Are you unclear about the direction of your career and current job role — and do you expect your boss to figure that out for you?
If so, I have a different perspective to share. Let me show you how to take your future into your own hands through Career Pathing.
What is Career Pathing? You’ve certainly heard the terms Career Mapping, or Career Planning. While these all mean similar things, I love the word path because being on a path implies context, growth, and evaluation along the way. Mapping and planning both tend to occur at the beginning of the journey, and only when you get lost do you reevaluate your original route. Career Pathing is a way for you to think about how you will gain the skills, experience, and expertise to grow toward a particular role or responsibility. It focuses on the bigger picture while also identifying the tangible, day-to-day steps that lead to that vision.
While there are bosses and managers who do a good job helping employees with this, my experience is that leaders typically neglect this work because they over-value reacting to client or company demands.
Although a company’s performance is tied to how well it develops its people, only a few visionary companies make development a priority. It’s up to you to make it happen on your own.
What does that look like?
- Identify where you want to go. If thinking 5-10 years down the line is too hard, make it a shorter time frame, like 1-3 years. Oftentimes our clients aren’t exactly sure what role they want to grow into. Or they may have an idea but don’t have any context for it – they don’t know what they don’t know. Having conversations and doing research can help you get clearer. Here are some quick, simple ways to do that.
- List your goals for the next three months, six months, nine months, and 12 months. These should align with the bigger vision of where you want to go.
- Identify the skills you need to develop for those goals.
- Identify the behaviors you need to develop for those goals.
- If relevant, check in with your manager/boss/HR leader to get feedback and buy-in.
- Check in on your plan regularly, so you can adjust it as needed.
Here is a form to help you track that information.
Creative Executives want to grow. We want new challenges. We want to make our mark on the work we do, the companies we are dedicated to, and our own personal lives.
Take ownership of your career development. I promise, you’re worth it.