What is Career path? | Meaning & Definition | Akrivia HCM

It is a sequence of various jobs that can prepare you for higher-level positions and give you valuable experience and skills to pursue a different career. An employee’s career path can benefit both the employee and the employer, as long as both are engaged in a long-term relationship. This improves not only employee morale but employee profitability as well.

Different types of career paths:

  • Vertical career paths: vertical career paths usually include promotions to higher-level positions and lateral movement to lower-level positions, depending on an individual’s desire for increased or decreased responsibility and time commitment.
  • Horizontal Career paths: Horizontal career paths allow people to move within, between, or among industries, depending on their desire to learn new skills or have different experiences.

How can companies create career paths for employees?

A career path can be planned in two ways:

1. Career mapping: Career mapping describes how an employee’s career goals can be aligned with the organization and be met. The map should include how each position contributes to an individual’s professional development and future career objectives, with progression criteria for each step.
2. Conventional career ladder strategies: Conventional career ladder strategies are used when employees are expected to reach certain levels based on their tenure with the organization.

Why do companies create career paths?

Career paths are one of the most important aspects of any organization’s long-term workforce strategy. They help define the types of available jobs, set consistent expectations for employee development, and create clear pathways for career growth. When implemented with a solid strategy, organizations can count on competitive advantage in attracting the best talent and retaining them for the long term.

What are the differences between vertical and horizontal career paths?

A horizontal career path moves in-depth of the same job title, while a vertical career path is more of a promotion. Sometimes companies choose the employee to decide which direction they would like to go, that is up or down. This can depend on the company, management, and job position.

What's the best way to manage and create career paths for employees?

The best way to create and manage a career path program is with an all-inclusive software solution. This solution helps you manage career paths throughout the employee lifecycle, provide performance feedback, and ultimately conclude with decision-making regarding job titles and compensation. With better process management and role clarity, employees will feel confident about their professional development, and your organization will gain valuable insights to improve its overall performance.

Would you be able to change your career path? If so, how would you do it?

Employees can change their career path by changing their job role or moving up vertically. Employees can approach their manager, who may move them across horizontally into another department. They can also approach the organization directly through career fairs or presentations from field managers.

What are the different career paths?

Different career paths allow senior employees to pursue different professional opportunities within the same company. For example, career paths could include: job redesign, job rotation, dual career ladders, horizontal career paths, accelerated and “dialed down” career paths, and encore career paths.

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