Career pathing

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(Redirected from Career path)

Career pathing - were developed by companies as a result of constantly changing the strength of supply and demand, decreasing pools of workforce with strong qualifications and various alternative career directions for employees. Paving career paths are designed to facilitate their recruitment and increase productivity by helping employees move to the professions that suit them best.

In particular, the career path applies the growth and implementation of processes and resources designed to constantly help people achieve their most significant and satisfactory contributions throughout their careers. At the individual level, career paths take into account the planned and unplanned sequence of employee professional positions over time[1].

Career pathing concepts

We know four different concepts that shape the structure of a career program[2]:

  • depth - one of the first questions about depth-focused programs is: what are the final goals? It's about how these career paths are defined and how many are there, how you want the team to grow. A good place to start the path definition process is to determine if technical or managerial paths are appropriate,
  • breadth - it's about the scope that has been presented in the career path, so that it reaches as many people as possible and covers enough issues to cover the topic,
  • clarity - it is equally important to ponder how a career-imitating program is presented to employees, as a good structural model is needed. Career programs must be submitted in such a way that they are not interpreted as free training that can be transferred to another firm,
  • flexibility - this aspect is very often neglected, as well as the way of embedding in the design. It should be remembered that the organizational structure is changing, discretionary expenses are reduced, and often irrelevant programs are eliminated.

In this way, the leader applies these basic concepts to career paths, thanks to which his program is unique and adapted to both the individual leader and the organization.

Effects of career pathing on occupational identity

Career paths should encourage employees to develop a strong sense of professional identity because they convey key, role-related information that employees need to accurately interpret their roles and perform their tasks effectively. Formal career paths layout the content of an occupational role by including the needful qualifications, critical job experiences, and competencies associated with each position within the organization.

Career paths also convey the standards and expectations of employees, which is why career paths probably improve the transparency of roles and increase the sense of identity of professional roles by employees.In addition, career paths explain the relational boundaries and differences between positions, which should help employees improve and define their professional identity in relation to the identities associated with other positions[3].

Examples of Career pathing

  • Mentoring Programs: These programs are designed to help employees develop their skills and knowledge by connecting them with experienced professionals in their respective fields. Mentors provide guidance to the employees and offer advice on career growth and development.
  • Training and Development: Companies often provide employees with access to specialized training and development opportunities to help them gain new skills and knowledge. These programs are designed to provide employees with the necessary resources and tools to help them progress in their careers.
  • Promotional Opportunities: Companies may offer employees promotional opportunities as they gain experience and expertise in their field. These promotions often come with increased responsibilities and authority, helping the employee to advance their career.
  • Flexible Scheduling: Many companies offer employees flexible scheduling options to help them balance their work and personal lives. This can include job share arrangements, flexible hours, and part-time or remote working opportunities.
  • Job Rotations: Job rotations are often used to help employees gain experience in different roles and functions within the organization. This gives employees the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in different areas and can help them move up the career ladder.

Advantages of Career pathing

Career pathing is a tool used by companies to help employees move to the professions that suit them best and increase productivity. There are several advantages to this approach, including:

  • Increased employee engagement and motivation: When employees have a clear path to follow, they feel more engaged with the company and more motivated to reach their goals.
  • Improved retention and loyalty: By providing employees with career paths, companies help them stay longer and become more loyal to the organization.
  • Greater job satisfaction: When employees understand their potential career paths, they can make informed decisions about their futures and find greater satisfaction in their roles.
  • Improved recruitment and training: With career pathing, it is easier for companies to identify the skills needed for certain roles and to provide training for current and future employees.
  • Higher productivity: By mapping out potential paths for employees, companies can improve performance, as employees are more likely to be in the right roles and be productive.

Limitations of Career pathing

Career pathing can be an effective tool for companies to attract, retain, and develop their employees, however, there are some limitations to consider. These limitations include:

  • Not all employees will be interested in career pathing - Some employees may be happy to stay in the same position and lack the motivation to take on a new challenge.
  • Career pathing may not be suitable for all organizations - Different organizations may have different needs and not all organizations may benefit from career pathing.
  • Career pathing may require additional time and resources - Companies may need to invest additional time and resources in order to provide employees with the necessary training and support to pursue a new career path.
  • Career pathing may create a sense of entitlement - Employees may feel entitled to promotions and raises if they pursue a career path, which can lead to an unhealthy workplace dynamic.
  • Career pathing may limit options - Employees may be limited to the options they have available to them based on the career paths that have been established.

Other approaches related to Career pathing

In addition to career pathing, there are other approaches to promote the career development of employees. These include:

  • Career Coaching - This involves providing guidance and advice to employees on their career goals and aspirations, helping them to identify and develop their skills in order to progress in their chosen field.
  • Career Management - This approach involves taking a proactive stance on managing an employee's career, setting goals and objectives, and providing feedback on performance.
  • Skills Mapping - This approach involves mapping an employee's current skills and abilities against the skills and abilities required for a particular job or role. This helps to identify any gaps in skills and provides a plan for the employee to develop and improve those skills.
  • Mentoring - This is when an experienced senior employee provides guidance and advice to an employee on a less experienced level.

In summary, these approaches are aimed at helping employees to identify and develop their skills, set career goals and objectives, and actively manage their career path. By providing employees with the resources and support they need to progress in their career, employers can ensure that their employees are engaged and motivated to perform at their best.


  1. Brown S. D., Lent R. W., (2012), pg. 26
  2. Lane D., (2011), pg. 37-40
  3. Black K., Warhurst R., Corlett S., (2017), pg. 88-89

Career pathingrecommended articles
Promotion policySkills transferAdaptation processInternal trainingAdaptation of workersStrategic human resource managementEmployability skillsEmployment historyInternal transfers


Author: Oliwia Książek