Creating A Personal Career Growth Plan

Written by Melanie Monek

How many of you have hit a few forks in the road and felt like Yogi Berra?  It is an uncomfortable place to be.  Having a well-defined career plan is the first step toward understanding the best fork to take when you have a tough career decision.

Step one-Develop a personal mission statement and write it down somewhere.  Determine what your purpose is as it relates to your long-term career goal?

“I will be a valued member of a management team, rewarded for my contributions, knowledge and professionalism.”

Step Two-Identify past and present strategies. Where have you been?  What have you tried in the past?  What is your current plan?

Step Three -Diagnose past performance. How have you been performing?  How has your performance been over the last several years? Based on your history, what type of performance can you expect in the future?

Step Four-Develop your personal goals. What are you trying to achieve?  What steps will you take to achieve your mission?   What are your long-range objectives in support of your mission? What are your short-time objectives (should be set up to help achieve the long-term objectives)?

Long-term Example
“I will complete my MBA which will help me achieve a Leadership Position in my current company or prospective company.”

Short-term Examples
“I will complete the cohort program by August of 2016.”
“I will complete the general education requirements by December of 2017.”
“I will meet with leaders of various divisions to express my desire for a leadership role”

Step Five-Know who you are and what you stand for by developing a set of personal value statements. What are the core set of values you have established for yourself that will aid you in accomplishing your objectives?  Explain how these values support your objectives. List and define at least five and no more than seven.


Integrity-I will choose to do the right thing in every situation, regardless of whether someone is there to see me or not.”

Respect-I choose to respect every individual I come in contact with.

Step Six-Conduct a personal SWOT Analysis. What are your internal strengths? What are your internal weaknesses (growth opportunities)? What are some potential external opportunities available to you?  (new industry moving into the area, shortage of candidates in a particular field, new funding programs for retraining into an industry…) What are potential external threats? (gas prices, layoffs, economic downturn, global warming…).

Whatever your career goals are creating a well-defined path will help you get there.

For more information on career opportunities available at Washington Trust Bank please visit

Melanie Monek is a Recruiting Specialist at Washington Trust Bank. When she isn’t hiring top-talent for the bank you can find her chasing after her two young sons, or cheering on the Seahawks.

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