the psychology of careers [infographic]

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The Psychology of Careers

A great career is built on a history of contributions as unique as the person who achieved them. We recently completed a global study of people who had been at their jobs from 1 to 30+ years to see what we could learn. Along the way we discovered some deep insights and universal truths about the psychology of careers.

Year 1: Learning
You’re still a “sponge” soaking it up, but you’ve made it through the learning curve and started adding value.

Year 3: Fitting In
You’re getting in the groove and really feel a part of the team. You want to grow and you’re curious what’s in store if you decide to stay.

Year 5: Expertise
You have sacrificed a lot to become an expert and you are becoming more confident. This is a vulnerable time when you might be wondering, “What’s next?” and considering a fresh start.

Year 10: Belonging
You see your coworkers as an extension of your family. You feel truly committed and treat the company’s goals as your own. You defend the company and champion its values.

Year 15: Invested
You have invested significantly in building a history with the company and you see lifelong value from the partnership. You treat the company with a personal sense of ownership, watching for waste, seeking to make improvements, and acting as a leader within you sphere. You feel grateful and want to give back.

Year 20: Veteran
You have seen a lot of change, both in your personal life and in the company. You have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you impart to younger employees. You collaborate, lead, and inspire and feel deeply interconnected to others on the team.

Year 25: Triumph
This is your most significant milestone. It is a time for celebrating victories past and present. You still have a lot to contribute and are very determined to pass along what you know to the next generation.

Year 30: Mentor
You have plenty left to give, and you have a sense of gratitude and indebtedness that makes you want to act as a mentor, go out with a bang, and leave a legacy as you prepare to retire.

Celebrating career achievement is strongly correlated to increased tenure. Organizations that offer a career achievement program keep employees an average of two years longer than organizations that don’t. If the program is perceived to be effective, employees plan to stay at their current employer for an additional two years on top of that.

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