Resources > Manu’s Blog > How to draw and improve your professional growth trajectory ?
How to draw and improve your professional growth trajectory ?
Founder & CEO – Rolling Arrays
Everyone is uniquely gifted and everyone can succeed. Key is the ability to recognise your strengths and weaknesses, choosing a right career path and consistently improving each day.
Imagine your work skills as tools in a toolbox.
Some you’re naturally good at (strength areas), while others might need a bit of practice (weak areas). The key is knowing which is which.
Now, picture each day as a fresh dot on your career path.
- Are You Learning Something New Every Day ?
- Are You Working on both Strengths and Weaknesses ?
Remember, doing the same thing every day and putting in extra hours does not necessarily mean your career is growing.
If you’re consistently learning, it’s like adding new tools to your toolbox. Your experience deepens and widens. But if you’re not actively seeking out new knowledge and skills, your progress plateaus.
Learning is not about attending a course, it is a mindset
Learning is a mindset – to recognise or understand a concept that you did not know; and it could come from a meeting, from a presentation, from a course, from an interaction or self realization of doing certain task in a better way.
Your performance isn’t just about you.
Everyone around you is on their own unique career journey. And everyone will have their own strengths and weak areas. Those who work to improve their strengths and weak areas will keep moving forward in their career path.
If you’re great at something, like an 8 out of 10, without ongoing improvement, you might end up at 5 as compared to those who are actively working on it. Similarly, if you rate yourself a 2 out of 10 in a specific weak area of yours, your relative performance could fall by 1 out of 10 if you don’t put in the effort to get better.
(Refer to the sample Skill Trajectory lines in the diagram, which show the relativity of skills which auto-deteriorate over time if you dont improve them.)
This dynamic shapes your career trajectory – whether it rises or levels off. Every day matters; each one contributes to your journey.
How do you confirm that you’re truly on an upward career trajectory?
The key lies in not just accumulating knowledge, but in applying it effectively in your professional journey. You need to learn, apply, and then refine. It’s a continuous loop.
(refer the skill trajectory where new learning and its application leads to upward progression)
However, there are times when what you’re learning finds no avenue for application. Your passion may lie elsewhere, where you dedicate time to learn, but your professional domain remains different. This mismatch denies you the chance to put your learning into practice. This situation hampers the enrichment of your experience, ultimately hindering your professional growth.
In such scenarios, you have two options:
- Reflect on why you’re not learning in a way that aligns with your career. This self-reflection can help you reevaluate and realign your learning process to elevate your career trajectory.
- Consider a shift in your career path. This adjustment ensures that what you’re learning finds practical application in your chosen field.
Applying what you’ve learned leads to insights, which in turn leads to more learning. If you do this consistently, Over time, you’ll become not only exceptional in your areas of strength but also adept at addressing your weaknesses, eventually placing you among the top 5% in your field (refer Success Zone in the Sample Career Trajectory Diagram).
In your professional journey, recognising your strengths and weaknesses is key. Progress isn’t just about putting in extra hours, it is about learning and improving your skills each day. Your journey is unique, but others are on their own paths too so if you dont learn, your relative skill will deteriorate over time. Practicing what you have learned shapes your career trajectory, so if you are not finding opportunities to apply your learning, consider aligning it with your career or exploring a new path. The continuous loop of learning, applying, and refining leads to exceptional performance and puts you among the top in your field.
About Manu Khetan
Manu, Founder and CEO of Rolling Arrays, a global HR technology leader, brings two decades of expertise to redefine HR practices. Passionate about pioneering HR automation and nurturing talent, Manu advocates for a customer-first and employee-first approach, prioritizing value creation. Beyond the boardroom, he is a dedicated family man, a skilled pianist, and an advocate for empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs. Join Manu on the transformative journey where HR emerges as a dynamic force for positive change in the business world.