Career Development or Career Planning refers to the act that an individual can go through to evolve his occupational capacity. It is essentially the act of making determined decisions for future learning, in order to align future personnel requirements of psychological or physical fulfillment with career progression opportunities available. It has been observed that career development is more significant than any other phase of a career. This is because, it is during this period when an individual is at the stage where they have to select and take up a career that will suit their personality and career aspirations. Apart from this, career planning is also important as it allows people to choose a career that provides them with both financial and emotional security. It is during this period of time when one is actively involved in career training programs or courses.
At this stage one has a number of career development options to look out for. These range from full or part-time employment to self-employment, self directed professional training, affiliate or consultancies, temporary or permanent contracts, business and career development and much more. As career development is a continuous process, one can make a choice of changing careers once they are ready to do so. There are many reasons for which one can make such a change including, remoteness, fixed work environments, changes in the family and the need to shift to another area which matches the interests, skills, desires and personality. For instance, people who are from small and compact towns can opt for services and jobs working in big cities, or people who prefer working in an environment with high traffic but are not located within the city proper, such as people who work in IT related jobs in the city centre.
It has been observed that people tend to get stuck at a particular occupational field and remain there for years. Such people need to change their career development plans as they fail to develop the necessary skills and expertise required in a particular job. One of the primary steps that one should take when making a career development plan is to identify your capabilities, strengths and skills, and the needs of your organization. The next step is to choose a career that you are really interested in and are capable of learning new things along the way. In order to achieve this you will need the right tools such as career counseling, career mentors, career posters, career books, etc. After making this decision, it is important to start focusing on the skills and the abilities you have to be at your best.
One of the best ways of developing your career is through career development systems. A career development system is a tool that helps you identify the type of work you want to do, your aptitudes, skills, preferences, interests, values and capabilities and finally assess your career interests. It basically consists of three elements; namely the competency assessment, the personality assessment and the skill appraisal. The competency assessment is designed to find out your strength and the areas where you are weak. The other two aspects to help you assess your personal and career interests and determine the type of job that suits you best.
It is necessary for every employer to develop their employees potentials through career development planning. A career development plan gives them a set of steps that can help identify the right and rewarding career paths for their employees. It helps improve employees skills, develop their interests, acquire new skills and understand their objectives and motivations. A career development plan also enables employers to understand the employees’ potentials in terms of transferability. It is a very important component of the overall human resource planning process and should therefore be taken seriously by all employers.
In addition to career development, employers should also set forth a main objective for the company and lay down a series of smaller goals to help them achieve the main goal. Each of the smaller goals should be linked to one main objective. When you work towards achieving the main objective, then you will be able to achieve each of the smaller ones as well.
The main reason why employers develop their employees ability is because it increases their job performance and the overall company performance. It is because good and effective leaders have the ability to motivate their employees and help them attain new levels of job performance. They increase their employees ability to perform better by identifying their weak areas and giving them tools and skills to develop those areas.
In summary, career development and career planning are interrelated. It helps in moulding employees into good business leaders. It improves their job performance. It develops their skills. Overall, career development planning is a continuous process, which should be considered as an integral part of every organisation’s overall plans.