Growth math for your next job

Growth math for your next job

How do you identify companies which will be able to offer you super growth? How can you identify the reasons why your current job feels stagnant? The following framework will help you reason about the rate at which you’ll be able to grow in a company and the factors that affect it.

Growth might mean different things to different people. It can come in the form of compensation, titles, skills, experience, recognition, etc. These forms generally have a high correlation with each other, so as you read this, imagine the growth you’re looking for.

Think about all the people that you work with. These are your managers, your peers, your teammates as well as your juniors. All of them play their part in helping you grow and become better. Imagine a single entity that represents all of these people. This entity is your mentor. She directs and guides you, teaches you, works with you. Her personality directly reflects your company’s culture. In some cases, a manager most closely resembles this mentor. In other cases, it’s the founder/CEO. Yet in other companies, it is an average of a lot of people.

Now let’s talk about your growth rate. It broadly depends on the following factors –

V1 = How fast can you learn and improve by yourself

V2 = How fast can your mentor/company pull you up by teaching you things it knows

V3 = How fast is your mentor/company growing

D = How much can your mentor/company teach you

Θ = The misalignment between your goals and your mentor/company’s

This table will help you identify whether each of the factors is

High (good)Low (bad)
V1Fast learners, people with high initiative towards improvement and clear goalsPeople who don’t actively seek growth because they’re content/dislike change. They might want to grow but don’t have a clear idea of what they want.
V2Companies that expect a lot out of their employeesCompanies that expect you to just maintain the status quo. Managers don’t care about their teams and might even discourage growth so they’re not surpassed.
V3High growth companiesPeople care about “years of experience” and being on good terms with upper management. People are likely to steal credit.
DWhen you feel like there is a lot to learnThere is usually not a lot to learn. You wonder why your manager is your manager.
ΘThe company that aligns exactly to your goalsThe company values different things than you do and pulls you in a direction that might be misaligned to where you want to go.

V2 and V3 are usually correlated. Companies that are growing also tend to “pull” their employees. Stagnant companies are likely to discourage growth to “maintain” their existing hierarchy. But there are also cases when a manager might push an employee beyond their own boundaries. Or there might be some segregation as a result of which some employees are not cared for even in high growth companies.