Career Mapping and Trajectory


A career trajectory is the path your jobs take as you move forward, backward or stay on an even keel during your working years. A career trajectory can look like an upside down “V,” a bell or a staircase, depending on how much planning and work you do to get to where you want. Waiting for opportunities can lead to long horizontal moves during your career path, so it’s important to plan your career early to keep it moving up and forward.

How to Develop a Career Path

You can develop a career path by taking a look at your desired job / jobs within your organization. Then, chart a course through jobs and departments, with the help of your supervisor or manager and Human Resources staff, that is the most likely career path that will let you achieve your goal.

Recognize that obtaining the job you desire may require lateral moves, departmental transfers, and job promotions along the way, if you are to achieve your goal.

Attaining your desired goal will also require that you develop skills, pursue employee development opportunities, and obtain certain experiences as you progress along your career path through your organization.

Coaching from your supervisor and mentoring assistance from a more experienced employee, probably an employee with a position above yours on the organizational chart, will help.

Additional Considerations in Developing a Career Path.

Three additional considerations exist when you develop your career path plan.

  • You need to decide on your career goals and desired jobs. While coaching and mentoring may help you arrive at several possible career options, a complete career exploration is your own task outside of work. You can contact career professionals at your college career services offices, local community colleges, or research online where career information and career tests and quizzes abound.

  • Put your career path plan in writing. If you are lucky enough to work within an organization that has an employee performance and / or career development process, the written plan is an integral component. If not, put your own plan in writing and share it with your supervisor, Human Resources, and involved others. Writing down your goals is an integral part of achieving them.

  • You own your career path plan. You can seek assistance from others, but you are the fundamental recipient of the rewards earned by following a planned career path. You are responsible for seeking a mentor, applying for internal job openings, and developing the skills and experience necessary for you to achieve your goals. Never forget this significant fact: you own your career path plan. No one will ever care as much as you do.

Overseas Careers Overview

If you've ever longed to spread your wings and live in a foreign land, overseas careers are ideal opportunities to give it a try. Maybe you've always loved Italian food or learned to speak French in high school and have wanted to go to France ever since. Working in a country that interests you offers the benefits of improving your skills with a foreign language and immersing yourself in the culture. Most countries have businesses similar to ones in the U.S., so you'll find that overseas jobs are similar, too. You should be able to find work abroad in retail, a business office, university, scientific lab or even working on a farm.

Overseas Careers Education

The educational requirements for different types of overseas careers can vary from country to country, so the degrees or training you might need for individual jobs may vary, as well. Basically, however, the education you'll need should be similar to the requirements for the same position in the U.S. For example, scientists and researchers usually require a master's or doctoral degree, social workers need at least a bachelor's degree, while service-type jobs such as a retail clerk shouldn't need more than a high school diploma.