First you need to set a personal agenda, where you want to be in a certain period, like 5 years. See whether your qualification allows to do that. Next you have to see whether the work environment allows it. Obviously in IT co's it would be tough to expect so personal development time in current economic downturn related with USA biz.
People do say stick to a certain employer, which obviously you can do, if they reciprocate based on what you give to them, in taking care of you in terms of development, leadership and mentoring.
Talk to friends, and also by asking them on forums like this, make the right connections.
Look back and see how your peers and managers have perceived you as an individual, and identify the core strength and improve on it.