Career path frameworks structure the future needs of the business and create growth opportunities for employees.
Career path frameworks identify job roles and job families allowing employees to fit within roles of the company rather than job descriptions. These frameworks create growth pathways needed now and in the future for the business.
Employees are able to see their role in the company rather than work within the confines of an individual job description. According to Mercer’s Career Frameworks in Talent Management survey, 76% of organizations using career frameworks saw enhanced employee engagement and talent development.
Developing a career path framework will set you up for your best year. Work with your supervisor or human resources staff to chart your course within the company you work for.
Along the way you may need to develop new skills. Pursue employee development options. Don’t be afraid to ask to work with a mentor or receive coaching from your supervisors. Understand that you may need to move laterally, work in different departments, and take on new job responsibilities along the way.
Remember, you are creating your career path framework. To reach your career goals, you may need to take several jobs along the way to develop new skills. You may also need to change companies. Recognize that your career path framework is the roadmap to get where you want to be.
To develop a career path framework, follow these 4 steps.
- Identify your passion and core values. This seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many of my clients have never spent the time to identify what their passion or core values are – how can you set goals that do not align with who you are and what you stand for? Being successful in your career is impossible if it conflicts with your core values.
Imagine that there are no obstacles in your way – what would you do? What really matters to you? Look at your past. Can you identify the decisions that have guided you to where you are now? Chances are those align with your passions. For example, maybe you were an avid outdoor diva as a kid. You explored the natural world, picked wildflowers, and marveled at the way plants established themselves on the side of rocky cliffs. Consciously, or unconsciously, you find yourself at university studying biochemistry to learn how micronutrients from wild foods fuel our bodies.
Chances are really good that your passion will help you identify your core values. List 10 core values. What is your foundation? Your core values motivate you. Continuing with the example above, your core values might be sustainability, authenticity, and simplicity. Now think about how sustainability or living authentically motivates you to do the things you do.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Now that you’ve identified your passion and core values, you can set goals. Use the acronym S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. S.M.A.R.T. goals create a roadmap to your final career destination. Your ultimate goal is your final “Ahh, I’ve made it!” To get there, you’ll need lots of smaller, but distinctive goals. Be as specific as possible and make sure you can identify when you’ve achieved each milestone. Setting a goal to be a creative thinker cannot be measured. Instead, set the goal of finding one creative solution to a very specific problem by the end of the month. This can be measured – it is specific, achievable, and time based. I purposely left out “relevant” so that I can really make a point about relevancy.
Does finding a creative solution to this specific problem align with your career goals? No? Then it’s not relevant. Skip it and move on.
When you develop your goals, don’t underestimate relevancy! You will lose your motivation if you chase non-relevant goals.
- Put it in writing! Study after study shows that when you write down your goals, you’re more likely to stick with them. An often-cited 1979 Harvard study followed a graduating class where 3% of the graduates had written goals, 13% had goals but those were not in writing, and 83% had no goals. In 10 years, the 3% with written goals had a higher net worth and earned 10 times as much as all the others combined.
People with clear written goals are more likely to succeed.
If you’re already working in a company and your career path aligns with the company you’re working for, share your goals with your supervisor or human resources department. Put it in writing and use the written document as your roadmap.
- Own your career path framework. What does this mean? It means you have to do the work. Take responsibility for your future. Here are few tips to help you own your career path framework:
- Find a mentor.
- Apply for internal job openings or jobs at other companies that align with your stated S.M.A.R.T. goals.
- Develop the skills and experience you need to succeed.
No one will care as much as you do about whether you succeed or fail. Own it!
Developing your career path framework sets you up for success. Carve out time in your weekly schedule to set this in motion. Make 2021 your year!
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