This second blog entry is directed to Managers and Leaders who have the pleasure and  responsibility of creating career paths. In this text you will find:

  1. a definition of what a career path is.
  2. explanations why it is important to work with career paths?
  3. 4 hints on how to create a career path for your team.

What does mean career path?

If you are looking for a definition of what a career path means, you can find several explanations but the meaning of a career path will be always the same – a road, a sequence, a way:

  • your progress in your work – either in one job or several 
  • or achieve personal goals.  

An interesting thing to remember is that a career can mean different things to different people. We often visualise a career path as a ladder – but why? 

A path is not always uphill and it is not always a straight line.

Why career path is important?

Sooner or later You will hear this question from your employees: 

  • where am I going?
  • where should I go? 

Even if asked differently or not directly with words, you will probably see that people around you are looking for more responsibility, different tasks or even a new role. 

Being ready for this situation is essential for keeping them in your organisation and letting them grow – that is why different career paths are so important. 

4 easy steps to create career paths:

1. Make a talent map of your team.

To recognize a talent we should first define what talent is. According to the Gallup Institute, talent is a natural ability that results in recurring patterns of thought or behavior, it is the way in which we naturally think and feel. Talent serves as the foundation of strengths and development”. 

In this understanding, talent can be the love of being precise or enjoying confrontation. Based on those talents somebody can become an excellent accountant or an outstanding Customer Service Specialist. It is always the very first step of building a job path.

2. Make a map of available positions in your team and your organization.

If you really want to lead and develop people in your team you need to know what opportunities are available for them. Essential is, to spend time with your people to recognize their talents and match them with the right position

But here is the catch – the right position might be outside of your team or sometimes even outside of the organisation. 

It is understandable that no Manager likes a high rotation within the team but only by finding the perfect matches, you will let your employees do what they are best in. It is one of the most difficult parts of creating a career path. This will eventually make them feel fulfilled and satisfied and their performance will lead your organization to success.

3. Create suitable positions to use your peoples potential

As mentioned at the beginning, a career path is not always an uphill or a straight line. 

Every organization has its, more or less, standardized job paths that can look similar to these two patterns:

  1. junior/trainee – representative/consultant – supervisor – Team Leader – Manager
  2. Trainee – developer – analyst – Lead – Manager


What if your people reach their competence peak on the wrong path or in the wrong place?

  •  It will not allow them to fully develop and use their talent.
    So, what can you – as their Manager – do to prevent this? 
  • Create a position tailored for them. Make it possible for them to develop within their specialization without making them take the standardized ‘next’ step, that might have nothing to do with their talent and interests.
4. Don’t let money be crucial for choosing career steps – last but not least of creating career paths.

A strong factor in choosing steps on the available career path is very often a salary raise. To avoid this is to build a salary system that is not showing that the only way to get a salary raise is going up in the ‘ladder’. All you have to do is include a motivating salary and a wider salary bracket for every position that will be included in the different career pathways you create based on the unique talents you can find among your employees.

Different career paths

Career paths have always two perspectives – the one of a Manager or Leader creating them for an organisation and the other – personal, my view on where I want to go.

In the next entry we will describe how to structure our thoughts to lead our careers consciously. Make sure to read it!

Let’s start

Send us a message whether you are thinking of a career change, looking for exceptional talent or just would like to meet for a coffee and chat.

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