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The Best Career Pathing Guide for 2024: What? How? Why? + Sample Career Path Template

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Did you know that almost three out of four employees are not confident about their career pathing in their current organization? According to a Gartner study, only 25% of employees are happy about their career path at their current organization, and they are leaving for better employee development plans.

It was different back in the day. People chose a profession and did it for their whole lives without complaining. But with the rise of multigenerational workforces with Gen-Z and millennials, we are not bound to do the profession we pick at the age of 18.

If you want to keep up with the modern age of business, you need to learn and implement employee career pathing in your organization or career. The potential that your employees have can only come out if you’re actively encouraging career pathing and individual development.

So, whether you’re an employee trying to figure out your next steps, or a manager who wants to retain their employees, this article is for you.

Before we start…

Career pathing is closely associated with a sturdy performance management system combined with employee engagement and appreciation. If you want your employees to thrive in their roles and grow professionally, you need an all-in-one solution that will help you along the way.

Luckily, Teamflect is here and ready! With its seamless Microsoft Teams integration and amazing features from goal tracking to employee recognition, Teamflect can be the right tool for you. If you’re interested…

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What is career pathing?

The first step of practicing an effective career pathing is defining the career pathing process. Career pathing is more than just a buzzword; it’s a strategic approach to talent development. You should craft a well-defined route that aligns with your skills, interests, and aspirations.

Career Pathing Definition

We can define career pathing as the alignment of an employee’s career growth with your organization. Career development is not necessarily linear and an employee could change the trajectory of their career to something new with career pathing.

Think of the current position of an employee as the starting point of a bus. Career pathing includes all the stops the bus takes en route. Some stops will be closer than others, and some will be harder to reach. That’s what makes career roadmaps so unique: they always vary from employee to employee.

A career pathing plan includes working on employees’ career directions based on vertical, lateral and crossfunctional roles. You don’t just go up in the stairs of career management: sometimes you change roles and start in a different point, or just take another responsibility in the same level.

A small note: career pathing should be driven by the employee’s skills, interests and career objectives, not the opposite!

career development statistics

Career pathing best practices

If you want to implement a career pathing program in your organization and help your employees grow in and outside of their roles, you need a framework of career pathing best practices.

1. Think about personal strengths, skills, and interests

A successful career pathing strategy begins with a deep and honest assessment of an employee’s personal strengths, skills, and interests. Career roadmaps are as personal as it gets, and they should be tailored for the employee specifically.

The most effective career paths often lie at the intersection of the employee’s strengths, skills, and interests. Decide on areas where these three elements overlap to pinpoint roles and industries that resonate with your employee’s authenticity.

2. Set both short-term and long-term goals

Career pathing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It defines the long-term development and growth of your employee and you need both short-term and long-term goals to help them reach every step along the way.

Setting these goals will create the basis of the roadmap for your employee’s professional journey and guide their actions toward achieving the outcomes they desire.

Short-term goals typically cover a span of one to three years and serve as stepping stones toward your employee’s long-term aspirations. The most important thing to consider while setting short-term goals is setting SMART goals.

Long-term career goals extend beyond the immediate future, often spanning five to ten years or more. These goals create a broader perspective on where the employee wants their career to lead over an extended period of time. It is the ultimate goal to reach most of the time.

how to practice career pathing

3. Create opportunities for development

As a manager, you can’t just say “I’m rooting for your development! Yay!” and get away with it. You should provide your employees with the necessary career pathing tools, resources, and opportunities.

You can offer online courses, implement a learning management system, or organize workshops to help your employees thrive in their career paths.

Continuous learning and development is the key to an effective career strategy -and your employees care about it. According to a study done by ClearCo., 94% of employees suggested they would stay longer at an organization if they invested in their careers! So, we recommend to not be stingy and invest in those L&D offers.

How to create a career map?

1. Assess yourself for starters

You have three questions to answer when you begin to create a career map:

  • What have you achieved in your current role?
  • Where are you now?
  • What do you need to improve or add to reach where you are headed?

You should begin by acknowledging your strengths—those qualities and skills that come naturally to you and set you apart. Reflect on past achievements and moments when you excelled in your personal or professional life.

Confronting your weaknesses is equally important. Your weaknesses are areas where you might lack proficiency or face challenges.

Consider seeking opportunities to address these weaknesses, whether through training, mentorship, or targeted learning experiences.

2. Research industries and job trends

As you continue to refine your career mapping strategy, a crucial step is conducting thorough research into industries and job trends. If you don’t want to stay in the same department or position for a long time, you need to know about the newly evolving sectors and understand the demands of the job market.

Research industries that are associated with your interests and skills. Examine current job market trends to find roles that are in high demand.

Look at job boards, industry reports, and labor market analyses to understand which positions are experiencing growth. Look beyond the present and consider the future growth potential of different industries.

3. Assess potential career paths in your current organization

Some would say the best choice is the closest one to you! Or something like that. What we mean is, while exploring different career paths, it’s important to consider opportunities within your current organization.

It’s easier to talk about potential career changes in your current organization that knows and trusts your skills and professionalism rather than starting from zero. You can ask to take part in cross-functional teams, or request an interview for a job opening in your organization.

Who knows, maybe your boss also thinks that you’d be better on sales team!

steps of creating a career map

4. Develop new skills

It doesn’t matter if you are not interested in a job that requires new skills -you still need skill development to grow. The modern job market is so dynamic and competitive that it’s a battlefield out there. New skills relevant to your desired career will make you a better fit and accelerate the career mapping process.

Don’t be fooled by our phrasing of “new” skills: you can also improve your former skills if you need. Refer back to your self-assessment and career goals to detect these skill gaps, the areas where you lack proficiency or expertise in relation to your desired roles or industries.

5. Network, network, network!

If having the right skills and education for the job is the 50%, the other half is networking for sure. Our need to connect and socialize as humans is also valid in the professional landscape!

Networking not only helps you learn from others’ experiences but also opens doors to new opportunities, collaborations, and insights that can significantly impact your career journey.

Join workshops, congresses, meetings, online groups, discussions, channels related to your field of interest. Also, it’s a great idea to reach out to professionals you admire or those who hold positions you’re interested in. You can ask about their career paths, challenges, and advice.

6. Continue to learn

As the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti stated:

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

Especially in the age of Internet, with countless resources and high levels of accessibility, not one of us can argue that learning has a limit. You can always find more to learn, to achieve, and to understand. Find e-books, courses, certificates to gain and aim for continuous development.

5 Helpful Career Pathing Tools / Career Management Software

Now, let’s talk about how you can bring the career map you’ve created in life: with our selection of career pathing software! As you’ve read our article, you probably have noticed the importance of career pathing along the way.

Career management softwares are great tools that can help you build the career pathing you need to grow and develop professionally. We have picked 5 of the great tools out there for you:

1. Talentguard

career pathing software: TalentGuard

Although started as a comprehensive performance management software, Talentguard now specializes in talent development, succession planning, and career pathways.

Talentguard’s career pathing feature simplifies the strategic development of careers by mapping out personalized growth trajectories within the organization.

You can explore potential career routes within Talentguard’s career pathing module and set clear goals and aspirations to reach that career goal.

Through this feature, you can access information about various roles, skill requirements, and developmental milestones, helping you decide on your career progression.

Talentguard includes four bundles tailored to address different needs. Here are the features included in these bundles:

BundleKey Features
AutomateCreate Skill and Competency Profiles
Develop Job Descriptions
Map Learning to Skills and Competencies
Map Career Path Progressions
AssessCreate a Skills Inventory
Conduct Gap Analysis
EngageAssess Employee Skills and Competencies
Curate Personalized Employee Learning Paths
Recommend Employee Career Paths
Track Career Goals
OptimizeBuild Talent Pools
Measure Employee Performance
Track Employee Certifications
Conduct Multi-Rater Leadership Feedback

Pricing: Not Provided

2. Zavvy

career pathing software: Zavvy

Zavvy is another compact tool you can use for moving employees from role A to role B with career pathways based on data.

As we stated before, career pathing goes hand in hand with continuous development. Luckily, Zavvy comes with both a learning & development module and a career pathing module you can use together in once.

The most interesting feature of Zavvy could be the skills X-ray. With this module, you can analyze and assess your employees’ skills and help them acquire new skills and find skill gaps they need to fill. Also, you can use AI-based assessment for a fair and square reviewing.

The comprehensive features of Zavvy include:

  • Accounts & Permissions: Access Control, Approval Process Control, Role Based Permissions, Single Sign In
  • Customization: Custom Fields, Custom Forms, Customizable Branding, Customizable Reporting, Customizable Templates, Email Templates, Forms Management, Template Management
  • Scheduling & Planning: Activity Tracking, Automated Scheduling, Automatic Reminders, Calendar Management
  • L&D Features (Learning & Development): Asynchronous Learning, Blended Learning, Content Library, Gamification, Learning Management, Training Management
  • HR Features: Career Development Planning, Competency Management, Employee Onboarding, HR Management
  • Reporting Features: Attendance Reporting, Progress Tracking
  • Data Management Features: Document Management, Feedback Collection, Knowledge Base
  • Integration: API, Application Integration, Email Integration, Third-Party Integration
  • Monitoring Features: Configurable Workflow, Monitoring, Task Management, Workflow Management
  • Signalling & Screening: Skills Tracking, Status Tracking
  • Communication Management: Communication Management, Email Notifications, Real-Time Notifications
  • Interaction Features & UX: Activity Dashboard, Drag Drop Interface, Employee Self Service, New Employee Portal, Search Functionality, Self Service Portal
  • Reporting & Analytics: Engagement Analytics, Goal Setting Tracking, Surveys Feedback

Pricing: Not Provided

3. GrowthSpace

career pathing software: GrowthSpace

Although our next suggestion is not necessarily a career management software, it definitely has important and useful modules that will help you along the way. GrowthSpace is a platform where you can create mentorship programs, workshops, and courses for your employees.

You can’t expect to achieve having an effective career roadmap without that sweet old human-to-human employee development. GrowthSpace offers a collection of tools to emphasize people-oriented employee development solutions molded to fit your needs.

The features of GrowthSpace include:

CategoryFeatures
AnalyticsCurationProgram, ImpactAnalytics
ConfigureCustomizable Branding
ManagementManagement Tools, Dashboards & Reporting
ProgramIdentifying Participants, Match Creation
Training & eLearningSocial Learning
Platform ContentEmployee Development, Career Development
AdministrationScheduling
CoachingSession History, Messaging, Goal Tracking

Pricing: Not Provided

4. Juno Journey

career pathing software: juno journey

Juno Journey is another learning management system where you can create a company academy for your employees. Juno Journey offers the ability to monitor essential competencies and expertise required for employees to perform their roles productively.

Juno Journey also works great if you’re looking for a personalized learning experience platform for your own career pathing. The module includes upskilling and reskilling programs, budget management, and tools to measure impact.

The table below provides a concise overview of the pricing plans and the features included in each plan for Juno Journey.

Pricing PlansJuno LiteJuno LMSJuno LXP
Monthly Cost$0$10$25
Included FeaturesNo-code authoring tool & quizzesAll Juno Lite featuresDocument e-signing and storage
100s of content-rich templatesDocument e-signing and storageAutomations center
Internal content curation channelsAutomations centerExtensive integration capabilities
Document e-signing and storageExtensive integration capabilitiesCustomizable analytics dashboards
Learning reporting & analyticsCustomizable analytics dashboardsAccess to +1M courses
Access to +1M courses+120 content providers
+120 content providersCentralized budget management
Centralized budget managementPersonal content recommendations
Personal content recommendationsExternal content curation channels
External content curation channels– Skills analytics

5. PaddleHR

career pathing software: paddleHR

PaddleHR is the ultimate people&culture platform with features differing from career pathing, internal mobility, diversity & inclusion to internal hiring. With PaddleHR’s AI-driven career pathing, you can a answer all questions about your career and unique roles found within your organization.

PaddleHR offers career mapping for employees while allowing them to explore all possible internal career opportunities, and the skills they need to develop to get to those positions. The platform merges individual career goals with your organizational goals to create skill development plans.

Here are PaddleHR’s features:

  • Career Development
  • Dashboard
  • Employee Database
  • Employee Profiles
  • Goal Setting/Tracking
  • HR Metrics Library
  • Individual Development Plans
  • Performance Management
  • Recruitment Management
  • Succession Planning
  • Talent Management
  • Trend Analysis

Pricing: Not Provided

Free Sample Career Map Template

Last but not least, we have a free example of career pathing template you can use for your employees or yourself! With this simple but effective career mapping template, you can outline the basics of your career map and have a well-structured approach to career pathing.

Employee Career Roadmap

Since this free career pathing template contains broader job definitions and titles, you can almost use it for employees from any department. Download the free sample career roadmap for a headstart in your development.

Conclusion

In our comprehensive article on career pathing, we have provided you with valuable information by explaining what is career pathing and providing a career mapping template.

We’ve also listed the best career pathing software and offered you insights into tools that can streamline your career development journeys.

To create a solid career map for their employees, organizations can use career pathing software. Notable career pathing tools like Talentguard, Zavvy, GrowthSpace, Juno Journey, and PaddleHR offer features such as skills tracking, career mapping, and learning and development modules.

While building a career mapping and talent development strategy, these career pathing tools can act as invaluable companions by making sure that your organization and employees headed for success.

In addition to our career mapping template and software recommendations, we provided you with career pathing best practices to ensure that your organization can use this approach effectively.

Although Teamflect does not have a career management module for now, using it for your performance management needs, alongside the tool you choose from our list will become handy.

You can use Teamflect’s data-driven reports and performance review templates to focus on employee development. If you’re interested:

Written by Ezgi Cullu

Ezgi is a content writer and HR enthusiast working in Teamflect. Her goal is to provide creative uptakes on HR trends all over the world as a Gen-Z employee.

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