How to Create Growth Opportunities in Every Job

It seems that in today’s job market, employees are looking more to the growth opportunities to determine whether they will stay at their current company or jump ship for a new one. In fact, a recent survey by Jobvite found that 45 percent of employees report that the reason they would leave their job for a new job is for a better opportunity. I don’t think many managers will be surprised about that.

But what exactly are growth opportunities? 

Even though the rebounding economy is putting employees in a position of power, how do you know for sure that opportunities will be plenty? Would it mean that you could be promoted?  And quickly? Any company would be foolish to guarantee anyone a promotion without some observation of their work habits and accomplishments. Of course, there are plenty of foolish companies. I think all companies who are hiring have growth opportunities. 

If someone, or group, in the company will make a decision for promotion, why would they choose you? Why would they not choose you? In most cases, they would look at your record.  They would want to know about how you did your job, what others thought of your approach to the job, how you get along with team members and how knowledgeable you were about your job, the company, etc. If the performance data and social relationship reports are not good, it’s probably safe to say, “Forget about it.”

The best advice to anyone who wants growth opportunities is to do something every day that increases your value to your company, your co-workers and your boss. Think about what you can do each day to bring out the best in those around you at work, and then act on it.

Margaret Heffernan, a TED speaker, said something that is near and dear to my heart: “Bringing out the best in others is the best way to bring out the best in you.” I know this to be true — not just because I wrote a book titled “Bringing Out the Best in People,” but because the science of behavior supports it, too. 

It has been said that a large part of achieving success in being ready when the opportunity to advance presents itself. Below are some things that I believe will both help you to be ready and allow you to create growth opportunities at any job and in any company.

  1. Anyone who has a habit of looking for the good that others do, and attempts to positively reinforce those behaviors in some way, is creating an opportunity for growth.
  2. Volunteer. Let “I will be glad to help” be your motto.
  3. Learn something new every day. Read, listen, watch and do something that you haven’t done before. Tai Lopez, a serial entrepreneur, said he reads a book every day. What a great habit. If knowledge is power, he is a very powerful person.
  4. Help bosses and let the bosses know when they have done something to help you or others.
  5. Support your co-workers.
  6. Smile often. Smiling in contagious and creates more smiles from those around you. Let’s face it — no one likes a negative person.
  7. Let others at work teach you something. There are few things that are more reinforcing than teaching others something new.

If you do these things, you will give bosses and others reasons to choose you for any new opportunity. More importantly, you will not only improve the lives of others but also improve your own in the process. Who could ask for more?