Career Development


Career development is the process of improving an individual’s abilities in anticipation of future opportunities for achieving career objectives.

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 is an ongoing organized and formalized effort that recognizes people as a vital organizational resource. It differs from training in that it has a wider focus, longer time frame, and broader scope. The goal of training is improvement in performance; the goal of development is enrichment and more capable workers.

Recently, career development has come to be seen as a means for meeting both organizational and employee needs, as opposed to solely meeting the needs of the organization as it had done in the past. Now, organizations see career development as a way of preventing job burnout, providing career information to employees, improving the quality of work lives and meeting affirmative action goals. That is, career development must be seen as a key business strategy if an organization wants to survive in an increasingly competitive and global business environment.

In simple terms it means 'Providing employees an opportunity to grow', especially to those employees who deliver performance.

Definitions of Career development

Followings are the main definitions of Career development:

  • According to Schuler, "It is an activity to identify the individual needs, abilities and goals and the organization’s job demands and job rewards and then through well designed programmes of career development matching abilities with demands and rewards".
  • In the words of Mansfield, "Career development is a process in which personnel experience, concept and publicly observable aspect of career interact to precipitate each successive stage of occupational statuses".
  • According to Middlemist, Hill and Greer, "Career development is a process of planning the series of possible jobs one may hold in an organization over time and development strategies designed to provide necessary job skills as the opportunities arise".

Career development helps you take stock of who you are and where you want to go in life. In order to achieve growth, continue learning, and achieve momentum in your career you must assess your situation and your goals frequently, otherwise you doom yourself to the fate of a robot working a daily routine. Here are a few career development questions you can ask yourself:  

  • Where do I want to be in my career at the end of this year? What job would I like to retire from? It’s O.K. to think about next month or even 30 years from now. You can’t achieve career development without having a goal.
  • Do I like the field I’m working in? Career development doesn’t mean you have to develop the career you currently in, but can also mean changing careers, even changing environments. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to work in the big city. You can start thinking now about finding jobs in New York or jobs in Philadelphia. Remember, it is your career, your life, your choices. Answer your questions honestly (there are no rights or wrongs!) and reconsider the questions from time-to-time as your desires may change.
  • What would I like to learn more about? If you have strong interests in a particular area, you also probably have strengths and talents in that area. Your desire to learn more about a certain subject or field will propel you faster in your career. Find your niche!

Growth means, to an employee, one or more of the following:

  1. Climbing up the ladder in the organizational hierarchy.
  2. On-going increase in remuneration.
  3. Acquiring higher level skills & competencies.
  4. Occupying higher level Job positions.
  5. Having an opportunity to avail of some exclusive benefits (perks & privileges).

Facts [+]

A survey  showed that men tend to prefer innovative companies that are financially healthy and offer quality products and services, good training and career prospects, whereas women look for factors like easy accessibility, flexible work arrangements, pleasant atmosphere.

While older respondents had greater concern for strong management, values and image, quality products and good work atmosphere, the younger workforce look for technological innovativeness, flexible working arrangements and global career opportunities.

Most executives cited the lack of challenges or opportunity for career growth, rather than inadequate compensation, as the main reason they left their last job, according to a recent survey by executive search firm Korn/Ferry International. Twenty percent cited ineffective leadership, while 17 percent said the attractive job market was why they left their last jobs.

Top executives' exit gives PepsiCo

Feb,2012. NEW DELHI: At least three senior officials have exited PepsiCo India at a time when its global parent has announced 8,700 job cuts, potentially impacting the beverages and snacks maker's performance in the crucial summer season.

"There's a lack of roles in leadership positions; and growth opportunities are limited," a PepsiCo official said, requesting not to be named.
PepsiCo insiders said besides lack of growth opportunities within India and lesser number of roles being created for PepsiCo India officials in its US headquarters compared to the past, the company pushing diversity to accommodate more women in leading roles may have also played a role in some exits.


Career development plan at 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:

Employees

  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.

Systems Approach

Career development requires a systems approach.

1. This implies Institutionalization of processes to automatically capture essential data about each employee at the time of recruitment or induction.

It also includes maintenance, over the service span history of employment, of the following details:
a) training details,
b) performance statistics,
c) awards & recognitions,
d) special skills & competencies,
e) promotions,
f) pay increments and
g) Many other fields which depict the capability profile of an individual.

2. If these details are available to the management on an 'Employee Dashboard', career planning can be managed as a part of the HR Vision.



The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
The Myers-Briggs personality assessment has been identifying introverts, extroverts and other personality types since 1943. Based on the theories of psychologist Carl Jung, the Myers-Briggs questionnaire has been gauging personalities through attitude, style and cultural changes occurring during the past 60 years. Many consider it an essential tool for hiring and career development. The indicator is frequently used in the areas of pedagogy, career counseling, team building, group dynamics, professional development, marketing, family business, leadership training, executive coaching, life coaching, personal development, marriage counseling, and workers' compensation claims.


Career-Impacted Life Stages


Each person’s career goes through stages that influence an individual’s knowledge of, and preference for, various occupations. People change constantly and, thus, view their careers differently at various stages of their lives. Some of these changes result from the aging process and others from opportunities for growth and status. The main stages of the career cycle include the growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance, and decline. 

a. 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. 

b. 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. 

c. 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. 

d. 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 earned. 

e. 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.


Essential Tips for Boosting Career Development
- Mjellma

Every student graduating from higher education institutions always have great expectations in boosting their career development which is a must if you want to gain the maximum from the amount of time you invest in your job. But you realize that you can't dictate your progress anymore as companies are concentrating on building their goals thus molding workers depending on their needs. Becoming successful in your career requires you to have intelligence and personality to focus and also exploit the changes facilitated by life coach mentors who do a lot in molding individuals who have a focus in developing their kills.

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. Working with a life coach always provides you an opportunity to learn how to plan. Your life coach will guide you on how to come up with a plan, manage your time and also oversee you on the available jobs that you can start while molding your career. You can start working as a blogger, YouTube videos, online marketing, online writer and this will help you in developing your career rather than just sitting and waiting for a job from nowhere.

Be Ambitious

Getting ambitious is the way to go. You find that you can't motivate all by yourself as the motivation and spirit go down. At this point, you can always include the help of an experienced life coach. He will help you in identifying your passion and what you can do better and help you to nurture that skills towards your career development strategy. A life coach will assist in establishing the best technique in which you can imply when studying about your industry where they will motivate you to find more.

Extracurricular activities and volunteer

Life coach experts can help you in identifying the social groups that you can join that relate to your career development. It is a great asset that improves your responsibility as a leader thus helping you take control in nurturing your career. Engaging in extracurricular activities will help you in developing self-esteem, enable you to learn on how to participate in teamwork, improve social skills and enhance critical thinking where you will notice that all this is very important in boosting your career development. Also, engaging in physical activities, such as running, can have quite some benefits in your overall mood as well as clear up your mind to make better decisions. All you have to do is, take your running shoes, and start your day with a morning run.

Join Short Term Course

With the help of a life coach, you can both workout and determine the short courses that you may join to boost your career. The sessions will expand your skills and help you learn more about your career. You can also consider learning a new language that can help you in building your career. Life coach experts can help you to identify the websites that offer such courses where you can find yourself expanding your limits and get part-time jobs related to your career that will continue boosting your efforts towards growth developing your career.

Create Portfolio

It is not easy writing down everything you have done for the whole day, but it is always necessary for career development. Write this down and create a portfolio as it is one of the best ways to track down your achievements in life and also to realize your potential and weaknesses. The portfolio will also enable you to respond to tough questions during interviews where you can also display your portfolio on media platforms which will also boost your career development and also find potential employers who may be interested after viewing your portfolio.

Time management

You will find that most people are reluctant and the issue of managing time becomes a huge problem until you realize all your time is gone. If you find that you have such a problem, It is always necessary that you consult a life coach who can help you in coming up with a proper schedule that you can adhere to. One of the best things you learn from a life coach is that they will train you to start with the main priorities towards the least and these make a significant impact on how you will manage your time towards career development.

Conclusion

If you ever sit down and evaluate your progress, you realize that changes facilitated by life coach towards your goals in career development are immense. Many young people find it difficult to manage their career or move with the current trends. When boosting your career, you don't need to waste time, and you need to seek the help from life coaches who will help you in getting into focus as soon as possible before you realize time is gone.