Do you know the difference between career growth and career development? There's much banter in the professional realm about the word growth - how companies desire growth in size, revenue, and scope, while people ultimately seek growth to learn and adapt and get better in the name of experience. But what about development? When was the last time you thought about your professional development?
What is Career Growth?
According to @diffbw, career growth is "a process of becoming larger or longer or more numerous or more important." Career growth is fostered through goals that you set as an individual to get you where you want to be in your field or job. This means that you're growing into a more prestigious position - whether that be an entry-level intern, Inbound Social Lead, or the President of a company. Climbing the corporate ladder is a goal many people seek to obtain and working on your career growth will help you get to the top.
What is Career Development?
Career development is defined as "a process in which something transforms (mostly positive) into a different stage or improves, it may be physical, social or psychological." This is your well-being, your skills, and your talent. When you embrace career development, you're taking time to make a change, to make improvements to yourself. You're working towards becoming the expert in your field, or at your company. Career development is about pushing yourself to become better and enhancing your personal strengths and skills.
What's the Difference?
Career growth and career development work hand in hand towards the ultimate goal: a better you. However, it's important to acknowledge their differences and how to address them. We've put together a list of three reasons why career growth and development are different in the image below.
There's a secret to all of this career growth and development talk: you don't have to pick just one. In fact, I would encourage you not to do this. You see, the two of them kind of work together like a latte. Think of espresso as your career growth and the steamed coconut milk as your development. When there's just enough of each ingredient, the two create a magnificent handcrafted cup of coffee (aka you). Use too much espresso and your latte will be bitter, along with your job and workplace relationships. Use too much coconut milk and you'll create a mess of your cup and in the steps needed to reach your professional goals.
So, How Can You Combine the Two?
If you're looking for ways to advance in your career, you can't just focus on career growth or career development. You have to focus on both of them equally. Think of career growth as the yin to your professional development, and career development as the yang to your personal development. Both coming together full circle to create the strongest, and best you possible.
The key is to find a business or industry-related opportunities that allow you to do this at the same time. Events or seminars that help you combine the "personal you" with the "professional you" are essential to bringing career growth and development together. Look for events that offer breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and topics that will help you become an exponentially more empowered and happier individual. These types of opportunities will help you find your balance and give you the education and inspiration you need to transform into the best you.