Career mapping has been around for a while, but looks a bit different nowadays as traditionally career maps were created by employers.
However today, you’re empowered to own your career.
In this article, I’ll be covering what is career mapping and how to create a career map. Let’s get started!
What is Career Mapping?
Career Mapping is the process of evaluating the current state of your career compared to its desired state, then planning out the action steps necessary to achieve your ultimate career goals.
There are many types of career maps. Including a career map created by your employer and the career roadmap you create for yourself.
Ultimately, career mapping requires constant updating and detours as no career journey is a straightforward path.
What Is the Difference Between a Career Path and a Career Map?
Career paths and career maps are similar and are often used interchangeably as terms.
But if there is a real difference between the two, it would be that career paths are a bit less specific than career maps.
Because career maps take skills, networking, and other things you actually need to do to reach your goals into account.
While career paths are usually just a simple list of promotions you’ll need to journey up the career ladder.
Why Is a Career Map Important?
Career Mapping can come with a wide variety of benefits, ranging from small to large.
For instance, career mapping can be an excellent way to keep track of your progress in a more visual way.
And therefore, a way to see how far you’ve come.
Or it could be used as a tool to impress potential employers when you’re doing job interviews.
And career mapping can even aid you in making important decisions about your work.
Whether or not to switch companies, pivot to targeting a different position, etc.
How To Create A Career Map
So now that we’ve covered some of the basic information surrounding career mapping, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to create a career map.
1. The Starting Point
Of course, the first thing you must add to your career map is your current career status.
Where you’re working at the moment, what your position is there, what your skills are, etc.
This should be the easiest part of the entire process, making it easy to get started.
2. The Destination
It’s usually counterintuitive to skip to the end of something before you tackle the middle parts, but in this case, it’s exactly what you should do!
You’ll worry about everything in between in the next step, but for right now, you simply need to write down your dreams for the future.
Where would you like to work eventually, what position would you like to have, etc?
In other words, this part of career mapping is all about your imagination and your biggest goals.
The one thing you should remember while mapping out your destination is that it shouldn’t be set in stone.
You may decide at some point down the line that your most important goals have shifted, and that’s completely normal!
So don’t put too much pressure on yourself during this step.
3. The In-Between
This is the final, and hardest, step of career mapping.
To complete it, you must figure out how to get from your starting point to your destination.
Start by listing out each promotion, potential company change, or other major transition that you’ll need to achieve to reach your final goal.
Depending on what your final goal is, there could be just a few steps along the way or a lot of them.
But make sure to write them all down.
And once you’ve done that, you can start strategizing exactly how you’ll reach each step.
List what you think you’ll need below each step of your career map, and then you’re done! For now at least…
As I mentioned before, your goals and your needs might change over time. So your career map might be something that you revisit and revise regularly.
Therefore, as this article by Forbes states, career detours can benefit you!
Getting Started With Your Career Roadmap
As I’m sure you’ve learned throughout this article, career mapping is a great way to strategize for your future career.
And while it may take a little time to complete, it’s worth it in the long run.
To help you get started with career mapping, check out our Free Career Development Center!
Once subscribed, you get access to dozens of free professional development guides and templates.
Remember to be patient with your career growth. Things will happen over time, not overnight.
Over To You
What are some steps that you will add to your career map? I’d love to hear about some of your goals in the comments at @netwerkmovement.com.
And make sure to share this post with anyone you think would find it helpful or informative.