What I learned from my growth tracker

Have you ever ever reached a degree in your profession the place you felt such as you weren’t making any progress? Or maybe felt left behind as your friends moved up their chosen pathways? I’ve.

At Zapier, the place I work, a few of us use “development workbooks.” It is a software that is meant to assist us hold observe of and have fun milestones all through our careers. There’s one part within the workbook the place we record all our initiatives and initiatives, together with examples of how we have proven our job competencies. It is meant to function a tracker that can make issues simpler to collate come efficiency opinions. 

A screenshot from Jeanny's workbook

I used to be struggling to think about examples the place I might demonstrated my job competencies. I took a 14-week parental go away earlier this 12 months. Coming again to work wasn’t as simple as I might hoped. With a hyperactive toddler and a four-month-old round, it took some time for me to get again within the groove. So I did not like how my development guide was trying. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress at work.

I used to be hesitant to deliver this as much as my supervisor: ought to I actually be telling my boss that I wasn’t dwelling as much as my job description? However I made a decision to go for it. And I am glad I did. She was in a position to cite very particular examples of my work for every of the competencies—issues that I actually did not acknowledge.

I discovered a complete bunch of private development classes from this expertise, and I might prefer to share them with you.

1. Acknowledge your strengths—and your small wins

After I was making an attempt to provide you with examples of my competencies, I used to be centered on massive issues—and I got here up clean. However my supervisor jogged my memory that the small wins are simply as necessary.

Instance: I used to be requested to host a gathering on the final second. Presenting comes naturally to me, so making ready and internet hosting a gathering on quick discover did not register to me as one thing to be pleased with. However my supervisor pointed it out for example of demonstrating my job competencies, and it made me understand that I want to acknowledge my strengths as a way to discover the small issues I do that truly make an impression. 

2. Change your perspective

The objective of my development workbook is to assist me hold observe of my profession development, however once I wasn’t in a position to fill it out, it gave me all kinds of detrimental emotions. If I could not discover concrete issues to place into the tracker, it made me really feel like I wasn’t rising. 

I used to be defining development as carrying out x variety of initiatives or leveling up in my profession. However that is not all development is: it is not nearly a change in titles. As soon as I internalized that, I used to be in a position to see how a lot progress I might made. Because the saying goes, “altering your perspective modifications your expertise.” It is simpler mentioned (or learn) than carried out, however whenever you begin noticing these detrimental ideas creeping in, it is a good time to change gears and alter your perspective.

3. Get your ft moist with varied initiatives 

In the long run, my supervisor was in a position to assist me define examples of assembly my competencies. However I spotted that I could have had a neater time developing with examples if I might been concerned in a greater diversity of initiatives. Not that I wasn’t going deep on what I used to be doing, however engaged on quite a lot of issues would have given me extra alternatives to point out off totally different expertise.

So do not be afraid to strive issues out at work. Be looking out for initiatives that you could take part in—issues that curiosity you or may problem you. They won’t work out, and that is okay. You may be taught one thing alongside the best way.

4. Bear in mind you have got assist

At Zapier, we’re fortunate to have layers and layers of assist: workforce leads, managers, individuals enterprise companions, and even coaches. It’s possible you’ll not have all of that, however hopefully you have got not less than one particular person you’ll be able to open up with and have these troublesome conversations with. I am particularly grateful for my supervisor, and he or she’s an excellent instance of the issues a mentor can do for you:

  • She’s actually intentional in her interactions with me.

  • She sees my small wins—even these I fail to acknowledge myself.

  • Each time I come to her with challenges, she all the time comes again to me with recommendations and actionable ideas.

  • She lets me see issues from a distinct perspective (an actual feat!).

In case you’re a supervisor, realizing when to be a supervisor and when to be a coach generally is a enormous assist to your direct stories.

5. Do not be too laborious on your self—please!

You are the driving force of your personal development, and also you’re doing the most effective you’ll be able to. At all times acknowledge that. 

I’ve let my impostor syndrome get in my approach an excessive amount of. In case you ever get that feeling that you simply aren’t doing sufficient, contributing sufficient, giving sufficient—cease and pause for a second. Displaying up and giving your finest self is sufficient. And all the time return to my first level: acknowledge the little issues which are making an impression.


Whenever you’re doing one thing comfortably now that used to really feel so heavy—that is a very good signal that you have grown. In case you really feel that you simply’re struggling together with your efficiency, be open to studying, and hold the following tips in thoughts to get to a greater place.