Lanteria’s Guide to Career Pathing
What Is a Career Path?
Have you ever felt like you did not belong at your workplace? Did it ever feel like you were working towards futility? That there was no future? If you answered any of the above in the affirmative, then there’s a good chance that you are not really engaged in the work you are doing. We would like to tell you now that there are two pieces of good news for you.
The first is that you are not alone. On average, two out of three employees at any given organization are in your shoes. Disengagement is very common. Do not let that depress you, though, because the second piece of good news is that career pathing might be the cure for this problem.
What is a career path? We will answer that question in this article, as well as showing you how to make a successful career path plan, so keep reading!
Career Pathing: How to Do It
Entering a new workplace can be like being thrown into a maze. How do you navigate it? You do not have the means to know where you are going, no way to navigate obstacles. Without knowing where you are going and what is expected of you, it is normal to feel lost. It is normal to feel hopeless and lose interest in what you are doing when you don’t even know where the path you are on leads to.
These are signs that a career path is required. Career pathing is nothing but the process by which employees chart a course for the desired route they want their careers to take in a particular organization. It is aimed at giving employees clarity on what they want their ideal careers to look like.
However, it does not stop there. Career pathing also requires employees to take a long, hard look at themselves. Are they equipped with the skills necessary to take them to the finish line? What could help them? What opportunities does the workspace present that they can take advantage of?
A career path is not an arbitrary identification of a goal. It is a detailed map of all the points of an employee’s path. Whether they want vertical or lateral advancement, whether they need to build new skills to do so, how they can obtain the necessary experiences and knowledge, what can they change about themselves to make positive growth, it all falls under the purview of a career path.
How to Make a Career Path Plan
So, what goes into making a career path? You must always remember that you are sitting down to chart a path through your life. You need to treat this with the respect and gravity it deserves. It is not a project that you need to submit on time to get a passing grade. It is so much more than just that.
To make sure you stay on track, we have put together some of the most important things you need to keep in mind to make a successful career path. Let us go through all of them one by one:
Before you do anything, you need to decide your career goals and what your ideal job is. Everything else hinges on this, so give this step the most thought.
Next, you should sit down with a human resources representative, your manager, or your mentor to see how viable this is and what the road to your destination looks like. Chart a path through the various departments and positions the company has to offer on the way to your goal.
You have to realize that this will never be a straight shot to your goal. You will have to take lateral moves and even think about transferring to other branches or departments to gain the necessary experience. Do not be closed off to change if it can benefit you. Instead, make the most of it and keep going.
Once the path has materialized, you need to take a look at yourself. Do you have the necessary knowledge, skill sets, and experience to navigate that path without issue? If not, what skills and knowledge can you pick up? How and where do you pick them up? Are there courses you can take and seminars you can attend that will help you?
You need to distill your path into small, manageable steps. Nobody standing at the foot of Everest and looking up can be confident in the climb. It is taking one step after another that counts. So, turn your path into a set of goals and physically write them down. Turn it into a checklist. The satisfaction from checking off another goal will motivate you like no other. Measurable progress is always a good thing.
With your plan in hand, you now need to get started on conducting it. You need to take all the steps you have written down one by one. Attend the relevant seminars, volunteer for jobs that will furnish you with the necessary skills, etc.
Get help from a mentor or a senior employee who is one or two rungs above the corporate ladder than you. Having access to their experiences and plans can be a very valuable asset and will help you refine yours by learning from them. Additionally, you can shadow them. See first-hand what the job you are gunning for expects you to do.
Regular assessments to gauge how far you have come will help you immeasurably. Try to get assessed on a regular basis instead of an annual progress report. This will keep you motivated and give you more opportunities to tune up your plan if the assessments find you wanting. Share the plan you wrote down with those keeping check on you, so they are aware of what to expect from you.
Finally, and this should not come as a surprise; own up to your career plan. You have everything to gain and everything to lose. Nobody is going to be as involved in your own success as you yourself. So, it is your responsibility to work on the plan you have to get a better future. You will get as much or as little back from it depending on how much you choose to do.
It’s Worth It!
Charting a career path is not easy. Then again, nothing worthwhile in life is easy. If you want to live a better life, it stands to reason that you need to work for it. This is no different. Sticking to the path you charted is going to demand a lot of discipline, hard work, commitment, and sacrifice. So, make sure the goals you pick, and the resulting rewards, are worth all the blood, sweat, and tears you will shed.
At the same time, it is a journey of self-improvement. A quest to be better, to be more than who you are. It is a very empowering thing, and every step you take towards your goal should fill you with pride.
Ultimately, a career path is just that - a plan. Things will not happen just as you want them to, so stay prepared for unforeseen twists and turns. As long as you stay on track, you will be alright.
For more career advice, keep an eye out for new Lanteria blog posts!