Nicole Gravagna is the author of MindSET Your Manners and co author Venture Capital for Dummies.
The biggest mistake people make when they actively try to develop their career is to focus on a developing a career path for themselves to follow.
Why career paths are a mistake
A career path is a described as a series of jobs or roles that you can take to develop your career. The goal is generally to achieve higher paying jobs each time you take a new role. However, you don’t have control over the jobs that are available to you at each point in your career.
What happens when you are ready for the next step in your path, and no one is hiring for that role? You get stuck. What happens when your chosen career path becomes obsolete because of changes in technology advancement? You become obsolete too.
Career paths are outdated
We live in a changing world. You can’t predict what jobs will be available in ten years. How can you plan a career path to get a job that is completely invisible to you?
For the last few generations, developing a career path was good advice. Unfortunately, now it’s outdated advice. Students graduating in 2020 will enter a work world that we can’t predict today (and it’s already 2017). Self-driving cars. Massive automation in retail. Manufacturing and logistics with robotics. We simply can’t know what the future holds. How can you plan a path when you don’t know where you are going?
Women who nailed it later in life. Because sometimes, success comes later.
Plan to navigate off the path
It can be helpful to imagine a career path as an actual path over real landscape so you can get an idea of how career development has to change. In the past, you could look at a map, plan out your waypoints and goals. You could even plan for arrival times.