Fast career growth: Is there such a thing?

career, career advice, career progression, career advancement, hr, human resources, employee career growth, employee satisfaction, gen z, employee engagement, professional development

“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”
― Sigmund Freud

It’s always interesting to discuss how career paths emerge and what triggers the career growth or progression. While there’s many different aspects to cover here, one thing that always fascinates me is how today’s workforce takes lightly of it in terms of actual career advancement difficulty. We talked in other articles about today’s expectations, particularly newer Gen Z ones where most of the things should happen more easily than mirrored accordingly by its worth and without too much trouble. An expectation of a career advancement happening as a natural occurrence without the proper trigger seems excessive to say the least, but it is what is expected of modern companies to accommodate loyalty and long-lasting satisfaction of newer generations. I’d like to discuss in this article about the character traits, triggers and overall behavior/demeanor needed to advance in one’s career and portray how difficult this is because of variety of reasons. If it were easier said than done, everybody would be an expert with a high end salary or a manager. The reality is much harder than just accommodation of self-entitlement, no matter how harsh this sounds. Let’s dive in.

Performance and character

I’ve heard this notion a few times now that if an employee does a 100% of their responsibility in their 100% of their task completion, it opens a door for them to any sort of career growth, be it financial, hierarchical or otherwise. That’s the discrepancy here because your 100% is already covered by the salary compensation you signed in the initial contract. To advance further, you need to go beyond that 100% and bring something new to the table. Something new is either an extra mile in performance, proactivity, a new solution, any sort of breakthrough which is out of the ordinary. You need to excel performance-wise in relation to other colleagues to adhere to classic room for career advancement. Performance itself also almost always has to be followed by a „hungry“ behavior in which you passively portray the level of engagement towards work in general. It complements the deed and solidifies company identity of excellence in general. The behavior sort of marks the path of career progression, so to speak. To make things simpler, think of a probation period of six months in which you have to prove your worth but that period never ends. You always challenge yourself and the others’ view of you which is constantly elevated, behaviorally and performance-wise.

career, career advice, career progression, career advancement, hr, human resources, employee career growth, employee satisfaction, gen z, employee engagement, professional development
Character spurs career growth

Power is in the unknown

As you know, the saying goes that if there is no risk, there is no reward. Another one is that growth begins outside of comfort zone. Both are very true and not easily doable. The most successful changes and rampant growth occur when you take on challenges with which you don’t really have experience but do have the drive to acquire that experience through trials and errors as well as ability to adapt. No one likes to dive in into the unknown territory, experiment and see if they come up on top. It’s risky, brash and planning is almost non-existent. However, if one gives in and finds themselves to be successful, a career progression or advancements is much faster. Unknown provides additional experience which no person can give you but the situation which presents itself as new challenges to solve. There is no unknown when you’re steadily waiting for that promotion, highly dependable on a line manager who may or may not see your potential or may or may not be in the company for another ten years. Highly ambitious workforce who strive for a higher income and career progression instinctively know they have to dabble into darkest corners of the unknown to achieve their goals.

career, career advice, career progression, career advancement, hr, human resources, employee career growth, employee satisfaction, gen z, employee engagement, professional development
Resiliency in the unknown – career growth

Company status and/or needs

It is also vital for an employee or a potential employee to read the early signs of the company. What is the current status of the organization? Is there new business flowing in? Is there a five or a ten year business forecast? What is the status of the current, prospective department? How many experts, managers? So on and so forth. All of the questions above and more will tell you early whether the company will need more expertise and by proxy, will have the opportunity to showcase all of the aforementioned traits and characterizations for career advancement opportunities.


There is more content than one article to discuss a topic complex as career growth or advancement but the summary and the point is this; a faster growth or progression can only be achieved through risk and to take any kind of risk, you need soft skills like character, self-confidence and resilience to endure the unknown. With risk comes a reward and this is no different. A rampant change can only be achieved through performance and an action of the individual, combined with a high enough observance level to distinguish whether the prospect company can offer such growth. This is what newer generations have to understand and get themselves accustomed to because rarely will whoever give any kind of promotions, rewards or extra benefits just by looking at face value.

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