Career Development

Career development is the lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and evolving preferred future.

Career Development is essential for the implementation of career planning. It refers to a set of programmes designed to match an individual’s needs, abilities and goals with current or future opportunities in the organization. It is the process through which the action plans are implemented. Developmental activities include all of the off-the-job and on-the-job training techniques.

Components of Career Development

  1. Career Planning
  2. Career management

The Five Stages of Career Development

Stage 1: Growth: The growth stage lasts roughly from birth to age 14 and is a period during which the person develops a self-concept by identifying with an interaction with other people such as – family, friends and teachers. Towards the beginning of this period, role-playing is important, and children experiment with different ways of acting; this helps them to form impressions of how other people react to different behaviors and contributes to their developing a unique self-concept, or identity.

Stage 2: Exploration: The exploration stage is the period, roughly from age 15-24, during which a person seriously explores various occupational alternatives, attempting to match these alternatives with what he or she has learnt about them (and about his or her own abilities and interest from school, leisure activities and part-time work).

Stage 3: Establishment: The establishment stage spans roughly ages 24 to 44 and is the heart of most people’s work lives. Sometimes during this period (hopefully towards the beginning) a suitable occupation is found and the person engages in those activities that help him or her to earn a permanent place in it. Often (and particularly in the professions), the person locks on to a chosen occupation early.

Stage 4: Maintenance: Between the ages of 45-65, many people simply slide from the stabilization sub stage into this maintenance stage. During this later period the person has typically created for himself or herself a place in the world of work and most efforts are now directed to securing that stage.

Stage 5: Decline: As retirement age approaches, there is often a deceleration period, during which many people are faced with the prospect of having to accept reduced levels of power and responsibility and have to learn to accept and develop new roles as mentor and confidante for those who are younger.

The Career Development Process

  1. Self-assessment: In Super’s development stages, this would be the exploration stage. You already have your self-concept. You know your personality type, interests, career values, skills, abilities and work style. By assessing these, you will be able to realize what occupations will match your skills and your interests and preferences.
  2. Career awareness: This is where you start looking for job opportunities and learning more about career paths. The individual will study or gain knowledge about the jobs. What are the skills required? What qualifications must the jobholder have? What are the opportunities for growth of that job in this organization? What about in another organization? As the phrase implies, career awareness means you have to be knowledgeable about the career or job you are going to aim for
  3. Goal setting: It’s time to have a clear career goal — one that reflects what you really want in a career. In goal setting, you will take these two into consideration: A. the results of your self-assessment B. the information obtained about the career
  4. Skill development: So you are already employed in the company. You are doing your work, and you are doing it well. However, good performance is not the only factor that is considered when you are up for a promotion. The company will want to hire someone who will continue to add value to the organization.

This means that you, the employee, should continuously develop yourself. You could try broadening your knowledge, or honing and improving your skill sets. Employers are more appreciative to employees who take the initiative to improve themselves, because this means that they are dedicated to their own career development.

  • Career management: In managing your career, you will focus on the following:

Building relationships

Continuous career planning

Setting new goals

Benefits of Career Development

  1. Reduces attrition of employees
  2. Provides equal opportunity employment
  3. Improves the quality of the work-life of employees
  4. Improves organization itself
  5. Increases the skill of the employees

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