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How Do You Create a Career Path?

Published On: January 14, 2020|By |

Employees can no longer expect to follow a vertical path to the top of the company, which is why career path planning is such a powerful tool. By defining the different jobs you will need to hold on your way to management positions, you become empowered to make it happen. Here are some tips on how to create a career path successfully:

  1. Be self-aware. Take an assessment of the skills and talents that you already have then consider the area you would like to be stronger.
  2. Create a career pathways action plan that will help you understand the path you need to take. For example, If you work in advertising and want to be a major account executive one day, be aware of the different jobs you will need to hold to get there. This could include starting as an advertising account coordinator, then moving to assistant account executive than to the major account executive position.
  3. Write it down. Goals become more real if they are on paper. Moreover, it will give you the chance to review it and change it if needed.
  4. Stay flexible. As you work along your career path, stay aware of different opportunities that come your way. Consider how these opportunities could fir into your path and lead you to the dream job you want to hove.

Once you have a career path composed, staying flexible and open to opportunities is key. Here are some ways you can stretch your current reach:

  • Get to know people inside the organization. Expand your professional network online by connecting with those hold jobs you would like to have.
  • Consider the skill set you need to have to take on your dream career. For example, if you want to be a regional sales manager you will need to hone your communication and organizational skills.
  • Gain experience by volunteering some of your time in a role that closely aligns with where you want to be. For example, if you want to work in public relations, consider working with a local non-profit as a communications assistant.
  • Keep learning. One of the best career planning techniques is to keep educating yourself about the industry and how it is changing. Consider how you can best adapt to those changes. Taking extra classes online or at your local college can help you stay on top of the game.


Employees have more power over their career paths than they often realize. By creating a plan that helps you reach your career goals, you can start to have more control over your work life. It will also help you be ready for any advancement opportunities that come your way.

If you want help learning how to create a career path, use our interactive, career navigation tool What’s Next to find the best career direction for you.

What's Next Career Development Solution




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