Working Assumptions: Introduction
By Annie Hedgpeth · June 16, 2024
Working Assumptions: Introduction

For my next blog series, I want to talk about some working assumptions about career growth and development that we may want to reconsider. There are many programs in place for our growth and development, most of them managed by our companies’ HR (human resources) departments. On paper they seem like good practices, very well thought out and thorough. But for some reason that we have a hard time pin-pointing, many of those programs just aren’t working right, producing mixed and often subpar results.

And I’m not blaming anyone, especially not HR. In my experience, I have found HR to be full of good-hearted people trying to do the right thing for the company and its employees. They know that growing employees benefits the company and creates the kind of company culture that they want to foster. And I think that they are just as frustrated as the rest of us when they don’t see the results they expect from these programs and practices. Or conversely, the programs give them feedback that everything is going great, but employees are still unhappy so HR remains in the dark about problems.

What does lack of career growth look like?

Ultimately, the biggest evidence that you’re not growing is that you’re just unhappy and frustrated all the time. Lack of career growth can look like a lot of things, but here are a few examples:

  • You’re not getting the promotions you think you deserve
  • You’re not getting the raises you think you deserve
  • You’re not getting the opportunities you think you deserve
  • You’re not getting the recognition you think you deserve
  • You’re always frustrated at the decisions of your leadership
  • You feel like you’re not respected or valued
  • You feel like you’re not growing or learning
  • You feel unheard or unseen

Maybe we start to blame ourselves when this happens. “I just need to do that course on X,” or “I just need to show my work off more,” or whatever. The reality, though, is that the system in place was built with the bottom line in mind first, and sometimes the employee’s growth can slip through the cracks. Sometimes those are aligned, but when they’re not, there is a clear winner and it’s not you, sadly.

So what is career growth, and do we really need to be growing all the time?

This is another whole post, maybe even a book, but my short answer is no, you don’t have to always be growing, but it helps if you are intentionally being who you want to be. So whenever I say career growth in this series, let it mean for you:

the intentionality of being who you want to be inside your career

What are working assumptions?

These are the assumptions that we make about the things that we do for our careers, either of our own volition or demanded from our companies, that are assumed to produce career growth or development. We really want to do what’s right and continue to have forward momentum in our careers, but many times, something just doesn’t feel right or add up. We often don’t question the system that leads us down the path of career growth because, hey, it got us this far, or hey, this is just how you make sure that a lot of people at once are growing in a big company. But what if the system is broken? What if the system is actually holding us back?

What will we cover in this series?

I want to cover a few things that I think are working assumptions that we should question. Here are a few topics I have in mind:

  • The 360 review
  • The performance review
  • The job search
  • The networking event
  • One on ones
  • The mentorship program
  • And whatever else I hear from you all!

I do seek to inspire you through this series on how to overcome and create a trajectory that is all your own. Our commitment to helping others succeed is our main driver. We have mentored so many folks through these same issues, and we want to share what has worked and what hasn’t. At Hedge-Ops we are thinking about these problems as opportunities, and we’re building solutions into our software. We want to share some great individual strategies and push for systemic change when needed, too.

Stay tuned!

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