Learners are people who have a passion for learning and are driven to constantly improve themselves with each passing year. They make decisions based on whether they are growing, not just at the organizational level, but also in terms of their personal growth.
Example. Becoming a GPM from a Senior PM may be a promotion for you, but the question is whether you are actually capable of handling the new role of managing PMs or just filling a gap due to the demand for more managers in the industry thanks to the 100 odd unicorns being born in this country and there was more demand than supply? Something to ask yourself.
Careerists tend to focus on the optics of their careers rather than on learning and becoming better at their craft. Every decision they take at work is through the lens of whether it will help them in their next promotion.
Both aspects, optics, and learning are important for career growth. You need to be able to sell your work as well as continue to learn and ship new things. However, it is important not to give up on learning just because you have reached a certain level in your career.
Optics may be beneficial in the short term, but in the long run, your colleagues and employers will be able to give an honest opinion of your work and abilities. And that will matter a lot when ref checks are done before someone decides to hire you.
It is up to you to take ownership of your career growth.
Many people blame their organizations, managers, and colleagues for their lack of career growth, but it is essential to take the responsibility for your career growth. While organizational politics can hinder your growth temporarily, if you continue to learn and work hard, you will eventually reach your desired level of success. During one-on-one meetings, I always focus on what the individual can change about themselves, rather than blaming external factors.
Thanks to my friend Gaurav who currently works as a Director and GM at Razorpay for candid conversations on this topic in the past.