As an experienced leader and professional, Kailem Anderson, VP, Portfolio and Engineering, reflects on his career journey and provides his advice for growth and development.

Career growth and development can look different depending on whether you are just starting out or are already well established in your role. All those who are looking to enhance their skills and increase their responsibilities may find it beneficial to listen to seasoned leaders, as they can serve as guides and sources of information.

As a young professional in her career, Liz Petrik, Senior Associate, ESG Communications, spoke with Kailem Anderson, VP, Portfolio and Engineering, Blue Planet, to learn from his career journey and gain advice on navigating career growth. Watch the video series below to learn how to set yourself up for success and how Ciena supports our people in their careers.

In this video, Kailem Anderson shares his career journey and how it has led him to his current role as VP, Portfolio and Engineering for Blue Planet. Kailem emphasizes the importance of getting a breadth of experience and being open to new opportunities in order to find your passion. You can also gain valuable experience from a variety of roles and responsibilities if you are looking to make an internal move to a new position because you have a unique perspective on the business.

Here, Kailem reflects on his younger self and offers his personal mantras and beliefs for being successful in your career. He emphasizes the importance of being open to new opportunities, building lasting relationships founded on trust, and being comfortable taking a risk on things that may be outside of your comfort zone.

Kailem discusses his experiences with both formal and informal mentors he has had throughout his career and how he has benefited from them. At Ciena, we are investing in our peoples’ growth with our mentorship program, where employees can connect with other individuals within our community to aid in their career and personal development.

In this video, Kailem describes how he has set his own personal and professional goals and advocated for himself through open and honest communication. As someone who manages a broad range of people, Kailem says it can be difficult to know what everyone wants. So, by communicating with your manager, you can better assist them in putting you on the career path you desire.

As Kailem explains, it is very important to him to be a life-long learner. He encourages his teams to do the same by spending four hours a month away from their desks to go invest in themselves. Ciena also supports our people in their desire to grow and expand their knowledge through our virtual learning platforms, our Career Spotlights series showcasing different internal roles, our manager development program, one on one coaching and our tuition reimbursement program.

Interested in exploring a career at Ciena and Blue Planet? Browse our open job opportunities here: