How To Create Career Maps (With Template and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 18, 2022

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Career planning maps can increase your performance and help your organization grow. They make your opportunities clearer and measure individual progress and achievements. Learning how to create an effective career outline can help you with professional development and career advancement. In this article, we discuss what career maps are, explain why you'd want to create a career planning map, explore the components of a career outline, review how to develop one, and provide a helpful template and example to guide you.

Related: How To Create a Career Plan in 9 Steps

What are career maps?

Career maps are plans that outline where you are as an individual within an organization in terms of your career, where you plan to be in the future, and the steps you can take to get to the goal. You can create these maps for purposes of individual progression within your company. The career outline can contain what you require for each level of your career. You can also create a personal career map to help you improve your work output. These maps have the steps that may help you move from one position to another, primarily from an entry-level position to a set goal.

Related: Career Planning Examples (With Template)

Why create a career planning map?

A career outline helps both employees and their employers. The following are some benefits of creating and adhering to a career planning map:

  • helps you understand your goals better

  • allows you to focus on your career goals easily

  • identifies you as a skilled and driven employee

  • helps you understand which skills are necessary to accomplish your career goals so that you can seek training to equip these skills

  • helps you make better career decisions and easily

  • helps you gauge how much you may earn at a certain point in your career

  • creates a sense of purpose that increases your loyalty to the organization

  • boosts your engagement and productivity with colleagues and management

Components of a career outline

Career planning maps primarily include information focused on career progression. They may comprise personality profiles and educational or leadership requirements. Here are the components of a map for career planning:

Job descriptions and specifications

Job descriptions and specifications define the roles a career path entails. Although you can easily find job descriptions online, roles differ from organization to organization regarding duties and specifications. An excellent way to establish roles would be to ask those who perform tasks within the career role or those in a related career path.

Related: How To Write a Job Description (With Template and Example)

Required competencies

Skills and educational qualifications may differ from role to role. Entry-level jobs don't have high-level skill requirements. The demand for competency in the assigned duty increases with the increase in job level, so senior positions may demand more qualifications than junior ranks. To gather information concerning the required competencies, you may interview those already working in the same role or in a similar position. It may be best to establish whether a qualification pattern emerges among those interviewed or a unique skill set common to all within the role.

Personality profiles

Personality profiles may help inform you where you can have maximum job satisfaction and the best productivity while working. Roles such as leadership and management often require individuals who stand out. Other roles, such as team players, may require individuals who accept instruction. It thus becomes vital to establish what type of personality would match the role best.

Related: Candidate Profile: Definition and How It Helps Companies

Training and development

Some roles may require both formal education and hands-on training for proficiency. It is essential to list the training requirements that may be necessary for the role within an organization. Some positions may require constant training to ensure the best performance, and it's beneficial to list such details on your map for career planning.

Related: Vocational Training Programs in Canada

How to create a career map

Having a clear guide and strategy may make the process of developing a map for career planning less challenging. A lot of research may be necessary to help you achieve a good map for career planning and identify various opportunities for career advancements within the organization. Follow these steps to develop an acute map for career planning:

1. Establish a starting point

Begin by establishing the entry position of the career path. For most jobs, the starting point is often the new employees' role after first joining the organization and has fewer requirements. These requirements increase as the role advances to higher levels. This is where you may form the foundation of the career, and many possibilities may emerge from this point for you to choose from depending on the career advancement route you prefer.

2. Determine a final goal

After establishing the starting point, decide on your final goal. This is usually the highest level available for the specific role. The ultimate goal is where the career outline ends. The final destination may also be the next career level from the current level when establishing smaller objectives.

Related: Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Successful Job Search? (With Goal Types)

3. Find a way to connect the two points

The next step involves finding out what you require to move from the starting point to the final goal or from one specific point to another. You can use higher educational qualifications, specific licences, or training workshops to connect both ends. There are many ways to connect the final goal and the start point, with each method differing in terms of complexity, time spent, and costs incurred. The technique chosen for one industry or role may or may not apply to a related industry.

4. Create a series of smaller goals within two points

As you determine the method to use from one point to another, it is also necessary to use small-scale goals to help you move from one point in your career to another. Making significant steps in your career can seem like a daunting task. Smaller goals may help you reach your final objective faster and easier. You may repeat this step for every level within the career outline. Many small goals combined lead to a whole task being achieved in small steps.

Related: Goal vs. Objective (With Examples)

Template career planning map

It may be easier for you to use a career planning map template after understanding a career outline, its components, and how to make one for yourself. Here is the template you may use to develop your career outline:

Job title: [starting job title]
[At the beginning of the career outline are the details defining the starting point of the career. Mention the point and summarize your job description at this time.]

  • [Bullet point explaining additional requirements]

  • [Bullet point establishing personality profile details]

Goals
[List realistic, attainable goals that apply to the position. You can use the SMART goals structure to have well-defined goals. Goals may include years you plan to spend gaining experience or specific achievements or awards you wish to earn. It could also include employee performance review scores you hope to receive from team leaders as you advance. Goals also play an essential role in the career planning map, and it's important to list as many as possible for the position. The more specific the goals are, the easier it may be to implement and measure them.]

  • [Goal 1]

  • [Goal 2]

  • [Goal 3]

Goal job title: [job title]
[The end of a career outline defines the details of the endpoint of the path. You may structure this similarly to the start point, and attach a job description and personality profile to the title.]

Related: SMART Goals: Objectives for Your Career

Example career planning map

Below is an example of how you can use the above template to create a two-stage career outline

Job title: social media marketing representative for Fast Track Records

  • analyze data and update weekly marketing one-sheets, department re-caps, and timelines with current project information and insight for company-wide use.

  • manage the scheduling of videos, audio, and other creative content, and perform essential design work as needed for unique items such as invites and pitch decks.

  • assist and take part in special events, including artist appearances, company events, meet and greets

  • handle all accounting and administrative duties, including setting up meetings, handling advanced music requests, processing invoices, expense reports, and time sheets

  • order advanced promo copies of music, help compile assets, while managing artist and executive calendars, travel, and meeting schedules

Goals

  • earn a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field

  • gain two years of experience in digital marketing

  • develop and implement a model for content flow to social media channels

  • attend National Marketing Week

  • attain Canadian Marketing Association certificates in digital marketing strategy, digital analytics, and marketing math

Goal job title: marketing assistant

  • communication with designers, printers, and internal department

  • prepare, format, and edit content for printed and digital engagement using email marketing software

  • collect and interpret data to identify changes and forecast trends

  • assist marketing manager with leadership roles

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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