Did you know that the average person changes jobs 12.4 times between the ages of 18 and 54? That’s a lot of change in one lifetime and it can sometimes be really disruptive. The main motivation for this kind of career trajectory is said to be FOMO (Fear of missing out). It’s the fear of missing out on other more exciting roles and experiences that tends to mean we jump ship from one job to the next. However, you don’t have to do this with your professional path - using a tool like career mapping can give you a way to overcome FOMO and feel better about where you’re going.
What is career mapping?
It’s a way of finding out - in detail - all the job opportunities that exist within your current company so that you can get a sense of the trajectory your career path could take. With each potential role you’ll get an in-depth understanding of the skills and competencies required, as well as what it would take to get from where you are now to the role, or roles, that you’d like to move to next. Planning out the training and development involved is also a big part of this. Career mapping happens with your employer so that they can show you all the potential that you have if you stay with the current business.
Why is a career map important?
It provides the opportunity for greater communication between a business and its workforce / contingent workforce. Your employer gets to see where there are skills gaps and what staff want to do next - and you can be more proactive about how you approach your career development going forward. This is especially important for mental health because it means you can feel that your professional wants are being seen and validated by an employer - and this makes you much more likely to achieve the progression that you want to achieve. It can help remove that feeling of FOMO by showing you what your life could look like if you stay where you are, and how that can be aligned with the career goals that you have for yourself. It’s also vital because it’s an opportunity to let your employer know what you want from the business going forward, for example you might be keen to move into a leadership position and, without career mapping, this is something your manager may never know.
What does career mapping look like?
It can be done in a number of different ways but will usually involve detailed job descriptions, the competencies of the various roles that you’re looking at, soft skills and character traits that will suit each role, as well as identifying the learning and development initiatives that you’ll need to progress.
Career mapping benefits employers as much as it does employees, especially when it comes to transparency over career paths. That kind of clarity is vital for mental health and ensuring your career meets your goals in the future.
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