RIP: Career Pathing

How do you define career pathing? Stop right now before you read the rest of this post and quickly define it according to the world you live in.

Hellooo! I’m trusting you to really contemplate your answer. 99.9 percent of you are just going to keep reading, aren’t you???

Well for those of you who did define it, did you define it as an action or as a result?

Can I test my boundaries with you and express my true feelings?

I think career pathing is selfish. Seriously. What does career pathing have to do with serving your team? Your leader? Your company? Your community? Your family?

It seems as if most everyone wants to develop their career, climb the ladder, get the title, and be the boss of more and more people. Now I’m not against having ambitions for more challenges, more responsibilities, and more opportunities. But can I say one thing?

Career pathing is all about YOU.

A New Way of Thinking

I want to challenge you with a new thought I call “Leader Pathing.” Leader pathing is an action; it’s something you can intentionally plan to learn about, to act on, and to impact others with. Leading is a skill that will bring benefits to your career.

Leader pathing is also action-oriented. It demands growth. Career pathing, on the other hand, is only concerned with the results.  Learn to lead, and you will bring results to your career path.

I wish fewer companies would reward careers based on longevity and suck-up-ability and more on the ability to lead and inspire others to perform.

I’ve been a witness to companies that did the former; they rewarded yes men and women. Over time, political correctness replaced leadership ability. The result? The good talent leaves and the complacent stays. It’s textbook. And the textbook says that the complacent will eventually lead the organization. This is Jim Collins’ concept in How the Mighty Fall.

Goodbye and Good Riddance, Career Pathing

The career pathing philosophy must be retired. Leader pathing is the future. If we reward the next generation of leaders – not for their ability to suck up – but for their leadership skill sets, can you imagine how their careers will flourish? Better yet, can you imagine their companies’ successes?

If we consciously decide to recognize leadership skills and develop authentic leaders, individuals will have great career results and a great future for their company.

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  • Annie says:

    I love it!! If we all thought like this, we would transform our organisations beyond our wildest imaginations!

  • […] your leadership or developing your career? I’ve already talked about how I think the term career pathing is severely overrated. Career pathing can be a selfish and “all about me” philosophy. If your primary concern is […]

  • I used to be on a very clear career path. While I focused on growing within each position, I was also focused on moving up the ladder. Now, I’m in a job with no career path. If I’m still with the company in 10 years (which I hope to be), then I’ll be in the same position. 20 years? Probably the same thing. I’m in a small organization right below the owner, and even with growth the position won’t really change positionally on the ladder. It’s wonderful. I’m focused on how I can grow and develop within my role and don’t have to worry about corporate politics or if something will affect a future promotion. I get to focus on projects and helping people.

  • Bud Downing says:

    Decide where you want to go based on your desires, talents, and what is best for your company. Natural alignment is essential. Make it known, form a mutually beneficial plan, and earn your way to the destination.

  • Anonymous says:

    Love this post! You have a unique style that is fun to follow!

  • Anonymous says:

    Ohh how true this is, the price the organization pays is long term and gigantic!