A career path is a series of roles that lead to your career goals. Some are planned in a linear fashion within one industry, while others route through different fields periodically to ascertain particular career or personal goals.

The purpose of a career path.

There’s no set design of a proper career path. While developing a career path, it is implied that advancement into leadership and higher-level positions are how it should navigate. However, they can include lateral moves within or across industries.

In certain circumstances, a lateral career move may help your career long-term:

  • Avoiding a layoff
  • Increasing promotion opportunities
  • Promoting skill development
  • Seeking an organizational fit
  • Finding a new supervisor
  • Seeking new challenges
  • Expanding your network
  • Change in perceptions
  • Moving closer to the action
  • Enhancing your bottom line
  • Improving your total compensation


What is most important for developing your career path is that it encompasses the aspirations you want to achieve for your career. It is a way for you to become serious about what you value. Having developed a career path, it will be easier to determine where a new opportunity can take you when evaluated with your career path in mind.

Requirements for a career path.

 Here are a few ways you can set yourself up for success:

  • Be prepared to add to your skill set – take time to learn the skills that are in most demand within the industry/position you aspire to have. So when a new role presents itself, you are more than willing but also capable to succeed!
  • Be flexible – it is best to not adhere too tightly to your career path. Be open to the opportunities that may present themselves. Will this position allow you to expand your network? Are there certain skills that are best learned on the job?
  • Do not be afraid of a lateral move – your career path is not meant to be linear; you may need to sidestep to develop skills and connections that can provide immense value to your career down the road.


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