Opportunities for Growth: What They Are and Why They’re Important

We’ve been doing it since we were little. First it was growing up, now (for some of us) it’s growing out . . . either way, our bodies — and our minds — naturally want to become bigger than they are.

The human desire for growth is perhaps manifested most in the realm of career. Considering we spend about a third of our adult lives at work, it’s safe to say our jobs have a huge impact on our happiness. And if we’re not happy with our jobs, many of us — if we can afford it — will simply abandon them for something better.

Cater to that human desire we all share. Offer your employees opportunities for growth at work, and watch your employee engagement and retention grow, too.

Some examples of opportunities for employee growth and development include:
  • Continuing education courses;
  • Tuition reimbursement;
  • Professional Development or counselling services;
  • Skills training provided in-house or through outside training centers;
  • Opportunities for promotion and internal career advancement;

Growth Opportunities

Why are opportunities for growth important?

Opportunities for growth are important for the following reasons:

What are opportunities for growth?

Opportunities for growth are situations where you can advance in your career. The main way to grow as a professional is to find ways to improve your skills and applicable knowledge. You can do this by seeking out new responsibilities and experiences. The key to career growth is being open to making mistakes. When you are willing to try things out, even your failures can teach you a lot. You may even find that you are successful in what you try too.

Types of growth opportunities

Here are a variety of growth opportunities to pursue:

Mentoring

If your work offers some kind of mentorship program, try to take advantage of it. You can learn a lot from a mentor, especially if they have a lot of experience in your industry. This person can give you the advice and support you need to reach the next level of your career. Make an effort to develop your relationship, as you never know what additional opportunities this connection could lead to. See if this individual will answer some of your most pressing questions about your career. You could ask them the following questions:

Leadership development programs

Developing your leadership skills is an excellent way to advance your career. By enrolling in a leadership development program, you can learn how to be an effective leader. Use this experience as a time to absorb as much information as you can. If the instructors are ever looking for volunteers, try to put yourself out there.

By showing that you are eager to learn and help, you can get more out of this kind of program. Perhaps after finishing it, youll be ready for a management role. Putting this experience on your resume shows employers you are serious about becoming an effective leader.

Regular training

When applying to jobs, look for a company that hosts regular training sessions for its employees. While your initial onboarding is important, you want an employer who understands the importance of continuous training. If your manager or supervisor is ever looking for feedback, let them know that you would appreciate training sessions in specific areas. Let them know what particular skills you would like to work on. Providing this feedback shows you are an ambitious and goal-oriented employee.

Professional Development services

See if your employer offers any Professional Development services. These services may include career counseling, job shadowing, informational interviews, instructional videos and mentorship programs. Take advantage of any resources your employer is willing to provide.

Tuition reimbursement

If you are interested in eventually going back to school, try to find an employer who will cover your tuition. Having an employer who is willing to cover these expenses can be a rare but incredible opportunity. By furthering your education, you can become qualified for more advanced roles in your field. You may even find that upon completing your program that your employer is ready to give you a promotion.

Continuing education courses

Even if you would prefer not to earn an entire degree, there are plenty of continuing educations courses that can help you develop a new skill. You could even seek out a course that qualifies you for a certification. See if your local community college or technical college has any courses you could do after work or online. Your employer may even be willing to reimburse you for your class fees.

Feedback

Asking your employer or manager for feedback is an excellent way to grow in your career. Hearing constructive criticism is an important part of learning what areas you need to improve. Even getting positive feedback is beneficial, as it boosts your self-confidence and helps you realize what your strengths are. If you havent had a performance review in a while, ask your manager if you can meet to discuss how you are doing at work. Use this as a chance to set new goals for yourself.

Additional responsibilities

When you feel like you are ready for the next step in your career, ask your manager if you can take on additional responsibilities. Let them know you are looking for a challenge in your workday. If they ask you what kind of responsibilities you want to have, think about what tasks can help you grow as a professional. Along with choosing work that you enjoy, consider asking for tasks that push your boundaries.

Networking events

Attending networking events is an excellent way to grow your career. See if any local professional organizations are hosting meet-ups, mixers or conferences. When interacting with fellow professionals, try to make a memorable first impression on them. Tell them a little bit about your professional background and then ask them some questions about themselves. Make sure to bring along a few business cards so you can swap information. You may find that these new connections lead to other exciting career opportunities.

Company retreats

Whenever your company is holding a retreat, strongly consider going. This is your chance to get to know your coworkers and employer better. Building a sense of camaraderie can help you improve your teams collaboration skills. Having a positive attitude during the retreat can also show your colleagues that you are enjoyable to be around. You may find that making a good impression during your company retreat leads to exciting new opportunities at the office.

Work promotions

When you are ready to progress in your company, inquire about any potential promotions or internal job openings. Since many companies like to hire internally, you may have a competitive advantage, especially if you are already performing well in your role. When interviewing for a work promotion, treat it as you would any other interview. By preparing for interview questions, dressing nicely and acting professionally, you are showing your employer that you are serious about this opportunity.

FAQ

What are some growth opportunities at work?

Consider including these 6 employee development opportunities in your program.
  • Online training sessions and webinars. …
  • Manager coaching and mentorship. …
  • Classroom-style learning. …
  • Peer coaching. …
  • Cross-training. …
  • Stretch assignments.

How do you develop growth opportunities?

How to Create Growth Opportunities for Employees Even If You’re a Small Company
  1. Reduce barriers to professional progression. …
  2. Provide new tasks and responsibilities. …
  3. Create a timeline for career advancement. …
  4. Offer non-linear career advancement opportunities for employees.

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