Job Offer? 5 Signs the Position Has Opportunities for Growth

If a job doesn’t have opportunities for growth, is it worth your time?

Think of your career like a long path—one that you will follow all the way to retirement. 

On this path, each job you take is like a pit stop where you can pick up new skills and experiences that will better prepare you for what’s next. 

You may come to a point in your career where you’ve advanced as far as you want to go, but until then, consider any job that doesn’t offer opportunities for growth to be a waste of your time. 

Determining whether a job will help you grow and learn when you’re still in the application and interview process can be tricky. But we’ve got a few tips and resources that will help.

 

Opportunities for growth: What do they look like?

Opportunities for growth come in many shapes and sizes. Though some will involve a job title change, more responsibilities, and a pay raise, there are other ways jobs can help you grow.

 

Industry experience

If you plan to work in the same industry for the next few steps on your career path, a job that gives you hands-on experience is invaluable. Not only will you pick up new skills, but you’ll gain fodder for your portfolio and resume when you apply to your next job.

 

Education opportunities 

The best employers are those who encourage lifelong learning among their staff. Some jobs may provide this directly through training and education programs, while others may let you choose your own learning path (and foot part or all of the bill).

 

Network expansion

Could this role introduce you to people who will be transformative in the next stages of your career? Jobs that will send you to conferences and other networking events are jobs that provide opportunities for growth.

 

Internal promotions 

Not every job needs to be a stepping stone to a new company—in some cases, you might be able to make major strides in your career path simply by getting internal promotions. Companies may promote you into management and leadership roles, or move you to departments where you can advance your career.

 

Direct mentorship

If a job is willing to connect you with a mentor, either within the business or elsewhere, that’s a good sign there are opportunities for growth. After all, the entire point of a mentorship relationship is to learn and grow with guidance and security. If you need help finding a mentor, check out these resources:

 

The 5 signs there’s opportunity for growth

Some businesses do a good job of communicating the opportunities for growth—but more often than not, you’ll need to do some digging on your own to figure this out. 

Here are the best methods for assessing whether a role will help you evolve your career.

 

1. Online research to the rescue

If you’re navigating the interview process, you should already be researching the companies you’re applying to. This will help you feel more prepared in your interview, but it also gives you a chance to assess the job, including whether there are opportunities for growth. 

You can start your search on GlassDoor, a website that collects candid insights from current and previous employees at many companies. Often, people will comment on the opportunities they were offered—or blatantly tell you opportunities for growth are few and far between. 

Beyond that, running the company through a Google search is always a good idea, and you should comb through their social media profiles and website to gather as much information as you can about their philosophy and business reputation. 

LinkedIn may be the best tool for figuring out whether a job will give you opportunities for growth. You can use the platform to search for current and previous employees at the company, and scan through their profiles to see where their own career paths have led them. (Just be mindful that people can see when you’ve looked at their profile on LinkedIn.)

To get started, type the name of the company you’re considering into the search bar on LinkedIn. Once the results come up, click at the top to open up the filters on search. 

A new panel will open on the right, and here you’ll be able to narrow your search based on past jobs: 

A LinkedIn screenshot shows how to use filtered search to find former employees of a company.

 

2. Pay attention to retention rates

A high turnover rate can be a red flag that a company isn’t offering much in the way of growth opportunities. If employees aren’t sticking around for long, there’s a good chance they aren’t able to find ways to grow and advance without making an exit. 

But how do you gauge retention rate? It’s not like employers publish these numbers online. 

One way is by paying close attention to the tenure of the people interviewing you. If they’ve only been at the company for a few months or even a year, it might suggest a pattern of rapid turnover. You can casually ask about their experience and how long they’ve been with the company, which can provide some insight.

Another approach is to look at LinkedIn profiles of current and former employees. Notice the durations of their stints and where they went next. If you see many short tenures and abrupt transitions, it’s worth asking why that might be.

You can also directly ask about turnover during the interview. Frame it as a desire to find a long-term home where you can grow. For example, you could say, “I’m looking for a place where I can grow my career long-term. How long do employees typically stay in this role?” 

Lastly, consider the overall vibe during the interview process. When you visit the business or talk with interviewers, are they enthusiastic and proud of their tenure, or do they seem indifferent or guarded? Their attitudes can give you a sense of the company culture and its support for employee growth.

By the way, here are more guides to help you ask and field questions during an interview:

 

3. Look for clues in the job description

A job description can tell you a lot about the opportunities for growth a position offers—if you know what to look for. 

Start by examining the language used in the job posting. In the best circumstances, a job will clearly outline opportunities for growth, such as leadership training or career advancement.

On the flip side, if the job description is vague or lacks mention of growth, it might be worth raising your antenna.

Try looking at other job descriptions on LinkedIn or elsewhere for similar roles. Maybe you’ll find something else you want to apply to, but even if you don’t, you’ll still get more context and data about the opportunity you’re considering. 

 

4. Artfully ask about opportunities for growth in the interview

When a job description doesn’t clearly outline growth opportunities, your next best bet is to ask about it in your interview. You can get the information you need and impress your interviewer by framing your question correctly.

Try something like: “I’m excited to find a role that will give me a chance to develop new skills and progress on my professional development. Can you tell me what growth opportunities there are in this role?”

You can also ask a thoughtful question about the history of the role. “Can you tell me about some of the people who previously held this role? What skills did they have that made them successful, and where are they now?” 

This can give you insights into whether the role is designed with growth in mind or likely to be static. If the job is newly created, there may be no history to go off of—but you can still ask about opportunities for growth to let your potential employer know it’s important to you. 

More generally, you can simply ask about the company’s approach to employee development. “How does the company support professional growth and development for its employees?” is a fine question to ask during an interview.

 

5. Talk to industry insiders

If you want to gauge the growth potential of a particular role, speak with people who have been there. Folks who have already moved through similar roles in the same industry—even if they worked in different companies—can give you insights into what career opportunities they used to get where they are. This will help you know what to expect from future employers.

Start by reaching out to your existing network. If you know someone who has worked at the company you’re considering, ask them about their experience and whether they saw opportunities for growth. Questions like, “What was your experience like in terms of career development?” or “Did you find the company supportive of professional growth?” can reveal a lot.

If you don’t have direct contacts, use the same process outlined above to find former employees, and send them a connection request. Look for people who have a few years of experience in roles similar to the one you’re applying for, and reach out with a polite message asking if they’d be open to sharing their insights. 

You can also get insights by attending industry events—even if they’re free webinars or small local events. Though you may not find people from the exact same company you’re considering, you will likely meet folks who have stories and tips to share about their time in the industry. Who knows? You might find your next mentor or land a job interview at the same time. 

 


 

Finding a job with opportunities for growth is crucial for building a successful and fulfilling career. By doing thorough research, asking the right questions during interviews, and seeking insights from industry professionals, you can make an informed decision about whether a job offer aligns with your long-term goals.