Your 5 A's to Create the Career You Want

I recently hosted the webinar “5 Simple Steps to Position Yourself for Promotion”; it was a 30-minute jam-packed, high-energy career advancement webinar attended by ~80 people from 10 different organizations.

I promised to share the recording with the attendees except I realized later that we did not actually record the webinar! Argh!

This post is dedicated to all of you who attended the webinar. Thank you again for joining me, I value your time and trust.  

Here is a summary of the 5-step process. Use The 5 A’s as your guide, your roadmap to building a thriving and fulfilling career.

Step 1 - Appreciate

Where am I now?

Inquire into your strengths & resources. A good tool to spot your strengths is SIGN (source: “The Truth About You” by Marcus Buckingham):

SUCCESS – When you do it, you feel effective.

INSTINCT – Before you do it, you actively look forward to it.

GROWTH – While doing it, you feel inquisitive and focused.

NEEDS – After you’ve done it, you feel fulfilled and authentic.

Self-coaching questions:

  • What has worked so far?
  • What am I good at?  
  • How am I applying my strengths?
  • What recent success can I count on?

Step 2 - Aspire

Where am I going?

Understand your top values and the kind of impact that is meaningful to you. Ask yourself what are the next best steps in your career to have continuous external success AND internal fulfilment?

Self-coaching questions:

  • How do I prefer to use those skills?
  • What are my top 5 values?
  • How congruent are my career values to my current role?
  • What kind of progression would be meaningful to me?
  • What are the career/job options that align with my top values?

Step 3 - Action

Getting from here to here.


  1. Set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time bound) objectives
  2. Focus on the next small steps you can take
  3. Concentrate on progress, not perfection

Self-coaching questions:

  • What skills (functional, transferrable etc) would I need to develop?
  • What experiences would I want to enhance?
  • What perspective might I need to have?
  • What connections would be important?
  • What support would be helpful?
  • What kind of personal brand would be effective?

Step 4 - Activate

Who else can help me?

This is where you build the support team for You Inc. At the webinar, we discussed the 3 specific key roles: reporting manager, mentor, sponsor.

Self-coaching questions:

  • How can I build a strong, supportive relationship with my manager?
  • Who can help me skill up?
  • What perspectives & insights would be helpful?
  • Who can expand my access and visibility beyond my immediate circle?
  • How can I contribute to their success/priorities?

Step 5 - Align

Who do I need to be?

These steps that I’ve outlined here are simple to understand but not necessarily easy to do. You must align your mindset & skillset to where you want to go.

Self-coaching questions:

  • How can I nurture a growth mindset?
  • What can I learn from this setback?
  • How can I apply more of what’s working?

There will be discomfort when you're growing; so get comfortable being uncomfortable. Focus your time and energy to create the career that you want not just the job that you have today.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it."

- Abraham Lincoln

About Jacinta Quah

An Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker and Well-being Advocate, Jacinta helps leaders move successfully from fatigue and burnout, to peak productivity and energy, maximizing their performance and potential.  

Learn More

More Thoughts

When everyone is busy reacting, who’s thinking?

*What* an unexpected start to 2020! Like many, I now have a new routine - including checking my daughter’s temperature every morning, logging the reading on the school’s website before sending her on the school bus. Everyone’s lives, schools, travels, supply-chain, to name a few are disrupted with Covid-19.

Read More

How to Delegate Like a Pro with These 4 Steps

As an employee, there’re few things as discouraging as working for a micromanager, who breathes down our necks and suffocates creativity and thinking. On the other hand, as a leader, we’re likely to wonder if we are delegating appropriately and effectively at some point or another.

Read More

2020 © jacinta quah & Co Pte Ltd