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Grow then Consolidate Career - Repeat

20 July 2022

There are a natural cycles of growth, then rest, then rejuvenation to all important things.  Career is no different.

Growth is an important part of any flourishing career.  Periods of growth are things like promotions, new roles, starting businesses or starting side hustles, taking on new projects, inventing and creating new things, solving problems, expanding networks...  Growth results in enhanced influence, responsibilities, scope, and status.

Growth also needs to be in harmony with periods of Consolidation.  These are times when you reflect on the learnings from your periods of growth.  These are periods where you dig deeply into the expertise you are gaining, where you see beyond the obvious and understand the more nuanced aspects of the skills you are learning and tasks you are mastering.  They are also times where you make sure your own personal development (your wisdom) is keeping pace with the results of your growth periods.

People often experience career angst when they stay too long in either Growth or Consideration.  

Do you know which stage you are currently experiencing in your career?  Pick a number from the following scale and consider if you need to plan for moving to a new stage:

1. Early Growth = The start of something new
2. Middle Growth = In the Flow
3. Late Growth = Getting tired with the possibility of burnout
4. Early Consolidate = Having a breather
5. Middle Consolidate = Seeing the deeper connections, teaching others
6. Late Consolidation = Deeply comfortable, getting bored
Of course, it is rarely as clear cut as this scale suggests, but hopefully this gives you a way to reflect on your own career.

Eduardo Briceno, in a TED talk I often encourage people to watch, gives a useful example of this natural cycle.  In this video he discusses the difference between your performance zone and your learning zone, and the importance of knowing which zone you are in at any time.  Both are needed for anyone to be their best.

As always, wishing you a flourishing career.



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