JOBS come and go but people who are the “best at what they do” and who have achieved the highest recognition for their skills and knowledge in their profession are treasured forever. Have you considered lately; where your employees can contribute and build knowledge and skill in their core professions? And what professions and competencies are the most important for the growth of your organization?

Career mapping provide a key to these questions and others. Career mapping contain detailed information to facilitate choices, based on individual talent and organizational needs.

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In order for organization to determine their employee’s career direction, it is important for managers to design an employee career map. Career mapping is the process of enabling individuals to plan their career direction in such a way that they understand the opportunities that lie ahead and the skills that will be required to take advantage of those opportunities.

Top managers of leading organizations have long recognized that it is their ability to develop and maintain diverse and highly talented employees that creates a vital source of competitive advantage. What is new though is the dramatic increase in competition for key employee knowledge, skill, and ability (KSA) and the need to look for the wider requirements of the business and of the individual employees in the organization.

Like a GPS in an airplane, career maps display alternative routes for employees to build mastery in the core professions. Mastery is being the “best your employee can be” and those who achieve mastery of their professions are future leaders, mentors and innovators. The KSA that mastery requires is enduring and guides both simple day-to-day decisions as well as complex challenges.

For example, we saw professional mastery in the air when Captain Chesley Sullenberger III successfully ditched US Airways flight in the Hudson River saving the lives of all 155 people in the aircraft.

This is an example of a professional who crafted career paths of personal and professional development. At the height of his profession and through love of his work, he possessed the inherent courage and confidence that accompanies mastery.

For that reason, many individuals owe their lives to their professional mastery – their KSA. They demonstrate the importance of working at something that they love, that they have passion for, and being the “best they can be.” In this case, Captain “Sully” is master in the core profession of his organization. No wonder he was ranked second in Time Magazine's top 100 most influential heroes and Icons of 2009.

An effective career mapping design must begin with defining the purpose, function and worth each profession in the organization. This should be anchored on the shared understanding of an organization’s goals around employee career development. This will promote a realistic development culture, with clear objectives and mutual employee-organizational expectations. This will also ensure that career development planning is based on the balance between employees’ interests as well as the strategic direction of the organization.

Secondly, employees’ must recognize their values and behavioral strength. These are traits and personal characteristics required for success in a profession. For example; detail-oriented, fast learner, innovator, resourceful, and service oriented.

Thirdly, employees’ must develop profession-centered competencies. This consists of clusters of knowledge and abilities required for excellence in a given profession; like, business systems knowledge, customer service support, or software knowledge.

Fourthly, employees’ must build up leadership competencies which include skill sets, knowledge and abilities required in order to become leaders in an organization. For instance, align performance for success, communication with positive impact, develop enduring relationship, lead with integrity and through vision and values.

Lastly, make employees commit themselves to change and growth.

In today’s tumultuous times, it is imperative for managers to create a career pathway because this is one of the best ways to show that they care about the advancement potential of every member of the organization and that they want to see everyone succeed.

(You may send your comments or suggestions to the writer at e-mail: archietim@yahoo.com and cell No. 09266468591)