It’s hard to know if you’re doing everything you can in your job or your career, and even harder to know if you're pushing your personal and professional growth to the limit. It’s difficult to juggle every responsibility, every meeting, every client lunch, and every deliverable, and still have enough energy and drive to expand your skills and your personal horizon. But fear not--there are ways to tell if you’re just getting tired of the daily grind and could be doing more to develop in your job or career, or if you’ve done all the growing you can where you are and it’s time to move on.
How to tell if you’ve done all the learning you can do at your current job
- You’ve already been to a career coach, found a mentor, or teammates in your office who you consistently learn from.
If you’re not regularly going to other people for fresh perspectives, advice, and ideas, chances are, you’re not growing as much as you think you are. But if you have actively taken steps to learn from other people, whether it’s someone above you or the intern who sits next to you, you’re probably pushing yourself to learn something new every day. Expertise requires constant learning. If you’ve been open to this and have learned everything you feel you need from those around you, you’ve probably grown significantly since you started working at your job.
- You’ve taught others around you and positioned yourself as a leader who others can come to.
It says a lot about you if you’re someone who colleagues, team members, and other people in your company come to willingly and enthusiastically when they themselves need advice or fresh perspective. If you’ve noticed that others are consistently coming to you for your unique take or approach, you might just be a leader and innovator in other people’s eyes. If you can teach or mentor others, you’re consistently being forced to look at the world in new and interesting ways, and have already taught yourself how to think three steps ahead.
- You’ve already worked on getting outside of your comfort zone.
If you’ve been at your job or your company for a few years, it’s possible that you’ve gotten very comfortable--maybe too comfortable. You’ve developed habits, a schedule, a whole way of doing things. You know what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, who to delegate work to, and what kind of work you like to do yourself. You might see that as a good thing. But breaking out of your comfort zone and finding a skill or an area that makes you scared or might make you doubt yourself could be the key to helping you grow even more personally and professionally. If you’ve already learned all this and have worked to push yourself to constantly try new things like this, there’s a chance that you’ve done plenty of growing in your current position already.
But just in case...
How to tell you have more learning to do and it’s not time to move on yet
- You haven’t learned to fight for what you want and do more than just what’s given to you.
You come in at 9. You leave at 5. You get assignments and you complete them, but you’re not going above and beyond, and you’re not constantly seeking new opportunities. Does this sound familiar? To most people, this scenario might translate to I’ve hit a wall and need to leave this position. But if your work environment is not hostile, and you enjoy the work you’re doing and the company you’re in, it’s possible that the opposite is true--maybe it’s time to double down and show your company and your supervisors who you are and what you want. Work on open, honest communication, which includes asking for feedback, criticism, and also respectfully standing up for your work or the energy you put into it. Honing the kinds of skills that allow you to openly communicate your ideas, your solutions, and your criticisms will make you a better thinker, worker, and leader. You’re not ready to move on until you’re doing more than walking in at the beginning of the day, doing only what you’re asked, and walking out. If you’re only realizing this now, it’s a great time to innovate!
- You haven’t learned everything you possibly could about your company, or about your role in it.
Becoming complacent is the easiest thing in the world if you’ve gotten used to where you are. But if you haven’t already maximized the impact of your current role, chances are you’re not ready. Have you taken the opportunity to learn from everyone possible? Have you volunteered for challenging projects that weren’t necessarily a part of your job description to help your company overcome some obstacle, task, or problem? Have you learned everything you possibly could about the different parts of your company, how it does what it does, and worked with others to strengthen your end products? If not, you may not be ready for a new position yet. There’s so much more learning to do, and if you commit yourself to building what you know and how you work, you’ll find doors opening for you all over.
- You haven’t attended any kinds of classes, trainings, or sought mentoring opportunities to expand your skills and knowledge.
A great way to learn new things is to ask team members and managers for input on the best blogs, books, or resources that have to do with your position or industry. This not only shows that you’re interested in expanding your knowledge and professional development, but that you can take initiative and don’t have to be asked to learn new skills. You can also seek out classes, trainings, or mentoring opportunities, whether it’s online or in person. This will challenge you and hold you to higher standards so that you’re not just meeting the expectations of those around you, but exceeding them, and constantly raising the bar for yourself. If you’re not constantly showing your manager and your company the value that you add to the team, not surprising yourself with a great product you didn’t even know you had in you, or not yet meeting expectations set for you, it might not be time for you to move on yet.
But the best thing you can do for yourself right now is not spend all your time stressing over where you are in your career. No worries. This is an important time for growth. There’s lots of room for both personal and professional growth and you have an exciting career ahead of you yet. And if it still feels like you’ve gotten everything you could out out of your current position, then go with your gut.
We’ll be right here if you’re looking for new opportunities or want to consult with us as recruiters or career coaches!
All the best