If there is one term that you might have noticed graduating students or adults use a lot, it’s a career path. But what is it? Well, a career path is a series of jobs that will help you accomplish your short and long-term objectives. Do keep in mind that your career path doesn’t need to follow a fixed line. Also, there is no timetable or blueprint for climbing the career ladder.
Following a career path will usually allow you to advance to higher-level positions. But there can also be lateral movements across or within industries. However, you need to be sure of what you want to do. This way, you will happily take over any obstacle that you come across along the way. It is just like going for Charter Cable straight without paying heed to any other providers out there.
Developing a Career Path Is Important
The importance of developing a career path cannot be undermined. It is an essential part of your career management. It helps define a direction for the individual and lets him/her know about what steps, skills, and experience will be required to achieve milestones and career goals.
If you are already working somewhere then developing a career path can be facilitated through a career planning or PDP process. You can also do it individually if you feel like it. Although, taking help from your superiors would not hurt. Also, if you feel like you are stuck then consider meeting with a career counselor who can enable you to explore your options.
How to Develop a Career Path
Now that you know what a career path is and why it is important, it’s time to know how to develop a career path. To do so, you will first need to look at the desired jobs in your existing organization. You can then ask your supervisor, or manager to help you chart a course through departments and jobs. This will aid you in fulfilling your goal.
However, keep in mind that attaining the job you are after might require departmental transfers and lateral moves. It will also require you to learn specific skills, and obtain some relevant experience as you progress through your company. But don’t worry as your supervisor or an experienced employee can easily help you out in this regard.
Some Considerations to Developing a Solid Career Path
You can consider the following points that will assist you further in planning out a solid career path.
1. Identify Your Career Goals
It is of utmost importance that you identify your career goals first. It will allow you to figure out what you want to do or achieve in life. You can get in touch with a career professional who can help you discover what you are passionate about the most. It will then become easier for you to know which field of work you want to pursue.
2. Write Your Career Path Plan
If you are currently working in an organization that has a career development or employee performance department process then the written plan is a key component. If there is no such facility available then there is no need to worry.
You can work on the plan yourself and put it down on paper. And once that is done, you can share it with your supervisor and see what he/she thinks. The reason why it is important for you to write your plan down is that it will bring out the motivation in you to accomplish it.
3. You Are Responsible for Your Career Path
You need to understand this, no one will care about your career path more than yourself. Therefore, you will be required to own your career path plan. This also means that you will be responsible for learning relevant skills that can bring you a step closer to achieving your goals. Moreover, if need be, you will be accountable for looking out for a mentor who can assist you in finding the right career path.
Defining a career path is necessary for every individual who wants to thrive in life. There are some people who very efficiently plan out their career paths while others take things slowly and adjust their preferences whenever required. Both of these approaches are right and there is nothing wrong with them.
Also, remember that it is absolutely fine if you seek for outside help to create a perfect career path. You can even work on a career plan with your supervisor who will be in a better position to guide you considering he/she would be well aware of your strengths and weaknesses.