Five steps to planning your career growth


planning your career image

Guest blogger Sue Salvemini is the founder and president of Focal Pointe, Inc., which provides executive coaching, leadership development and business consulting services. 

Climbing the corporate ladder often seems narrow and difficult to navigate. With limited senior level positions and multiple talent striving for the same job, the journey can be overwhelming and often discouraging.

As an individual, you enjoy your work, you like your colleagues, and your company is a great fit. Other than feeling stalled in career advancement, you are happy! So how do you advance and achieve your goals without feeling that your only option is to change jobs or companies? Are there opportunities right in front of you that you may be missing? Are you leading yourself intentionally with a focused direction?

As a team leader or manager, you recognize the talent of the individuals who work for you. You desire to advance certain individuals, yet there are limited opportunities or available positions. You fear losing talent, and wish there was a way to retain your best people. You strive to be the best leader you can be, if only you knew how.

The following five steps will start your journey towards resolving these issues:

  1. Define your VISION. Where do you see yourself in one year? Two years? Five years? Where do you see your team? What is it about that vision that is important for you to achieve?
  1. Evaluate your VALUES. What is most important to you personally and for your team? Performance? Accountability? Leadership? Open communication? Work-life balance? Financial and fiduciary responsibility? Timeliness? Respect? The list is endless! Prioritize what’s most important to you. Examine what it is about each value that is true for you.
  1. REFLECT on both your Vision and Values. Do they align with your current work, goals, and activities on a daily basis? If not, how might your actions be adjusted?
  1. Identify your professional and personal GOALS –specifically, with detail. What is getting in your way of accomplishing them? Time? Money? Focus? Fear? Skill sets? Uncovering your barriers or perceived barriers is a starting point to getting beyond them.
  1. Reflect on your CAREER. What unique skill sets do you offer? Where would you benefit from more training and development? Who do you look to for guidance? Mentorship? If you don’t have any mentors, how do you find them? How do you see your circle of influence? Other than focusing on your own career advancement, how are you impacting those around you in their journey? What opportunities exist for growth and development independent of a job change?

Taking time to reflect on these questions is the first step towards uncovering the answers.  You hold the answers within — and through coaching, guided reflection exercises, sharing and exchange, the answers you uncover will help point you in the direction of realizing your true potential and identifying vast opportunities for professional growth.                                                

Working with a clear vision, aligned with your core values, will provide you and your team with substantial accomplishments, sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in the work you do and the people you work with daily.

For more information on Focal Pointe or Sue Salvemini, visit or download the flyer for her upcoming seminar “Be Vibrant – Mastering Your Energy in the Technical Workplace” for individuals in STEM careers.


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