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Career growth is important but think twice about how you pursue it

The expected pace of career growth has accelerated and it’s time we talked about it
Career growth is important but think twice about how you pursue it
Photo by Ridwan Meah / Unsplash

Exciting moment! LinkedIn News featured me for the first time yesterday 🎉


Sustain issue #69 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)

Burnout at work can come from overwork, underappreciation, lack of control, a misalignment of values, or lack of growth opportunities.

I wanted to lift up that last one and explore it a bit more today.

Let’s look at GROWTH 🚀 (Sorry about that! Now exiting the bro kingdom 👋)

Career growth and advancement is important. No doubt. It should be a goal of yours and your company should have strategies to help you advance.

Why?

In the last year, lack of growth opportunities became the number one reason people left their job, according to McKinsey and Company. Ahead of compensation, poor leaders, lack of meaning, and unfair expectations.

That’s big.

No doubt, we want to grow.

But there’s a growing – pun intended – trend when it comes to growth. There’s an unrealistic expectation on pace. It’s especially pervasive in tech.

“Baby boomers would wait 10 years for promotion,” according to executive search firm founder Shawn Cole, while “the millennial wants one next year.”

Now, I didn’t wake up today and choose violence against generations. But as a millennial, I’ll own that this generally holds true. We’ve come to expect rapid growth and promotions. And it’s led to another troublesome trend – title inflation. That provides ‘growth’ without time, a promotion, responsibility, or compensation.

It’s just an ego boost. No bueno.

A growth spurt can happen quickly, just ask your 13-year-old cousin. But the time to achieve their desired height takes time.

It took me four years of growth to overcome burnout and develop a system to keep me out of that sludge for good.

It wouldn’t be fair to assume meaningful career growth or a promotion can or should come every 1-3 years either. Our workable career is 45-50 years after all.

So ask for and pursue career growth, no doubt.

That VP position 10 years into your career might be alluring for your LinkedIn. But that accelerated title will more than likely lead to accelerated burnout, too.


Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to eliminate burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) and suffered deep burnout and came back from it even though I never found a playbook for doing so. So, I'm writing it myself.

✉️ Want my top tips? I share my full step-by-step playbook in How I Quit Burnout, my premium newsletter. Get the next one delivered straight to your inbox >

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