How to improve your Career Growth Cycle

Have you ever heard the saying, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”? It’s a little dramatic, but whoever initially said it had a point. Without consistent personal and career growth, you can end up feeling stagnant in life.

By Emile Fakhoury
We can divide a career into five stages:

  • Exploration, typical age range: 21-25: Exploration refers to the start of your career.
  • Establishment, typical age range: 25-35: You establish your career path and may change direction at this step several times.
  • Mid-career, typical age range: 35-45. You master your role and may start growing vertically in the organisation; you may change career direction but rarely unless needed to succeed. This could be the golden phase of your career.
  • Late-career, typical age range: 45-55+. You know what you need and what you are good at; you won’t change direction at this level and prepare to retire or start consulting.

As most work in the corporate world, I wanted to present my views on career growth and leadership changes. Be open-minded to explore different career paths inside or outside your organisation to grow in your career. Have a mentor to advise you on needed training and tips to follow the growth path.

1-At the Exploration stage, you didn’t yet find, developed basic skills, and created your studies. This phase shapes the direction of your professional ambitions. You collect feedback from your academic surroundings most of the time. You discover your interests and develop essential skills, creating expectations that will grow into the next phase of your career growth.

Some handy tips during this phase:

-Explore different career paths and learn from an internship or part-time job.

-Connect with your teachers and alumni as they always provide good advice, practice challenges positively and start to build your achiever brand.

2-At the Establishment stage, which includes searching for the right job, you will be at the entry or mid-level. You grow your experiences by learning, practising, and understanding the corporate environment.

Try to move fast after making a mistake, take small risks and learn quickly, so you don’t fail again.

You will experience first successes and setbacks. Be positive when faced with challenges, and focus on your career growth.

Here are a few tips during this phase:

  • Develop your skills by learning from doing and attending training and workshops. Pursue certifications to add recognition to your efforts; it will boost your networking and skills.
  • Find a professional mentor or coach to rely on for advice and guidance.
  • Use your performance reviews and feedback received to stay aligned with your organisation’s objectives and to help your skills development accordingly.

3-At the Mid-career stage, you become stable and progress in your profession.

We called it the Golden Phase as you reach your pick performance, and you start returning the investment made during the establishment phase. You hit the ground running and know how and what to deliver and perform.

Some stay loyal to the organisation and start receiving greater responsibilities and recognition; Others may move horizontally within the organisation and change domains or directions in their career.

There is no wrong or good move; it is specific to each individual and environment.

Work-Life balance becomes a concern during this stage as you dedicate more time to excel in your career and climb the corporate ladder.

Here are a few tips during this phase:

  • Develop a good relationship with your line manager; your line manager is your supporter for career growth. Some could change direction or organisation if faced with a challenging line manager.
  • Be flexible and mobile in an international corporation, as they support mobility.
  • Learn the maximum from doing the job and training; what you learn here will get you higher in your career.

4-At the Late-career stage, you achieve successes and learn from failure; you become a mentor to others and prepare for your successors.

You take less risk and remain at your career level to avoid surprises. Some start developing consultancy services to stay active in their professional career. Remember to return the advice to younger generations. You arrived at this level because someone supported you; the excellent morality imposes that you help others in their career growth.

Few tips during this phase:

  • Develop connections and interests outside work to remain active after this phase.
  • Join a professional body that provides you recognition and gives back to the community.
  • Prepare to become a consultant or offer mentorship programs and training.

This journey isn’t standard or the same for all of us. We are all different and may have different phases and career growth cycles.

Understanding these stages can help you track where you’ve been, where you are, where you’re going, and where you ultimately want to end up.

Emile Fakhoury

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12 comments on “How to improve your Career Growth Cycle”

  1. Really good articles,Emile you are one of the best project management professionals.

    Amit Roshan

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