A Complete Guide to Create Your Own Career Path

A Complete Guide to Create Your Own Career Path

Two conventional ways for a person to advance inside a company are via career pathways and career ladders. A career ladder is a progression of employment within a company’s distinct professional sectors, ordered from top to lowest according to responsibility and salary levels. The term “career path” refers to a variety of professional advancement methods, such as the conventional vertical career ladder, dual career ladder, horizontal career lattice, career advancement outside the business, and encore careers.

In general, employees are more engaged when they feel that their employer cares about their professional development and offers ways for them to accomplish their objectives while upholding the company’s vision. A career path gives workers a continuous way to improve their abilities, which may result in advancement, promotions, and changes to their existing employment. By enhancing morale, career satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and responsiveness in reaching departmental and corporate goals, the implementation of career pathways may also have a direct influence on the whole company. In this article, we will look at how employers can create a food career path for their businesses and employees. 

What is a Career Path? 

The succession of different occupations and job functions that an individual fills as they advance in one or more businesses throughout their career is known as a career path. It mostly refers to a person’s entire career progression or trajectory inside an organization or organization. In addition to moving vertically, a person may also migrate laterally or cross-functionally to transition to a new kind of employment position. The terms career ladder and professional path are interchangeable.

To provide workers a realistic view of their position in the years to come and keep them on board, the majority of successful organizations lay out a career path or career ladder for them. The individual and the organization may collaborate to identify areas where pertinent training is needed for the employee to enhance his abilities to meet future job needs after they have a clear understanding of future roles and job duties.

The Importance of a Career Path

A career path is a chance to accomplish overall, good professional growth in addition to being a list of roles one has. A career path offers a variety of alternatives, like in the example below. The choices you make will affect how far your career develops. You may advance to higher positions by making wise and educated judgments, and vice versa. The choices and effort made by a person determine their professional path.

The company should make efforts to enable its personnel to pursue their desired career paths. A thorough work analysis should be conducted to ensure that employees are happy and advance inside the firm rather than leaving in quest of a better career path. A worker must also continuously learn new skills such as teamwork, leadership, time management, and communication management. These people management abilities enable a person to advance within a company and to be highly motivated at work.

What is a Framework for Professional Progression?

Roles and duties within a corporation are outlined in a career progression framework (or career development framework), which also shows the positions team members may advance to. Employees get an overview of the abilities and performance necessary to succeed in a promotion from the framework.

The majority of workers value the chance to learn and develop, which is why career development is the second most significant factor in employee engagement. They provide managers with a foundation upon which to fairly assess their team members during career development discussions, feedback sessions, and performance evaluations.

‍Why Should Your Company Use Career Advancement Frameworks?

Career progression prospects are more essential than income (57%), ranking first (61%) on the list of the top considerations for job seekers. Employees who “stagnate” at a firm are far more likely to depart.

If their present work doesn’t provide them with prospects for professional advancement, your employees may seek elsewhere. This is a concern for companies as well since replacing a leaving employee might cost as much as double their yearly compensation due to training expenditures, lost productivity, and recruitment costs.

Employee retention will be boosted by providing them with chances to advance, which will inspire them to pick up new skills and do well in their existing roles. It is a good idea to control employee career progression via a structured framework; this may help remove prejudice when conducting pay evaluations or talking about promotions, and it enables your staff to know what they need to accomplish to go forward.

But developing a strong foundation for professional growth isn’t always simple. There are several things to consider, such as what kind of structure to use. How should the framework be developed and presented to your team? Implementing a new career progression framework is a big endeavor that involves everything from defining job titles to figuring out remuneration. But don’t worry; this playbook will guide you through the procedure.

How to Create Your Own Career Path

Follow this step to create your career path. 

Revisit your Organizational Structure First, if you don’t already have one, make one. Assuming you have one, ensure it is current. An organizational chart is a graphic that outlines the structure of your business. The hierarchy and connections are shown graphically. Your business could be organized traditionally, flatly, or in any other way.

Second, match your organizational chart to your company strategy. Do you plan to introduce new goods and services? Do you intend to enter new markets? You may need to create new departments, teams, or jobs.

  1. Clarify Job Positions

Now that you have an organizational chart, start by listing the main duties for each job description. Add the necessary education, credentials, and hard/soft skills after that.

Be meticulous and specific. To be sure you haven’t overlooked any competencies, look at the most recent tasks that were finished. Include the KPIs specific to each role as well. How would you quantify success? Think about the top performers in each position. What characteristics, for instance, contribute to their effectiveness?

The job profiling exercise may determine if a job description fits within a career cluster. Career clusters, also known as work families, are collections of employment with shared traits or qualities.

  1. Keep an Eye on a Road Plan for Every Skills Track 

Now that your work roles have been established, it’s time to consider the broader picture. Make a professional or departmental road plan for each team, department, or company function. How does a new hire go through the ranks of a company? Which horizontal movements are required? What accommodations can you make for various personality types?

An entry-level role in the HR job family, for instance, maybe an HR assistant. Before becoming a CHRO, an employee may have positions as a benefits expert, recruiter, and assistant director of Human Resources.

Remember that there won’t be a single route leading from each position to an advanced role. You may have many more career options if you don’t have highly specialized work positions. This might be a terrific asset and aid each individual in discovering the precise profession that suits them. Numerous will include one or more lateral movements.

  1. Determine Your Training Needs

Assessing if you can bring workers along the route is the next stage. Documenting the current internal and external training programs should come first.

  • With the tools you have, can your staff climb the corporate ladder?
  • Is peer or leadership mentoring a significant aspect of your culture?
  • Do you provide ongoing training?
  • Go through the exit interviews. Why do workers leave your business?
  • Take a staff survey. What kind of training are they looking for?
  • Which divisions employ people internally? Which divisions employ outsiders?
  1. Design Programs for Training and Development 

Clearly, this phase will demand the greatest time and money if you haven’t made a significant investment in training. The actionable component of your career path program is this. Determine requirements and plan an implementation schedule. Of course, to promote professional growth, you may have to disturb the current quo. However, it is the entire idea!

Integrate your company strategy with your vertical expansion initiatives. You may include it in your budget when it is finished. If you are successful, you will establish a “coaching culture,” as described by Gallup. This is what distinguishes outstanding businesses.

  1. Document Your Career Path

Let’s recap. You ought to have the following at this point:

  • Structure Chart
  • job role descriptions
  • Maps/Career Paths for Mentors
  • Training Routines
  1. Show the Career Paths of Each Employee 

Your Career Paths Program may now be put to use. You will carry out this task for recruits during onboarding. Additionally, supervisors will do these actions with current workers during performance evaluations.

Managers should talk about the employee’s short- and long-term objectives and expectations during the career mapping discussion. Therefore, if your managers don’t discuss career options with their subordinates, you’ll need to teach them. Managers should evaluate employees’ performance and talk about the future order of their tasks. Ensure that your supervisors set out time for regular training. Include the employee’s files with the career opportunity and career plan.

The Ultimate Playbook to Create Your Career Framework

Utilize these eight stages to create your own framework for career advancement, allowing organizational growth and personnel development.

‍1. Examine your Present System for Professional Advancement 

If you currently have a career development framework, the first step is to assess it. It’s possible that your structured system of levels doesn’t meet your needs. Or maybe you operate under a haphazard system where promotions are decided upon at random.

Think about it:

  • Why do we think we need a new framework for career progression?
  • What aspects of our existing framework are effective and which are not?
  • Do our staff understand what it takes to succeed in the company?
  • What should be altered?
  1. Establish Objectives for your new Professional Development Framework 

Setting objectives for your new framework is the next step. To gauge your progress during the process, set benchmarks against these objectives.

Think about it:

  • What goals do we have for our new career advancement framework that are the most crucial?‍(these may be staff motivation; higher objectivity; decreased turnover; fairer remuneration equalization) (these can be employee motivation; greater objectivity; lower turnover; fairer compensation leveling)
  • How can we check these measures to see whether we are succeeding in our objectives?
  • What kind of structure will best enable us to accomplish these objectives?
  1. Schedule Time and Allocate Responsibility for the Project 

It’s time to officially commit to the project after the first two phases are complete. This entails blocking off time, establishing precise due dates, and designating one or more project owners.

This kind of project planning will increase the likelihood of long-term success. This is essential since developing a framework for career growth takes time. Ideally, you should emerge with a strong vision that will endure.

  1. Choose if Your Frameworks will be Broad or Team-specific 

You must choose whether to utilize the same overarching framework for career development for each of your teams or to develop unique frameworks for every team.

Naturally, each team has unique job needs, thus some businesses could opt to employ a variety of frameworks. However, there are benefits to using a uniform structure everywhere: You’ll speed up the procedure, save time, and set everyone’s expectations in line.

You may modify each team’s framework somewhat to reflect the specifics of their position, even if you use one common framework as a model.

  1. Select the Operation of Your “Levels”

Choosing how many layers your structure should have is the next stage. Will you strictly adhere to the Junior > Mid > Senior > Team Lead > Director > VP hierarchy for non-IC teams? Or will your hierarchy have more or fewer levels?

Here, there are several things to consider. Increasing the number of levels allows workers to advance. This is true only if each level has genuine significance, however. Employees won’t be as driven to grow if changing jobs appears solely symbolic. Aim to strike a balance between the number of levels and the requirements for each function.

In a similar vein, you need to come up with inspiring job descriptions that truly depict the positions they refer to. Think about your organizational culture and industry norms while creating job names. Keep in mind that both internal stakeholders and external parties (customers, partners, etc.) must be able to understand the job names.

You can think about providing distinct career paths for your company’s people managers and individual contributors. For instance, an “Associate Consultant” in sales would have the option of moving up to the position of “Consultant” or “Sales Team Lead.”

This is due to the possibility that you have high-performing workers who want to hone their abilities but may not necessarily succeed in a people management role. These workers are just as important to your success as managers, therefore they need to be given the chance to progress without being put in a job they’re not qualified for.

  1. Select the Skills Necessary to Advance to the Next Level 

The abilities that workers must possess to advance to the next level must be determined once you’ve outlined a set of levels for your career progression framework. When improving your abilities, we advise adhering to the MECE concept (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive). This implies that the competencies you choose should include all conceivable job-related talents, without duplication or excessive similarity.

You should put more emphasis on general expectations for accomplishment and abilities rather than job-specific competencies if you’re designing a consistent framework for all of your teams. Although you may subsequently add certain job-related talents, avoid including too many hyper-specific ones. Make sure the skills you choose apply to the position.

You could choose to settle on an average length of time that should be anticipated to elapse before proceeding to the next step throughout this procedure. This doesn’t have to apply to every employee since some could progress quickly while others might take longer to mature. However, you should have a rough idea of a schedule in mind to prevent staff stagnation.

  1. Select the Pay Ranges for Each Position 

It’s time to put the finishing touches on your career advancement framework by allocating pay to each job.

The organizational structure and size of a company may have a significant impact on compensation amongst businesses in the same sector. However, while determining remuneration, you should take the market rate into account.

Additionally, you may want to take into account things like staff performance and location. To prevent prejudice, try to maintain uniformity in the pay scales. However, to allow for some flexibility, each level should have an upper and lower limit.

  1. Present Your Strategy for Career Growth 

It’s time to introduce your career advancement framework to your teams after you’ve worked out all the kinks. You’ll need to determine how your present personnel fit within the framework, which may make this process challenging. This is where you’ll need managers’ assistance to make sure each employee is fairly evaluated.

Make sure your management and staff are aware of the framework’s development, implementation, and operation when you introduce them to it. An all-hands meeting or company-wide message may be used for the first announcement, which can be followed by one-on-one meetings to go through details.

Here, it’s important to make sure that everyone has a clear understanding of the framework and that any modifications to salaries or job descriptions are correct and equitable.


It’s never too early to consider your job options. Also, it’s never too late! Making a career path is the ideal initial step if you’re enthusiastic about developing your professional career. A career framework on the other hand allows you to build your firm while advancing the career and knowledge of your workers. Additionally, career literature may teach you more about possible job routes. Analyze your present knowledge, interests, and experience to start. After that, consider your desired profession. The phases in your career path will be the positions and abilities you need to acquire to advance from your present position to your ideal function.


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