Career Development or career planning refers to the procedure by which an individual can go through to develop his occupational status in accordance with his skills, qualification and interest. It is basically the process of determining the best method to align career desires of an individual with future occupational advancement opportunities. It aims at helping an individual identify their future goals and work towards achieving those goals. An individual can undergo a career development program either on their own or as part of a group training.
There are two main types of career soft skills development that an organization can undertake for their employees. These are Professional Development and Corporate Training or Engaging in Personal Development. Professional development encompasses a wide range of activities that involve learning new skills, acquiring new knowledge and enhancing existing skill sets and knowledge base. This helps to enhance job performance and handle job responsibilities in a more productive manner. In addition, it also improves employee engagement and loyalty.
The importance of career development plan can never be underestimated. It is essential for all professionals, including managers to understand their job requirements and what skills they have to contribute to the business. For instance, a manager has different skills from his employees. Therefore a new year’s resolution to understand job requirements for the next year can not be taken lightly. A manager needs to understand where he fits in to his team and how his skills can be better utilized to contribute positively to the overall growth of the business. A professional development plan therefore includes understanding his individual skills set, developing those skills and then integrating them with the overall corporate strategy.
Engaging in career planning skills is one way to take one step closer to career development objectives. It involves setting short-term and long-term career goals and working towards achieving these goals with consistent effort and focus over a long period of time. Most people who take up career planning often end up staying in their current jobs. However, career development goals are usually only achieved with enough dedication and hard work. For a person to set realistic career goals and work towards achieving them, he must possess certain characteristics.
Career Planning Skills: Developing a career plan takes time, commitment and consistency. However, when these skills are properly implemented, a person is able to set realistic career goals and work towards achieving them. Professional development aims at improving a person’s soft skills such as problem solving and communication. The basic idea behind all soft skills is that people with good communication skills and problem-solving skills are more likely to succeed in their jobs. In addition, a person who is good at communicating his ideas and concerns to his peers has higher employee value than one who is unable to communicate effectively.
Career Progression: A career development plan is useless without a progression plan. In other words, employees must know what is next after they complete their existing jobs. A career progression program includes giving employees a sense of their own importance, increasing employee value and contributing to the organization’s continued success. Therefore, the ladder of the career path should be well-stepped up. An effective career progression plan ensures that employees enjoy a steadily rising pay rise, which helps to motivate them to further their career.
Professional Development: A career progression and professional development plan are not enough if a company is not taking the necessary steps to promote its employees. Therefore, it is important for companies to undertake career assessment programs, which determine a person’s current skill level and future objectives. Career advancement requires that employees go through professional development. Career progression helps employees develop skills that will help them acquire new job responsibilities and enhance their pay rise.
Many companies nowadays offer employees the chance to choose from several career paths, which may include conventional career paths or more unconventional career paths. A career progression program is also useful when a company wants to change its image or brand name. Changing a career can have several negative effects on an employee’s physical and mental health. Therefore, it is important for employers to ensure that their workforce has strong career ladders. Otherwise, they could lose their best employees to the competition, leaving them with nowhere to fall back.