Career Development: Making the Right Choices for Growth

Career Development: Making the Right Choices for Growth

Jeff Gipson | November 6, 2020

Finding the right talent for the right companies is what we do everyday, but we also want those we successfully place, those professionals who have settled in and are excelling within those positions, to continue to do everything they can to not only help the company grow, but to develop their careers to reflect their own true potential. 

Doing well, doing what others would consider extra, doing the work for a sense of accomplishment over a sense of entitlement and always trying to help other team members grow are good and ethical habits to get into if you want to develop a potent and satisfying career. 

Finding more by doing more

We don’t really control most things, whether at work or out in the world. That’s why insurance exists, right? However, it is important to recognize what we do have control over, especially when we are talking about our own career development. 

Goals are important. We can’t say that enough. They give us direction, help us formulate strategies to achieve them and, when we achieve them, they give us a sense of accomplishment, which builds confidence and the character necessary to be an effective leader. 

But what if we are in a position that is not ideal? What if conditions beyond our control or our company’s control affect us? What if promotion or getting more competitive pay just isn’t possible at this place and time? Then we have to find that drive somewhere else. We have to look internally.

By giving 100 percent, especially within the most difficult of circumstances, we learn what we are capable of, discovering those capabilities that not only make us marketable but indispensable. Having the discipline to do real internal self-improvement leads to stronger professional relationships, upwardly mobile careers and a life that is more satisfying overall. Career development isn’t always about being comfortable–it’s about being diligent.

Your Career Supports Your Life

While our goal should be to love what we do for a living, we need to maintain a work-life balance in which what we do in one enhances our abilities in the other. Staying healthy, maintaining mental health and learning new skills to enhance mental acuity and agility are productive steps that will ensure you have a strong platform going into your professional and personal future. 

Recognize Contribution

Good leaders eat last. It is a phrase I’ve heard thrown around a time or two, but when it comes to building confidence, building teams and being an effective leader, it is pretty good advice. 

Accurately recognizing the talent and contribution of others is fundamental to enhancing the interpersonal dynamics of a team and letting an individual know their efforts are visible and appreciated. As far as incentives go, pointing out someone did a good job when they did a good job is easy and effective—and it’s just a nice thing to hear. 

Career development, growing into those substantial leadership positions within the insurance industry, takes time. What we do with that time can make the difference between a career that is mediocre and one that truly shines. Every step in your career should elevate you higher than the last. We all know there will be setbacks, because that is just the way the world works, but every setback is an opportunity to work harder, give credit, gain discipline and to lead others by example.


At The James Allen Companies, we want all the candidates we represent to get the most out of our career services and the positions they gain as a result. Your success and continued career development are goals we are happy to assist you with.

About the Author

Jeff Gipson
Jeff Gipson Sr. is a veteran of the staffing industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He got his start working for an international staffing organization where he focused on information technology placements across the country. In July 1992, Jeff continued his staffing career with a St. Louis based information technology staffing company. There, he was strategically involved in launching the organization’s first branch office — and subsequently three additional branch offices over the next several years. In July 2000 Jeff made another move — this time to launch his own staffing company, continuing his IT focus. In 2003 the organization was reinvented. Relying on his earlier sales career in the insurance industry, the company changed course and began building the firm around the insurance industry. The company continues to put all their energy in the insurance sector filling positions of all titles across the country. Jeff and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1980. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
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