Career Development Planning basically refers to the act by which an individual can go through to evolve his occupational situation. In short, it is the process of laying down plans for future learning, to align individual aspirations for mental or physical fulfillment with career progression opportunities. The term also encompasses the whole gamut of educational interventions aimed at enabling young people to choose a rewarding career. A career is defined as any occupation that provides an individual with practical work-related experiences and which has the potential to grow in terms of salary, advancing responsibilities or both.
In today’s world, many people are forced to choose careers that pay the lowest wages. This means that a career development plan should be developed so as to give individuals the best remuneration that one can realistically handle. These days there is a huge demand for skilled professionals. Therefore, those who wish to acquire skills in specific areas should make sure that they develop these skills while getting the best pay. In such a case, career development planning is very important.
There is a huge need for career development because employers are highly selective when it comes to selecting the most suitable candidates for their jobs. Many companies have a time table set by the human resource managers who are responsible for laying down the most suitable job vacancies on a permanent basis. To get an employee hired, the human resource managers have to ensure that he has the required skills and qualities required for performing the assigned tasks. This calls for career development for the employees. However, many employees fail to take advantage of this requirement of career planning until they reach the end of their careers.
It is important to note that there are two types of career development: structured and unstructured. A structured career development typically follows a specific pattern; whereas an unstructured one is more flexible and can often involve taking up varied career opportunities. Both types of career development are necessary in order to meet the demands of an organization. For an employee to move up the career ladder, one needs to be capable of increasing his skills and qualifications, irrespective of the type of job he is holding at the moment. This is what career development focuses on.
Career development usually involves evaluating oneself so as to determine the gaps that need to be closed along with the improvement of one’s capabilities. The main components of career development include assessing one’s own abilities, setting short-term and long-term goals, identifying career related obstacles, reviewing potential career options, and planning activities. These activities are designed in order to identify one’s career path, establish relevant goals and evaluate one’s current skills, knowledge and qualification. The assessment process also allows one to see if they have the ability to contribute to the growth and development of the organisation. If the employee does not possess the required skills or knowledge, the person should consider changing the career or taking up a different one.
It is important for organisations to implement career development policies so as to provide their employees with a variety of career choices. It has been found that employees develop a preference for certain career paths over others if the environment in which they work permits such a choice. There is a natural tendency to prefer a particular line of work because they are comfortable in it. However, it is important for employers to encourage employees to take up alternatives if they show a strong potential for developing into something better. This will help to ensure that the business is able to attract and retain people who have the potential to contribute to its growth and development.
The initial stage of career development involves defining and laying down career goals. The initial set of career opportunities could be very broad depending upon one’s own interests and abilities. In this stage it is important to conduct a thorough research in order to identify various career opportunities. It is important to choose a line of work that can be developed further. An employee who is able to go through each of the following stages is likely to find a better job.
Stage Three – Once the initial research and assessment have been conducted it is time to set up a plan of action. An employer will need to determine whether it is in the interests of the business to pursue a particular career path. Decisions regarding the size of investment required and expenditure on training will need to be made. It may also be necessary to consult external agencies or organisations to assist with the decisions. One can use career development professionals to help with this process.