Career Development Is The Process Of Improving

A formal approach taken by an organization to help its people acquire the skills and experiences needed to perform current and future jobs is termed as career development. Company’s policies especially policies regarding promotion, counseling the employees, opportunities to excel in future help employees to develop their career. Career development consists of skills, education and experiences as well as behavioral modification and refinement techniques that allow individuals to work better and add value.

Career Development Plan At Different Levels

Career development is not a mere management responsibility. It is a composite organizational process which involves people, addresses their ambitions, assigns them roles & responsibilities commensurate with their potential, evaluates their performance, and creates Job positions to accommodate growth ambitions of employees. In the career development cycle, a number of actions have to take place at different levels as outlined below:

  1. Decide what they want from their careers now and in the future.
  2. Examine individually, or along with their Supervisors, their interests & ambitions.
  3. Create ‘Development Plans’ by obtaining inputs from the Supervisor, to meet the requirements of the current Job and to cater for the long term perspectives.
  4. Work with the Supervisor to identify on the job learning and training opportunities and other avenues for professional development.

Managers/ Supervisors

  1. Identify the job-related knowledge, skills, competencies and experience needed for an employee to be effective in that position.
  2. Help subordinates to define their short and long term development needs which support organizational objectives and employee’s career goals.
  3. Support Employee Development Plans by indicating specific steps that need to be initiated to accomplish the learning goals.
  4. Help the employee in understanding the type of Jobs which will be best suited for his/ her career growth.

Organization/ Management          

  1. Provide a job and compensation structure that support the organization’s as well as individual’s growth & development perspectives.
  2. Enrich job-positions to create more challenges in the work-environment.
  3. Provide time and funds for employee development activities.
  4. Create processes to utilize the knowledge, skills and abilities of each employee, aligned fully to the organizational goals.
  5. Undertake pro-active man-power planning to meet future staffing needs.
  6. Evaluate employees & create succession pipe-lines for vital job positions in the organization.
  7. Identify & nurture talent and reward performance in a transparent manner.

Growth Stage

The growth stage is roughly from birth to age 14 and is a period during which an individual develops a self-concept by identifying and interacting with other people. Basically, during this stage an individual establishes his or her identity. 


Exploration Stage

The exploration stage is the period roughly from ages 15 to 24, during which an individual seriously explores various occupational alternatives. The person attempts to match these occupational alternatives with his or her own interests and abilities resulting from education, leisure activities, and work. 


Establishment Stage

The establishment stage is roughly from ages 25 to 44 and is the primary part of most people’s work lives. Hopefully, during this period, a suitable occupation is found and the person engages in those activities that help earn a permanent career. During this period, the individual is continually testing personal capabilities and ambitions against those of the initial occupational choice. 


Maintenance Stage

Between the ages of 45 to 65, many people move from the stabilization sub stage into the maintenance stage. During maintenance, the individual has usually created a place in the work world, and most efforts are directed at maintaining the career gains ea


Decline Stage

As retirement becomes an inevitable reality, in the decline stage, there is frequently a period of adjustment, where many begin to accept reduced levels of power and responsibility.
Employee career development cannot take place without support from the top management. Commitment of top management is crucial. Employees also need to be given feedback about their career development efforts. It is difficult for an employee to sustain years of preparation to reach career goals unless they receive feedback. Career development does not guarantee success but without it employees would not be ready for a job when the opportunity arises


Planning ahead

A working plan is always the best way to develop your skills. While still studying, you need to measure your capabilities and start setting short term plans which you can adhere to follow suit when you complete your studies.