4 Ways To Measure Your Growth At Work

A large part of our career is spent thinking about “what’s next”. Our heads are always clouded with ambition about our next big title, our next big move, how to get the dream job — right? It’s always focused on where to go, and not necessarily how to get there. And let’s say that we do set benchmarks for ourselves to get there — even those tend to be too rigid and we end up feeling like we’ve failed or not moved. Believe me, I’ve gone through this vicious cycle and it’s not pleasant.

Recognising that you’re in this pressurising cycle is the first step to fixing it. The second, is to constantly acknowledge that your journey is independent of those around you. This also means your progress is different. You can’t just say that to yourself once. You have to keep reminding yourself that just like your face, your brain and your body — your capabilities are also unique to you.

Here are some of the ways I’ve measured my growth in the past two years.

Your parameters are based on what matters to you

This is extremely important. If you haven’t done this already, I’d urge you to define what progress means to you. Create a set of custom benchmarks for yourself that you can use over general, conditioned benchmarks that exist in the workplace today. Instead of the usual questions like “what title do I want” or “how much should I be making by this age”— which, by the way I’m sure most of us know the answers to — ask yourself more specific questions. What really matters to me? Do I feel like I’ve mastered a skill that helps me level up? Have I been a fair and empathetic colleague and leader? Am I a subject matter expertise in my area of interest yet? Did I get a certification for anything? Do people come to me for problem solving? — These are examples of specific parameters for you to measure your growth at work. If you have a rating or a percentage that you can mark yourself against through the year, you’ll know if you’ve put the effort into getting there. 

You have new problems to worry about each year 

I know, I know. This is an awful thing to say. But it’s true. Having new problems to solve is, in some way, growth too. By “problems”, I don’t mean things related to toxic work cultures or peers, but I mean actual work challenges. This can be anything from new projects that need a fresh perspective to doing away with problems that once existed but aren’t even on your radar anymore, applying new skills that you learned in the year that passed by, more confidence in your articulation or ability to look macros and micros of your work— if this is all more natural to you each year, you are growing. Don’t disregard it. 

Your colleagues and peers consider you a dependable person

I’ve learned over time that you can excel at a job that’s given to you when you’re working independently. But it’s a whole other ballgame to share, teach and learn from others. This is where a lot of us miscalculate our abilities to work with people. It’s funny when people say that businesses are all about the money — yes they are, but they don’t run like a well-oiled machine without a great people. You can be a master at your job, but if you can’t work with others, you haven’t really grown. Do people trust you? Are you a part of important decisions made by your team? Can someone rely on you to get the job done? Do you speak up and share your thoughts? Do you support team members and have their backs? It seems like it’s an emotional or a personal thing but it all matters because thats the only way you learn how to lead. If you’re considered as someone who exhibits leadership qualities by your peers, that is a sign of growth. 

You’ve been rewarded for your work 

Of course, the last and most evident sign of growth is when those incredibly hard days and nights (that once seemed senseless) add up to a sweet bonus, a hike, a change in title or a promotion. It’s not common to have crazy jumps in these things, but if you’ve also been in a slump for several years in this aspect, it’s definitely a matter of concern. Either you’re not being rewarded or you’re not finding a way to articulate your progress and expectations in a way that makes sense to your management. This is probably something you want to address sooner than later because the decision, no matter what it may be, can propel you in the right direction.

In conclusion, these signs of growth aren’t meant to be groundbreaking. They’re holistic, real ways of measuring how far you’ve come each year and how much farther you have to go to get to the job of your dreams or reach your ultimate career goals. In today’s workplace, your growth as an employee goes far beyond just being skilled at your job. It’s all about your eq, your ability to manage people, delicate situations or a crisis, your sensitivity to political and cultural issues etc. which is why this approach is more likely to give you a holistic sense of your growth. I hope this was useful to you. Let us know all the ways in which you measure your progress and growth. 

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