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Tips for Building Career Maps

Career Development allows employees to explore, pursue career goals, and ultimately take charge of their own careers. One of the most important parts of any career development program is a career map that describes the different positions, roles, and stages within an area and across the organization. This map visually shows how each role relates to the roles that both precede it and follow it.

Career maps are often displayed visually, making it easy for people to see the various stages or roles in a career path. These maps can be created by using existing information that your organization may already have in place such as job bands that describe not only vertical moves but also horizontal career moves. Modern career maps tend to resemble lattices as opposed to ladders.

To create you career maps, follow these three tips:

1. Identify job families and subfamilies

Job families describe a grouping of jobs that share a common function, or have common tasks that employees perform (e.g., HR, engineering, marketing, sales, etc.). Subfamilies describe the subdisciplines or areas of focus within these families (e.g., HR – Compensation and benefits, employee relations, organizational development; cybersecurity – incident response, threat management, risk management).

2. Identify career levels

You will need to identify how your roles within the various families will be structured (e.g., entry, intermediate, senior; analyst, senior analyst, professional, expert; job band 1, job band 2, job band 3, job band 4). You may also want to use any job bands or levels you already have in place.

3. Identify roles within the job families, feeder roles, and next potential roles

You will need to identify which roles map to which job families and subfamilies (e.g., HR generalist maps to the HR family). Jobs within job families can then be mapped to career levels or roles (e.g., intermediate, expert, etc.) within the family. Once jobs have been mapped to families and career levels, you can identify feeder role(s) or those roles that precede the current role in a current path the next potential role(s) or roles that employees can move into following time spent in the current role.