development is an organized approach used to match employee goals with the
business needs of the agency in support of workforce development initiatives.
The purpose of career development is to:
each employee‘s current job performance.
Enable individuals to take advantage of future job
opportunities. Fulfil agencies‘ goals for a dynamic and effective workforce.
development involves managing your career either within or between
organizations. It also includes learning new skills, and making improvements to
help you in your career. Career development is an ongoing, lifelong process to
help you learn and achieve more in your career. Whether you are looking at
making a career change, or moving up within a company, planning your own career
development will help you succeed. By creating a personal career development
plan, you can set goals and objectives for your own personal career growth.
Don‘t make the mistake of leaving your career development future in the hands
of your employer, hoping that you will get the next promotion or pay raise.
This misconception can lead to job dissatisfaction and resentment. Career
planning is a lifelong process, which includes choosing an occupation, getting
a job, growing in our job, possibly changing careers, and eventually retiring.
The Career Planning Site offers coverage of all these areas. This article will
focus on career choice and the process one goes through in selecting an
occupation. This may happen once in our lifetimes, but it is more likely to
happen several times as we first define and then redefine ourselves and our
are responsible for linking the organization‘s needs to employee career goals,
and can assist employees in the career planning process. Human Resources is
responsible for designing career paths and employee development programs that
help employees reach their goals. Each employee is responsible for planning and
managing his/her career.
Management is the combination of structured planning and the active management
choice of one‘s own professional career. The outcome of successful career
management should include personal fulfillment, work/life balance, goal
achievement and financial assurance.
career refers to all types of employment ranging from semi-skilled through
skilled, and semi professional to professional. The term career has often been
restricted to suggest an employment commitment to a single trade skill,
profession or business firm for the entire working life of a person. In recent
years, however, career now refers to changes or modifications in employment
during the foreseeable future. There are many definitions by management
scholars of the stages in the managerial process. The following classification
system with minor variations is widely used:
of overall goals and objectives,
of a strategy (a general means to accomplish the selected goals/objectives),
of the specific means (policies, rules, procedures and activities) to implement
the strategy, and
evaluation of the progress toward the achievement of the selected
goals/objectives to modify the strategy, if necessary.
career management process begins with setting goals/objectives. A relatively
specific goal/objective must be formulated. This task may be quite difficult
when the individual lacks knowledge of career opportunities and/or is not fully
aware of their talents and abilities. However, the entire career management
process is based on the establishment of defined goals/objectives whether
specific or general in nature. Utilizing career assessments may be a critical
step in identifying opportunities and career paths that most resonate with
someone. Career assessments can range from quick and informal like those on
CareerBuilder or may be more in depth like those such as Myers-Briggs and
Career Leader supported assessments found on My Path. Regardless of the ones
you use, you will need to evaluate them. Most assessments found today for free
(although good) do not offer an in-depth evaluation.
horizon for the achievement of the selected goals or objectives - short term,
medium term or long term - will have a major influence on their formulation.
term goals (one or two years) are usually specific and limited in scope. Short
term goals are easier to formulate. Make sure they are achievable and relate to
your longer term career goals.
goals (3 to 20 years) tend to be less specific and more open ended than short
term goals. Both intermediate and long term goals are more difficult to
formulate than short term goals because there are so many unknowns about the
goals (more than 100 years), of course, are the most fluid of all. Lack of life
experience and knowledge about potential opportunities and pitfalls make the
formulation of long term goals
objectives very difficult. Long range goals/objectives, however, may be
easily modified as additional information is received without a great loss of career
efforts because of experience/knowledge transfer from one career to another.
career choices and decisions – the traditional focus of careers interventions.
The changed nature of work means that individuals may now have to revisit this
process more frequently now and in the future, more than in the past.
the organizational career – concerns the career management tasks of individuals
within the workplace, such as decision-making, life-stage transitions, dealing
with stress etc.
‗boundary less‘ careers – refers to skills needed by workers whose employment
is beyond the boundaries of a single organization, a work style common among,
for example, artists and designers.
control of one‘s personal development – as employers take less responsibility,
employees need to take control of their own development in order to maintain
and enhance their employability.
development, as both a field of study and a practical form of training for
workers, is primarily concerned with producing better employees and maximizing
employee potential. Career development programs can help the unemployed find
jobs or provide workers with the skills and tools they need to advance within a
government agency, corporation or organization.
Self-Awareness- One of
the major objectives of any career development program is a heightened sense of self-awareness for participants.
Employees should be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, in order
to apply their skills more effectively. Understanding shortcomings is also
useful in teachingemployees where to focus efforts toward improvements.
Self-awareness is also related to understanding the difference
real and perceived career advancement limitations. By examining available
opportunities and making an honest assessment of an employee‘s skills, career
development seeks to give every employee a realistic outlook on the future.
development also sets enhanced flexibility as a goal. Employees work in a
changing world and adaptation is an
essential skill. This may mean abandoning practices that have worked in the
past, or devoting time to education and new training. Employees who find
themselves unable to adapt in a changing workplace may suffer from decreased
productivity or be unable to compete with workers whose skills are more
flexible and easier to apply across a range of tasks.
is among the more straightforward objectives of career development. Such
programs attempt to give employees,
or prospective employees, access to information about job opportunities and
options for skills training. Following up with such employees is an important
objective as well, since this gives those who work in career development a way
of measuring the program‘s effectiveness.
Sensitivity to Diversity- Many
career development programs make sensitivity to diversity in the workplace a top priority. With
ever-increasing globalization, workers are frequently put into contact with
members of different backgrounds and cultures. Understanding the value of
diverse work habits and viewpoints can prevent this from becoming a point of
confusion or misunderstanding. At the same time, educating workers about the
customs and concerns of others can help prevent social problems or embarrassment
in a diverse workplace.
development and the career planning process include a number of specific steps
that help to identify personal skills and attributes. Finding out how those
skills can be utilized in the job market is accomplished by researching a
number of career fields that are of interest to you and then by gaining
experience in those fields and/or speaking to people currently working in the
field. Participating in some form of experiential education will help you to
identify if the field is the right choice for you.
Step #1: Self-Assessment
who you are as a person. This involves taking a personal inventory of who you
are and identifying your individual values, interests, skills, and personal
qualities. What makes you tick as a person? You will look at those personal
attributes under a microscope and come up with key qualities you can identify
and use in your search for the perfect career. Career assessments may be
required to promote a better understanding of personal attributes and skills.
Contact your Career Services Office at your college to discuss if a career
assessment may be right for you.
The Career Management Process
Step #2: Research (Career
insider‘s perspective about the career field you are considering. Conduct
Informational Interviews in person, phone, or by email. Professionals enjoy
sharing their expertise with people interested in the
Perform informational interviews with alumni from your college to gain their
perspective of the field and to listen to what they have to say. This strategy
provides firsthand knowledge from someone currently working in the field and
gives you an opportunity to ask about their experiences as well as potential
jobs and what one might expect if just entering the field. Gain experience
through internships or by jobshadowing for one to several days to see what a
typical work day entails and to gain perspective of what the environment is
like and the typical job responsibilities of someone working in the field.
Research what types ofjobs are available in your area of interest by checking
out Majors to Career Converter, The Occupational Outlook Handbook and The
Career Guide to Industries. The Occupational Outlook Handbook offers a wealth
of information for those currently just entering the job market and for those
anticipating making a career change.
Step #3: Decision-Making
you‘ve made a thorough self-assessment and have done some research of career
options, it‘s time to make a decision. This can be difficult since there may
still be many unknowns and a fear of making the wrong choice. One thing for
sure is that although we can do all the necessary steps to making an informed
decision, there is no absolute certainty that we are unquestioninglymaking the
right decision. Thisuncertainty is easier for some people than others but a key
point to remember is that you can always learn from any job you have and take
those skills and apply them at your next job.
Step#4: Search (Taking Action)
time to look for prospective jobs and/or employers, send out cover letters and
resumes, and begin networking with people in the field. Keep in mind that cover
letters and resumes are designed to make a favorable impression on employers
(if done properly) and the interview process is what will ultimately land you
the job. In other words, make sure your cover letter and resume highlight your
skills and strengths based on the employer‘s needs and that you are fully
prepared to knock their socks off at the interview. Take time to research the
employer‘s website prior to the interview, and be prepared to ask thoughtful
questions based on your research.
Step #5: Acceptance
You‘ve completed all of the steps above and you‘ve been accepted into a new and
exciting or different job. Congratulations! According to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, 64.1% of people change jobs between 5 and 14 times in their
lifetime. Consequently, learning the skills above will increase your chances of
gaining meaningful and satisfactory work as well as help you to avoid many of
the stresses that occur with changing jobs. By recognizing that change is good
(even advantageous), changing jobs can be viewed as a positive experience and
need not be as anxiety provoking as it may initially seem. You will continue
the process of self-assessment, research, decision-making, and job searching in
order to make effective and fulfilling career changes throughout your lifetime.
impact of career development/ succession planning programmes can be seen
through the productivity indicator, engagement surveys and reduction in
attrition rate. It is in fact a win-win situation for all.