Take Control of Your Career Path

Do you have a clear career path in your current organization? Career pathing is a plan you make with your employer that charts your path and development within the organization. It should include milestones you need to reach, and skills you should learn, to reach the next stage in your career. These can be promotions or lateral moves depending on your unique goals. Sometimes these plans are developed as a company wide initiative for every position. Other times it is a more one-on-one conversation between employee and supervisor. If you do not currently have a clear career path, consider having that conversation with your employer. Share your aspirations, career goals and skills you’d like to develop.

You might find yourself in a workplace that doesn’t work with you in creating a clear plan. Don’t be discouraged. A career path can be created on your own to take charge of your future. Even in a supportive organization, career pathing could go beyond your current workplace if you feel there are goals you’d like to achieve that aren’t available to you now. Take the time to consider if your full career path works within the organization. Do you have goals or other work-life needs that would be better achieved elsewhere? What do you want your future to look like? Consider these questions.

  • What are your goals?
    Think short-term and long-term when you set these goals. This path should include where you’d like to ultimately end up. Maybe you dream of being a CEO, managing a chain of retail locations, becoming self-employed so you can be your own boss, or any other dream you may have. But, think seriously about what it will take to reach that goal and what milestones you must reach to get there. What more immediate goals do you need to reach to make that first milestone?
  • What current opportunities are available to you?
    Achieving those first small goals will be easier if you identify your current opportunities. Is there some training you could complete to gain new skills? There might be a problem at work you know how to solve that could demonstrate your technical or leadership skills. Acquire skills and experiences that show decision makers that you are ready for the next step.
  • What support system do you have in place?
    Identify who is in your corner. Share your plan with your spouse or another close friend/family member whose opinion you trust. There is likely someone in your organization that has the skills you want to learn or knows what steps you need to take to advance. Ask if they are willing to teach you a new process. You may even gain a valuable mentor. The support of people you trust can go a long way toward achieving your goals.

Answering these questions can help you outline your plan and determine what you need to do next to move forward along your career path. Maybe you have a clear path at your current workplace and the support of your employer. Do you have the skills to reach the next level of responsibility? Work on building those skills with online courses, requesting additional training at work and finding a mentor that has the skills you’d like to build.

If you don’t feel like you can meet your goals in your current organization, still build your skills and look for new learning experiences. Take on other opportunities at work that show your ability to handle more responsibility and leadership. Those experiences will help bolster your resume so you will be well prepared when it is time to make a change.

Consulting with a recruiter can be a great way to start building a career path that stretches beyond your current workplace. The right recruiter/career coach can give you advice on how to build a value proposition that will take you further down the path to your ultimate goal. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you reach your career goals.