when salary hike is not in sight. However, it is important to constantly evaluate changing landscape of your career growth (or lack of it), because your prioritization might change, or new opportunities may arise which increase the rate of growth of any or all of the criteria.

Do you think there are other criteria along which career growth should be measured? Do you think some of these are redundant? I will be interested in listening to your ideas about career planning and management.

In my subsequent posts, I will explore each of these measures and then finally attempt to combine all of these in my grand ‘unification theory’, stay tuned!

6 thoughts on “Measuring Career Growth – Part I

  1. Clearly I see “Satisfaction” as another yardstick to measure achievement of career goals. You may get well paid, you may learn something, you may be given more responsibilities but do all of these collectively give you job satisfaction?

  2. Good point, satisfaction (or happiness) is a fundamentally important outcome of any career engagement. My experience has been that when we manage our career to align our interests and strengths with our job responsibilities, there is maximum likelihood of job satisfaction. The goals I describe (as well as my numerous posts before) focus on controlling our career growth paths so that this alignment happens (and happiness becomes an outcome).

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