Getting ahead in your career takes work – that’s the secret. You can’t coast your way to success. Your focus varies throughout your life or career. Career growth depends on the intensity and commitment you have to your personal and professional development.

The types of development experiences you engage in influence your personal and professional growth.

Intensity of Career Development

Intensity of Career Development

For our purposes, think of personal and professional development being assessed at three intensity anchor points:

  • Passive
  • Active
  • Transformative

Passive experiences require little action on your part and the rate of development acceleration is low.

Development through action requires demonstration of experience, skill and knowledge through specific assignments.

Transformative development promotes or tests skill and knowledge application in unfamiliar assignments or situations.

As you may surmise, the higher the level of intensity, your development is more impactful.

It can be difficult to pinpoint where specific experiences fall on the continuum. Factors such as timing, personal tolerances and receptivity impact individual development.

Take a moment and think about the experiences that made an impact in your career. Write them down. Where would you place those experiences along the continuum? Think about these questions if you are getting stuck:

  • What experiences were pivotal – where you had the Ah-Ha moment?
  • List the experiences did that represented smaller directional steps in your career.
  • What assignments stretched your capabilities? Why did they stretch you?
  • Have you volunteered for new assignments or jobs?
  • Have you changed careers or employers by choice?
  • Did you have significant increase in responsibilities within your current role?
  • Do you invest in educational development through local colleges, certification or training programs?
  • How do you view life learning experiences? Are you traveling to new places to experience new cultures and customs?
  • Have you relocated within your company or to another new company where you knew no one?
  • What was the toughest project or assignment you were given – why was it so difficult?
  • Have you ever failed?

Now that you have your list of experiences, are you happy with how your career is progressing? If not, think about what you can do to change it. Having a good career takes work.