Definition: Career Pathing refers to the process of lining up the opportunities for the career growth of employees within the organization. In this process, the talent development professional and the employee map out their potential course through the organization. It outlines the steps, pace and length of your work history. It depicts different forms of career progression that covers:
- Conventional vertical career ladder: Higher position within the company.
- Horizontal career lattices: Opportunities for the same role that might lead to vertical opportunities in the future.
- Career progression outside the organization: Higher position in a different organization.
- Encore careers: A second career path created later in a person’s life.
In other words, it is the process of determining the future career opportunities of an employee within the organization. It sets up a sequence of goals and support systems within an organization to direct the freshers through hoops of career development.
Career Pathing is a skills-based strategy of providing a clear professional development route. It encompasses:
- Performance development planning
- Mentoring during planning and implementation strategies
- Performance appraisals
- Employer and employee collaborations to effectively combine employee and employer goals.
Concept of Career Pathing
Every employee has a goal in their mind regarding their career when they start a job in an organization. No one wants to stay at the same job forever. This means every employee wants to move up the corporate ladder and retire from a good designation.
In career pathing, an employee plans out all the roads which he will take to reach the final destination. The career path will describe all the roads, twists and turns that an employee undertakes to reach the ultimate destination.
In career pathing, the initial point is the employee’s current position, whereas the destination indicates the short-term or long-term goal. It involves delineating their career direction depending on different kinds of roles. It covers various developmental activities, lateral moves and promotions that take the employees nearer to their goals.
When the designing and implementation of career pathing is effective, it noticeably improves employee engagement, and so it offers considerable benefits to individual employees and organizations.
What is a Career Path?
The word ‘career’ means the occupation undertaken by a person during their life, and the word ‘path’ means the course or direction in which a person moves. In this way, career path means the route or direction undertaken by the person to grow in their career over time.
Typically, a career path is the course of jobs aims to hold during their journey in the organization. It designs the possible roles and KSA (knowledge, skills and abilities) needed for each job level as an employee makes his way up the corporate ladder.
Types of Career Paths
- Vertical: It is the most common career path, which involves moving upward. It indicates ambition, advancement, and achievement, plus increased responsibility and authority.
- Horizontal: This career path is chosen by people when they want to add variety to their tasks and a cross-functional experience. It also adds the breadth of experience or a new challenge.
- Cyclical: This career path involves a succession of spirals created to add new skills or competencies for growth in the professional career or professional shifts.
- Levelled: A career is said to be levelled when it shows no sign of movement. This happens when a secure position is fixed and when there is intrinsic job satisfaction.
Advantages of Career Pathing
- Identifying skills that an employee possesses presently helps identify skills that are required in the future. By learning those skills, an employee will be able to meet future skill demands.
- It helps employees determine the traits, potential competencies and specialization one should have.
- At present, employees look for talent that will help them grow in the long run and will have a commitment to their future career development.
A word from Business Jargons
Career pathing is the number of jobs that an individual plans to take charge of during their time in the organization or over their career journey. It is quite obvious that employees are going to leave the organization for the realization of career goals. They will be more satisfied if they help the organization meet its business goals in the meantime.
Further, once a person knows which path is best for him and will ensure success in the long run, the employee can identify the key skills required to work on in an attempt to succeed on that path.