There’s a lot you can learn about career development. It’s essential not only for your academic growth but also for your journey in building a successful career. Finding the right role for you is vital, and many factors can affect your success. Don’t expect to be running a company overnight; career development is a lifelong process.
Your success is determined by your ability to develop new skills and make improvements in an organization. Gaining the skills that will ultimately help you achieve your goals means you need to make the most of the available career resources. Without such resources, you’ll struggle to lay the foundation for your professional development.
What Does Career Development Mean?
Career development helps employees develop and climb higher up the career ladder. This process helps form a person’s job identity and is a significant part of human development. Subsequently, a development plan should cover a person’s long-term goals and aspirations. Once you have a grasp of how others make a living and how to begin your job search, this lifelong process begins.
As you move through the various levels of education, you can get a good idea of what career is right for you. Your previous job experiences will help lay the foundation of your plan and ultimately allow you to focus on one particular career field. Career exploration is also critical. It is, however, only achievable with the right career development plans.
What Factors Influence My Career Development?
Before drawing up your development plan, consider the following factors because they have a significant effect on your long-term career development.
People have different passions, habits, and characteristics, all of which can contribute to their career development. If, for example, you love reading between the lines, perhaps your career interests should revolve around investigative writing. Looking at your personality traits, both good and bad, gives you a clear idea of the direction your career development should take you. Some schools also provide opportunities for a mock interview, along with career management classes, to help students better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Economic and Social Considerations
Getting the best education can put immense strain on a person’s finances. For many students, this means having to rely on a student loan. Entering the job marketplace with such a heavy financial burden can have an impact on the type of career you’re considering. Family circumstances and social standing also affect your career development process.
The workplace is becoming increasingly competitive, and if you don’t have the right skills, you’ll struggle to find the best work and employment opportunities. Inherent and learned knowledge is essential and often forms the basis for on-campus recruiting programs that many companies use.
If you don’t have adequate skills or some form of experience, your dream job may remain out of your reach. Simple office skills, for example, are easy to obtain but won’t propel you far along your career path. Making use of an effective career development program will allow you to focus on the skill sets that will boost your resume. Doing so will then help you get the job you want. No matter your career path, one skill that will take you far is efficient money management.
Your brain is considered your most powerful muscle. However, your ability to perform manual labor may also be a factor, depending on your chosen field. You must know your physical limitations when deciding on your career path. Working in the construction industry may not be practical if you cannot carry a large amount of weight, for example.
What Makes Career Development Important?
Career development should not be an afterthought. Every employee wants to ensure steady growth in their career. Employers also want to see workers follow a particular career path if it benefits the company. Your career development plans shouldn’t start with you getting a job—plan to get ahead as early as possible. (Getting ahead is definitely a possibility for students of Walgreens University, which provides excellent mentorship for their students.) Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of career development.
If you’re working in an organization, you want them to provide assurances regarding your future and personal growth. Without such guarantees, work can become tedious, your job satisfaction can falter, and your output is likely to drop. One way to avoid job dissatisfaction is to realize the importance of career development. A career goal can provide sufficient motivation to workers, along with a sense of purpose. This increased motivation will affect your overall life, including your ability to make financial plans for your future.
Increased Worker Productivity
More skills lead to increased worker productivity; however, don’t limit your learning time to outside work hours. At your workplace, use your colleagues’ own experiences to enhance your own. There’s no limit to what you can learn and then apply to your career development plans. Whether you hold a bachelor’s degree or some other diploma, career development will broaden your skillset. Equipping yourself to function in more areas can only take you further.
Spotting Human Resources Needs
Your career development helps organizations identify areas to strengthen within their workforce. Companies that purchase JobScore can make sorting their recruitment needs that much easier. If your plans fit your company’s goals, you will be the first pick for a new position. However, you don’t have to wait for your company to adjust to your goals. If you consider your company’s structure, work goals, and overall objective, you can set out your plans to match it and propel yourself up the career ladder. It is wise to take advantage of career mentor services, career planning programs, and career fairs that benefit staff.
Promoting Equality in the Workplace
A career development program sets the tone for equal opportunities that improve career opportunities across the workforce. With an outlined plan, no professional will feel left out of the organization’s drive to boost skills and experience. Each individual, irrespective of hierarchy, should feel valued and driven to give their best.
The Career Development Process Explained
Career development is a process or plan of action people engage in to further their careers. You probably recall how you selected a major to pursue and the role your career counselor played in that process. These are all stages of your career development.
The Four Basic Stages to Career Development Are:
- Career awareness — The first stage of career development is to find out what you love doing. You can take note of your parents’ and other adults’ occupations as you begin to form the basis for your choice. Career services can also assist you and are open to students as well as alumni of many colleges. Once you have your choice, you’ll learn about the skills required and start to gain the necessary knowledge for your chosen career path.
- Career exploration — There are plenty of resources that offer a guide to the careers that interest you. Reading the biographies of famous people in different professions is advisable. Make use of programs centered on careers or visit a specific organization; these will help you decide what you want to do.
- Career preparation — At this stage, you’ve formed the knowledge you need to both choose and perform in your career. Knowing where you want to go will help you refine your career goals. That planning will have a knock-on effect on other aspects of your life, such as learning how to take responsibility for various issues, including managing your outstanding student loans.
- Career placement — The feeling of being fresh out of school and landing your first job is exhilarating. You’ll get to know what employers expect from you and how to work with team members. This knowledge will further enhance your career planning ability.
Two further stages to take note of are career maintenance and mentoring. Both of these will occur at the latter stages of your career.
What’s a Career Development Strategy?
Your career development strategy consists of the steps you take to improve your career. The company that employs you will generally provide avenues that help their workers develop into skilled individuals that contribute immensely to their business. Ways a business can achieve this include project management classes or by sending staff to a development center. You can also attend graduate school to increase your expertise further.
Continued professional development is vital for personal and economic growth and will help you have more confidence in your abilities. It can also protect your position in your workplace and can keep you motivated while working toward your future. With your company helping you out with new skill-acquisition opportunities, you will be able to improve your financial growth. More finances will allow you to begin moving up in other aspects of your life, such as buying a home.
Is There a Career Development Theory?
As you go about your research, you will come across multiple career development theories. Each one tries to explain how relationships are formed and maintained in the workplace. A career development theory often emphasizes two further theories—theory of content and theory of process.
Theories of process deal with the movement you make through several stages and how you can reach them. Theories of content, on the other hand, focus on your identity and how it shapes your life’s direction in line with the opportunities that come your way. Both have their merits and provide more motivation when used together.
Holland’s Theory of Choice
Holland’s theory of choice suggests that people match their personalities and skills to a similar work environment. This assertion means that as a professional, you’ll want to work in an environment that has other individuals like yourself. Further, this theory has basic categories ranging from realistic people to conventional individuals. Each type of person aims to use different skills to improve themselves in the workplace, whether that involves a career development office or not.
Super’s Theory of Self-Concept
Super’s theory of self-concept is a proposition aimed at career development. It involves the way you view yourself and how you want others to see you. This view helps to determine career and development choices. For instance, you can have a career lending to small businesses, running a drugstore, or managing an office. Though very different career paths, each can benefit you if you perform your tasks with pride.
Bandura’s Social Theory
Another theory that has garnered traction is Bandura’s social theory, which emphasizes your interaction with the environment. This interaction forms the basis of your career development. Also, your ability and drive to succeed under this model determines the eventual outcome. In simple terms, no matter your work environment, a strong drive to succeed will get you far.
Are There Any Tips to Improve My Career Development?
Some of the best ways to improve your career development are to do an internship or go to a career development center to seek out a career counselor for career counseling. Additionally, here are more tips to help you climb the employment ladder.
Be Eager to Learn
You may have a cover letter that shines, but if you’re not willing to improve it, you’ll fall behind professionally. Identify gaps in your skillset and do all you can to fill them. Being professional is vital but counts for nothing if you’re not willing to take the next step toward career development. A clear sign that you’re in the wrong field is when there’s no room for growth.
Read and Study More
There are many books, articles, and other relevant literature on career development. Get hold of them and start improving both your personal life and career. Knowledge is power. Educating yourself can open up new paths in both your career and home life. For example, did you know that you may be able to seek government assistance geared toward your housing and other economic needs? From taking the time to read this article, now you do!
Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Things can get tricky if you’re a professional with a constant workload. But a healthy work-life balance separates the best from the rest. An extra hour at work doesn’t hurt and will sit well with your employers, but don’t make it a habit. Get enough rest and family time, and try to preserve your energy.
Go Further with Career Development
Do you feel that you’ve lost your way in your career? Perhaps you just haven’t thought enough about career development. By making use of the above information, you can climb higher up on the employment hierarchy and get back on track with a career development strategy that brings out your best.