I’ve been thinking about the idea of development recently – development in the career context in particular. What I keep noticing is that so much emphasis and attention is focused on individuals finding new and better job opportunities. Consequently, less time is spent evaluating how a potential job opportunity fits and aligns with an individual’s developmental stage.
There are several different theories and stages of career development – but the process of reflecting on your development can be very valuable regardless of developmental stage. For many people, it can be easy to focus on tangible, external information to assess if an employment opportunity is a good fit. Is the job a promotion? Does the position offer increased responsibility? While these can be useful questions that reveal important insights, they typically only provide an overall or general sense of the suitability of a potential job. More specific information can be garnered about developmental fit by examining your existing strengths and weaknesses and identifying the specific skill sets you are looking to develop. Consider the tasks and duties you already perform and think about your current competency level performing those tasks. Then, consider how a new job opportunity can provide specific opportunities for growth across a variety of areas. Engaging in this process periodically may uncover some interesting and important revelations about yourself that can be very beneficial moving forward.
So whenever you consider a job opportunity or changing careers, be sure to ask yourself – where am I in my stage of my development?