Career growth is about more than titles
LinkedIn updates are annoying, but I can't stop scrolling.
Recently, I have seen a handful of assistant coaches move on to new roles, new jobs and new companies. The people I worked with are now VPs or senior executives. I love seeing old friends take advantage of new opportunities - it's inspiring to see their growth. But I will admit it: this sparked a few reflective moments on my own growth.
The title of my job has been Team Leader since 2015. I had to ask myself, why didn’t I grow up?
It is a painful question. But it led me to a publication that has nothing to do with job titles: growth is as much about other people as it is about you.
Growing towards company goals
Before you grow, you need to know what your company is trying to grow towards. It starts at the top. At Zapier, where I work, our mission is to democratize automation. We are flying a rocket to a planet called "help everyone automatically." If I do not want to go ahead with that mission, I am definitely not going to be in that rocket.
If you want to grow, make sure the things you do are going to help your company on its mission. Don't call it work that rocket can't fly in the right direction. What a job for the work that is being done. With good guidance, the things you do every day should go into the mission.
To grow, you have to have opportunities. And to have opportunities, you have to make connections.
While making a small talk at work is a great way to meet people, the best way to create opportunities is to share your work. One of the easiest ways to do this is to write about what you and the team do right away. Keep people in the loop about the great work you do and how it contributes to the company's mission.
At Zapier, we use an in-house blog for this. If you have something like your team, take advantage. If not, you can shout out your work in Slack, at hands-on meetings, or else your company will communicate.
It’s a great way to showcase your work, and you never know who will read what you write and think, hey, I have a project that I think we could joint venture. There are opportunities out there, and sharing your work is a great way to find them.
Investing your time
Growth takes time. And if you are anything like me, you will not suffer long - term (also called waiting). Here's the good news: while you're at a company that values growth, growth doesn't just mean sitting around, waiting for the calendar to reach a specific day, month or year .
Instead, you “wait” for opportunities such as new jobs, new projects and new advertising by actively investing in what you already have on your plate. Consistency comes before opportunity, and the more you work towards that company mission, the more you grow with your team.
In addition, you will develop skills and build relationships that will help you to grow far beyond your tenure at your current company.
Growth is about more than titles
There are many legitimate reasons for leaving work: things like unspecified values or bad managers. But if it's personal growth that makes you look elsewhere, take a closer look at the company you're on. Are they growing? If so, there may be opportunities around the corner, and it's up to you (and hopefully a sympathetic manager) to find them.
Even if the title of your work does not change as quickly as you would like, you can still grow. I have been at Zapier for two and a half years now. I still have the same title, of course, but my team has given me opportunities to lead new projects, such as experimenting with paid phone support, enabling important meetings, modeling our first missionary conference, and encourage many of my direct reports.
I've grown so big - my job title will follow when the time is right.
Now that I look at LinkedIn, my own job title doesn't mean that much. The most important thing is the team I work with and the company I work for.
This article by Bryce Vernon was originally published on Zapier's blog and is republished here by permission. You can read the original article here.