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I am in the Top of my career. I am a nutritionist with ~30+ years of experience. I am currently in a management position where I am comfortable and feel that I learn every day and stay abreast in the field.

My company now has added an interview process where each director should have one on one meetings with their manager and ask about career interest and opportunities. How can I answer the question in a general way without being specific?

I feel that I want to keep my position the way it is. I don't feel the need to go further, I am very comfortable in this position until I retire.

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    Hi Maritza. Welcome to the Workplace. Please don't take this as a personal attack, but this question is unclear to me, and I am tempted to VTC based on those grounds. It seems that your question is clear enough to my peers that they can answer and upvote. I suspect it might be more myfault than the question, but a sentence or two more could really clear this question up. "How can I answer the question" is the bit where my confusion begins. – Lumberjack Mar 23 '18 at 17:00
  • The question about career interest and opportunities I mentioned in a prior sentence. Sorry for the confusion... – Maritza Rodriguez Mar 23 '18 at 18:07
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I think the important thing here is that career interest and opportunities does not have to mean climbing the corporate ladder in the literal sense of advancing to positions with more and more responsibility.

To put it a different way, Development within a specific individual contributor position is a totally viable form of career development. You mentioned yourself that you're already doing this. Growing and learning (developing your career) can happen totally independently of changing titles and climbing the ladder.

Are there journals you read? Continuing education opportunities you pursue? How do you stay on top of new advances? You mentioned you're a nutritionist. I'm sure there's new research released all the time which could help you improve your skills. If your employer wants a formal "career interest plan" there's no reason why you can't include these things in it.

Besides improving yourself, you have the opportunity to improve others. You mentioned you are in a management position. Are you mentoring and leading those who report to you? Is there an opportunity to participate in leadership development programs within your employer? If not, what about external opportunities? It's always possible to get better at managing your direct reports. With the years of experience you have, you're a valuable asset for those who are less experienced. Now is the time to develop your mentoring and knowledge transfer skills, and that can be part of a "career interest" plan.

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I think you need to balance the idea that you are happy where you're at and you're not interested in a promotion or change with what your boss may see as a benefit to the company if you move up.

Focus on how much you enjoy it along with learning new things. You don't want to sound complacent. I wouldn't even mention retirement.

Just be prepared to respond to your boss in this meeting. He may want to offer you a better opportunity for your benefit or he may need you to take on more responsibilities for his/company's benefit. The more he does it for you, the more you can say you're happy where you're at. Don't give the impression you're going to stand too firm. He may think you're not a team player.

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Emphasize how well you're doing in your own role. How effective you are doing your job and how well your team works with you (and those beneath for for you).

Pitch yourself as being important to the company right where you are and highlight the benefits this presents.

If you're asked for how you'd like to progress, deflect the question away from you and seek to improve the careers of those around you so that you're more supported in your own role and benefits the company even more.

These interviews want you to appear selfish in wanting self-advancement. You can spin this into moving things around your to suit yourself.

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