Determining a Career Path and Roadmap

Career Road Map

When I was working as a headhunter one of the key questions I would ask an employer when taking a job order was what is the “Road Map” or “Career Path” of this role?

If my candidate takes this role when can they be considered for promotion?

What are the next steps in the role? What opportunities will he have in 1,2,3,5 or even 10 years down the road.

If you are interviewing for a position, this is a question you need to ask.

I have asked these questions to hiring managers when taking a job order with extremely varying answers.

Sometimes they spell it out very well.

“The reason this position has become available is that we promoted the person who was in it to manager and if he does well he can be promoted to Assistant Director and then Director.”

If you do well you could be a manager in a couple of years and on the same career path”

Sometimes it is not spelled out so well.

You ask: “what is the Career Path of this role?”

And the answer you receive is: “ I have several programmers who work for us and some have been with us for 20 years. This is a very stable company with lots of opportunities.”

What they are basically saying is there is no career path in this role. Which may be fine for maybe you are not looking for one. You have a skill, and you like doing it and do not see yourself as a Manager or a Director or Vice President someday.

But is you do aspire for a career path that moves you up to higher and higher levels in your career, somewhere in the interviewing process you need to ask “what is the career path of the job”.

What if you are already in a job and wondering what it will take to be promoted or to move to that next step and what the long-term future for you is at this company?

The first thing to do is take a personal assessment of what your career goals are.

Do I want to be a Manager, or Director or Vice President, or President or CEO

And if so does the company I work for have that possibility.

Here is what I would do.

Write down what your current job is. Title and duties or what you do.

Then write up what job you hope to be doing in 1 year. Also with a Title and duties.

Then 2 years, and 5 years and even 10 years.

Now evaluate the current company you are in and see if you can see yourself doing these roles 1, 2, 3,5 and 10 years down the road.

If not it’s OK. Maybe the opportunity in this company will only get you to Manager and after 3 years that will be as far as you go.

Does that mean you need to immediately start looking for a new position?

Not necessarily, but it does mean if you hope to move up the corporate ladder within 3 years you will need to find another role.

But at least now you have a plan and a Career Path and Roadmap on how to get there!