How To Develop Career Paths


Benefits Of Career Pathing

Developing a S.M.A.R.T. Career Plan

For any growing business, implementing a formal career-pathing program is essential to developing and retaining a high-performing workforce. Investing in the creation of a strategic career-pathing program can bring your company many benefits including:

Improved ability to attract top talent: In todays competitive job market, many growing businesses are struggling to attract top talent. A robust talent development program can play a big role in your ability to bring in the right people for the right jobs.

High employee engagement and improved employee performance: with effective career-paths in place, employees are incentivized to become top-performers and reach their career milestones. A motivated, engaged workforce means better outputs for your company.

Reduced employee turnover: In organizations without clear career paths, entry-level employees are more likely to become stagnant in their roles and begin looking for other opportunities. This turnover can quickly become costly. By creating crystal-clear career paths, you give employees a vision for their career progression and help incentivize them to stay onboard for the long-term.

Increase diversity in the leadership team: by investing in and recruiting internally, you ultimately build a more diverse leadership team.

How Do I Use My Portfolio To Land The Roles I Want

Its key to be clear about how your portfolio enables you to be proactive, to learn, and to contribute in ways that a traditional career path would not. I call this your portfolio narrative.

Employers are hungry to hire talent with non-traditional backgrounds, but they often need help. Your portfolio narrative is the link it is the story you tell to make connections between the skills people are hiring for and the skills you have developed through the breadth of your experience.

For example, when I was a hiking and biking guide, some people said my career looked frivolous . What they didnt see was that as a guide, not only was I usually working 18-hour days first up and last to bed but also every day I was learning how to project manage, accommodate differences, balance budgets, build teams, ensure safety, forge lifetime friendships, and spark joy. I didnt have a fancy title or earn very much, but I got a practical mini-MBA on the trail and perspective that would shape the rest of my life.

Often, I had to fill in these gaps for others. Doing this, and being able to explain why my experience was valuable in this way, didnt just shape my portfolio. It helped me stand out from other candidates when I applied for jobs.

What Is A Career Path For Employees

Career paths are long-term plans that lead to an employees desired outcome. It could be a specific position within the company or a career trajectory. The career path an employee takes determines the skills they learn and the mentorship they receive to reach their goals.

Creating employee career paths results in:

  • Employees with stronger hard and soft skills
  • Lower turnover rates
  • Lower employee onboarding and training costs
  • Higher employee satisfaction

Furthermore, employees are eager to grow in their roles. Some 91 percent of employees say they would stay longer with a company if it invested in their career. If a manager suggests a course to take, 56 percent of employees would enroll in it.

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Vp Of Product Job Description

  • Hire and Develop the best. Build a cohesive team and develop strong product leaders.
  • Set a vision. Collaborate closely with CPO & cross-functional leaders. Do this to translate the company vision and strategy into a product vision. Then create an OKR driven roadmap that employs technology and great UX.
  • Obsess over customers. Drive market research, user research, data analysis, and user testing that informs product requirements to build products.
  • Drive execution. Partner with Engineering to drive execution of the product roadmap. Advocate for small iterative release cycles to deploy quickly, test, and learn.
  • Drive adoption/engagement. Partner cross-functionally to develop the most compelling solution to drive product adoption. Then develop strategies to drive increased customer usage.
  • Build for scale. Empower the team to deliver the roadmap that balances feature development with long-term scaling.

The VP role is there to enable the product organization at a high level. To act as a check on activities from the business, C-level stakeholders, and, if applicable, the board of directors.

VPS of Product might also participate in speaking engagements and look at how it contributes to thought leadership.

Much of a VPs time is spent thinking about what needs to happen with the team today to be ready for whats coming a year from now. i.e., future-proofing your product and team. In this role, your product team is tactical, while you are primarily strategic.

How To Create A Realistic And Enjoyable Career Path For Your Team Members

Career Planning Process  Adult Career and Special Student Services ...

As a leader, you want to support your team members career growth.

Some team members will have a clear picture of their career trajectory, but others will be less sure. And for those employees, its important for you, as a manager, to help them determine where they want to go in their careerand how to get there.

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How To Develop A Career Path For Your Employees

As adults, we spend most of our waking lives working. In fact, an average person invests more than 90,000 hours in their lifetime at work. For this, the majority of people are willing to bend over backwards to find a fulfilling job that aligns with their long-term goalsgiving them a sense of purpose rather than simply working for a paycheck alone.

Since we all know that employees are the backbone of every company, it is imperative for employers to keep up with the shifting trends not only in attracting top talent but retaining each one by keeping them motivated.

While employees needs and desires continue to evolve through the years, one thing will remain: more than competitive pay and benefits, one of the main drivers of continued productivity and motivation in the workplace is attractive career advancement opportunities. Like every competent HR professional, it is your responsibility to guide employees in their professional growth and give them an exciting career path.

If youre not quite sure how to achieve that, read on as this infographic should help you build a foolproof career development plan for your company.

How To Create Career Paths And Retain Top Talent

Founder & CEO of Reverb. Author of Female Firebrands: Stories and Techniques to Ignite Change, Take Control and Succeed in the Workplace.


As the Great Resignation puts retention at the top of everyone’s to-do list, one thing employers may overlook is the importance of internal career growth. Companies often unintentionally give preference to external candidates while overlooking internal talent. Investing time and energy in developing tools like career paths that encourage internal growth is one way to help support talented employees.

What Are Career Paths And Job Families?

A career path shows how internal movement happens in your organization whether through promotions or changing disciplines . When you’re ready to create internal career paths, start by discussing the goals of the career paths and how they will be used. While theyre useful for compensation and leveling, when managers use career pathing guides to discuss performance, development and promotions with employees, they usually have a greater impact.

The Importance Of HR And Business Collaboration

When HR and business leaders collaborate, it makes the career architecture more accurate and more easily understood by employees and managers. Managers and senior leaders will have maximum buy-in when theyve contributed to and approved the final version.

Levels, Promotions And Salary Data

How long do we expect people to stay in one level before getting promoted?

A Step-By-Step Approach

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Develop Your Career Path Framework

Its time to show your employees just how far your company can take them. Whether one day they want to be CEO, explore different departments of the company, or build specific skills, give employees the guidance and advice they need. Theres no need for 73 percent of employees to change employers to get ahead in their career if they know they can stick with you and get ahead.

Start the conversation about employee career paths today and start planning for tomorrow. Be open to the whole range of career paths available, however non-traditional they may seem. It may turn out to be just the encouragement needed for your employees. Develop a career path framework for your company now and see what a difference it makes.

Whats The Benefit For You

Developing Career Paths

Admittedly, the career path framework is incredibly employee-centric which can seem time-consuming and not the best use of company resources. However, not only does the framework encourage and support employees who advance within your company, it also helps you to recognize where additional skill training is needed, opens up conversations with employees, and makes the best use of the skills employees have.

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How To Help Employees Develop Career Paths They Want

Employees perform better and longer in companies offering clear career path opportunities. Heres how to support career development for their sake and yours.

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Do you have career paths for your employees? Essentially, a career path is an expanding cluster of positions that leads a person to a specific role. Each subsequent job on the path requires more skills, experience and/or education to help the employee succeed and advance.

Its important to try to understand your employees own career goals, because some may perfectly suit your companys current or future needs. Exposing employees to the many career paths available and supporting their way forward could set you up for the win-win. Among other things, employees who thrive in their careers report more job satisfaction and longevity. And employee development can improve your businesss productivity and innovation and reduce costs associated with resignations.

To help employees develop and advance appropriately within your organization, you might need a learning and development strategy. Some experts call it a talent strategy. You can provide career paths for all your positions and employees via upskilling initiatives. According to a 2021 report by Statista, 55% of executives surveyed worldwide said their company had a talent strategy. And 33% believed that the responsibility for employee development should be shared and not fall solely on HR departments.

Examples Of Career Paths

The key to having a solid career path is identifying the skills and experience needed for the positions in your career path. You wont be guaranteed a senior manager role just because youve been a manager for two years. You have to demonstrate specific skills that show that youre ready for the next step in your career.

Knowing what lies ahead in your career path can help you focus on the right skills.

Job responsibilities, qualifications, and a company’s needs change so much in today’s workforce. You can’t set a career path and expect your career to just run on autopilot. Keep an open mind and adapt to changes where necessary.

The current work climate requires employees to be flexible in their roles. An Executive Assistant may need the skills of a project manager to do their job. Upper management across industries needs to have a basic understanding of Human Resources.

It’s important to stay on top of your industry trends and adapt to these changes. Stay proactive. Talk to others in your field to learn about how your career path is evolving.

Here are some examples of career paths that you can explore.

Accounting: Staff Accountant > Senior Accountant > Accounting Manager > Senior Accounting Manager > Firm Partner

Administrative: Administrative Assistant > Executive Assistant > Office Manager > Event and Conference Planner > Event Manager > Director of Events

Customer Service: Associate > Team Lead > Manager > Senior Manager > Director > Chief Operating Officer


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Discuss Goals With Employees During Onboarding

Identifying an employees underlying motivations can help them discover their best career path. It all starts with your onboarding process. An employee with a clear career path during their onboarding process is 3.5x more likely to define their onboarding experience as exceptional, increasing employee satisfaction.

As part of onboarding, ask employees to take a self-assessment. Through their results, employees can better understand their current skill set, knowledge gaps, strengths, and areas for improvement.

Discussing long-term goals within the company becomes manageable and realistic with a self-assessment. The next step is to create a learning and development plan that matches the employees goals.

What Is Career Pathing Why Is It Important For You And Your Company

Paths Available in a Training and Development Career

Are you prepared to lose half of your workforce?

According to a recent Bankrate survey, 55% of American workers plan to look for a new job within the next 12 months. Thats bad news for organizations, since replacing a worker costs a median of 21% of their annual payand comes with more than a few headaches.

But theres no need to panic. Smart implementation of engagement strategies like career pathing can prevent employee turnover, ensure your company or team has the skills and resources it needs to meet tomorrows challenges, and even attract new candidates.

So, what is career pathing?

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Build A Career Development Plan And Roadmap

Work one-on-one with your employee to understand their career goals. Then, collaborate with them to build a customized career roadmap and career development plan that represents how theyll move up in the company once they hit certain milestones. Build a diagram to help them better picture the order of roles they can advance to. It also helps if you have an organizational chart that outlines the hierarchy of each employee and their current position. This allows the employee to better understand where they fit within the organization.

How To Make Powerful Employee Career Paths That Will Retain High

by Carolyn Kick | May 4, 2018 | Human Resources

Creating career paths for employees can be a challenging but worthwhile initiative. In todays ultra-competitive job market, its becoming more and more important to invest in your employees, so you can retain them in the long-term. The problem is, many companies are simply not doing a great job at providing tangible vertical career paths for top-performing employees.

A recent survey by Gallup found that 93% of people advance their career by taking a position with another company. This means that just 7% of employees are being promoted internally. For high-growth companies, recruiting might seem like the only option to quickly obtaining the best talent.

However, promoting internally can save you the time and money that would traditionally be spent on recruiting external candidates. Beyond this, internally recruited employees typically have a far shorter ramp-up timemeaning they can start making a big impact in their new position immediately.

In this post Ill explore the benefits of creating clear career paths for your employees and outline a step-by-step process to launch your own career pathing program.

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You Owe Yourself A Clear Path And Plan For Success

Hispanolistic / Getty Images

Career pathing is the process used by an employee to chart a course within an organization for their career path and career development.

Career pathing involves understanding what knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, and experience are required for you to progress your career laterally, or through access to promotions and/or departmental transfers.

Career pathing requires you to take an honest look at his or her career goals, skills, needed knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics. Making a career path plan requires you to obtain what is necessary for each of these areas to carry out your career path.

Career Ladder Vs Career Path

Creating a Career Path

Think of career pathing like a map of talent development, complete with pit stops, side attractions and various routes. This includes the skills needed, competencies required, knowledge and experience that an individual will need to further their career on a specific track.

A career ladder is a little bit more specific and represents the various roles an employee might hold between their current position and goal position. For example, the rungs on a ladder for an employee who wants to be Chief Marketing Officer might be marketing coordinator, product marketing manager, director of marketing, VP of brand development and finally, CMO.

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When Are You Ready To Move From Product Manager To A Senior Position

Management will need to be confident youre doing your job well that you are driven to help the team accomplish its broader goals.

It would be best if you had a demonstrable understanding of the customer benefit your product provides. To articulate the specific customer problems, its solving and tie product metrics to business goals in a compelling way. In other words, everything should be running and running smoothly. Internal and external customers should feel informed. Engineering, UX, and marketing should trust and respect you.Managing all the moving parts and focusing on realizing value can be a difficult task. This is why its common for product managers to create a production process to rely on.

Effective product managers create a light amount of processes to save time further down the road. Which often leaves them open to consider the next move in their career.

Having more time to dedicate to making strategic decisions than reactionary ones due to being stuck in a crazy busy state will pay dividends in your product careers acceleration. Youll know its time to move on to the next point on the product manager career path because youre hungry for more.

If youre in this phase of your career and are looking for a sounding board, here is a breakdown of other product managers 10-year career goals from our recent State of Product Management Report.

The Types Of Career Paths

The most common misconception about career paths is that theyre not always a straight path. They dont always allow an employee to climb the ladder one step at a time until theyre at the top of the company.

  • Sometimes, its more about providing an employee the experience and skills that theyll need later.
  • At times, employees may request a job within the company that has less stress and fewer responsibilities because thats what they need at that point in their life.
  • Its also important to recognize that not everybodys career path at a particular company will be the same. Their journey may vary based on career goals and how they want to balance their career and personal life.
  • It could also depend on a persons background and education, as well as the type of skills theyve developed along the way. Of course, the particular industry a person works in will also determine their career path definition.

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