Three C’s of Career Strategy

Career growth is a journey!  Here are a few career strategy tips I’ve learned over the years, which I call the “Three C’s” — clarity, consistency and connection.

Clarity:  It is important to know what you actually want.  Are you interested in promotion, career pivot or a purposeful career pause?  Are you leaning towards the leadership track or honing your deep subject matter expertise? To navigate your next steps contact your career development office or a trusted advisor/mentor to map out your career goals. With career clarity you can confidently chart your success path. Keep in mind, you don’t have to have all the answers right now, while you examine clarity in your career, you can always work on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) “Fundamental Competencies” — interpersonal skills, communication and continuous learning.

Consistency:  It’s critical to develop a positive professional reputation during your career.  Maximize elements of OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) to help shape your consistency.  The “Results Driven” EQC is a great place to start.  That qualification emphasizes identifying and analyzing problems, including:

  • Weighing relevance and accuracy of information
  • Generating and evaluating solutions
  • Providing recommendations.  

These skill sets will have a positive impact on your career progression.  Your consistent professionalism develops an important factor of reliability to leaders.

Connection:  Professional engagement with thought leaders in your industry, professional organizations and mentors will help shape your career progression.  Consider joining or participating in professional organizations that foster positive networking.  Professional insights and learning more about your industry will surely continue to increase your expertise.

Your career is in the palm of your hands.  You have what it takes — keep going!


Treva Smith is a federal human resources, diversity and inclusion, and business operations professional, with over 33-years of service.  Treva enjoys advising and mentoring individuals navigate their career paths to meet identified goals. She specializes in career planning and personal branding, and is certified to instruct Business Etiquette through the distinguished Protocol School of Washington and a certified Global Career Development Facilitator through National Employment Counseling Association.

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