this is the Platonic ideal form:
1) get PhD from CHYPS (elite)
2) postdoc at CHYMPS (finish articles or a book)
3) TT at a R1 dept ranked around 11-25 (easier to get tenure than in a top 10)
4)Spend 5-10 yrs at that R1 (get tenure; become known in the discipline; publish)
5) Get a top faculty fellowship at CHYMPS or similar (write major new work)
6) Move to a top 10 dept (prestige, status)
7) After 5 yrs, move to a top 5 dept (You've Arrived)
8) after 10 or more years, move to a good univ in warmer climes (West/South)
9) Write memoirs
10) Get a Festschrift
the obvious alternative that many will claim is to get a top-5 TT job right after grad school.
Major fallacy. HUGE pressure, much harder to get tenure at a top 5. Most cases dont work out. Some end up in near-tragedy. Better to get tenure at a lower-pressure, top 11-25 place first, then move on.