Career Path

Definition

The term used to describe the historical sequence of jobs or positions held over one's working life is career path.  The term can also be used to describe the logical progression of future jobs that an employee strives to hold in order to meet their long-term career objectives.

Explanation

In today's work environment, the employee, their manager, and a member of the human resources department will often work together to develop a career path for an employee.  Ultimately, the employee is responsible for making sure they have a career path that enables them to achieve their workplace goals.

Creating a career path or plan consists of three steps:

  • Personal Assessment:  understanding past accomplishments, strengths, weaknesses, as well as future career objectives.
  • Planning:  alignment of long term career aspirations balanced with non-work objectives, geography / location of jobs, compensation, responsibilities. Plans are needed to ensure objectives are realized.
  • Check:  it's important to assess plans over time, making sure the long term direction remains aligned with changing aspirations.

Related Terms

career assessment, career objectivecareer coach, career counselor, career planning, resignation letter, job shadowing, job sharing, Occupational Outlook Handbook, placement test, talent management