The Importance of Career Development Planning
When it comes to setting your career on the right path of growth, development and success, planning might sound like one of the things you should do but don’t, right? But I bet there has been a time when you thought about how it might help you or wondered why you aren’t progressing at the speed or direction you deserve. This may be one important factor that holds you back.
To help you solve this problem, I’ve created a synopsis of the things you need to consider in initiating or improving your plans for career success…and you can implement them right now, today! These ideas and concepts will get you real, actionable results in your career development. And to make it easy, we have divided this article into key elements.
Career development can be related to various stages, be it during your education years and post-graduation stage or at little higher stage at employment organizational level. The career development goals are not only associated with work or study, but, can be defined as the total constellation of educational, psychological, physical, sociological and economic factors that influence an individual’s way of living and work.
Generally, the objective of a person is in planning their future is towards ultimate success and satisfaction with their value and contribution. If a realistic goal is expressed positively, also clearly articulating the vision and linking this to setting priorities, you will surely achieve opportunities and feel focused towards fulfilling all of them.
Before proceeding towards any objective, a certain plan is required; similarly, a well crafted career development plan also helps in providing a focused approach to establish reliable growth and progress. Your career planning needs to be built around the following:
Current or future lifestyle goals, analyzing your strengths and weaknesses
Analyzing your own definition of success, what you see as your dream job and identifying the next career move
Comparing your current state with the expected state will help you calculate time and effort required to reach your goals.
Taking essential steps and utilizing one’s skills to fulfill those will help accomplish a well-defined career plan. Candid self-assessment at intervals is a vital step to get idea of your actual reach and how much more you need to go.
There are certain career development theories which enlighten us about the continuous lifelong process of developmental experiences focusing on self, educational and occupational alternatives and lifestyle options. Many theories and research studies describe career development behavior which provides the conceptual glue for what purpose needed career interventions should be implemented.
The four disciplines that usually cover the process of career development theories include; Differential psychology related to work and occupations, Personality, Sociology that focus on occupational mobility and Developmental Psychology that is concerned with life course. A theory does not necessarily guarantee your reality, but it is a picture, a description, an image and representation of reality that might be achieved.
An Example of a Career Development Process
Students and scholars who are engaged in research and development work and higher studies often conduct or also participate in career development programs. These programs are meant to provide mentoring junior researchers so that they can learn from renowned and experienced researchers. Leaders can guide the newly entrants in the concerned area for reaching their career goals.
Many different fields of clinical science, health services, biomedical labs and rehabilitation research participate in such career programs where young minds are encouraged to get involved. These programs are conducted for other areas of study also. There are various opportunities given to students and aspirants for submission of their research work in form of research papers and journals, these are also a part of career development program.
There is a certain time in a student’s life when he or she needs to decide on a potential or desired career path on completion of his or her primary education. It is that time when they decide what subjects to choose further based on the choice of career in future. This career path thinking leads them to the right way where they can be guided from experienced scholars and respected mentors and successful people in the field pursued.
By starting in a lower-level job, or internship, in a particular career path, one can move up within that path with the help of more education and experience. There are various courses available which may help enhance skills making it easier for job-seekers and people seeking for job change to attain the desirable one.
Career development planning is a purposeful and orderly method for reviewing your current situation in the your career, deciding where are versus where you want to be and making use of goal setting to successfully implement the plans.
Firstly, one should be aware where he or she presently stands, what are the reasons of making a particular choice for the career, i.e. the influencing forces, depending upon the educational and professional qualifications.
Secondly, a person should have a clear vision where does he or she want to be in one/five/ten years, i.e. the career destination.
Thirdly, knowing what it will take to get there will help follow the plan seamlessly. It will also help you analyze your decision.
The career development process involves the completion of a variety of activities also with various follow-ups and recommendations from qualified counselors and experienced people. The first most important step in the process of career development is self assessment that helps you determine the right direction.
Another step is exploring career options and evaluating which one suits you the most according to your educational qualification and experience. Other influencing factors like family can also be considered while choosing a career direction.
Taking a closer look will help in decision making and it is this point where you will apply your self assessment and exploration results.
Finally taking action to pursue a career or training program or joining a job or filling an application, etc. will lead you towards the career goal you have set.
Career development strategies can be applied to layout your studies, skill development, job, promotion or opportunity search. Reviewing one’s strengths, weaknesses, motivations and values will help make a solid foundation. Analyzing these basic fundamentals will help you excel at the role you are playing now.
Identifying your comparative advantage is something that will help add value to the organization you’re engaged with, observing people around you and what you can do to make yourself better is a great strategy. Making most of the opportunities available to you will obviously add to your skills and experience. Staying updated with the field you are interested in will be a great boost.
Career choice, development and other related activities are proactive lifelong processes, which are integral at every stage of your education and occupation. Career development training programmes and appraisal processes incorporate reflection and discussion with others relevant to your career choice. These programs help create a vision towards your future and selecting appropriate steps via learning and practical efforts in achieving the same.
In order to improve existing skills and acquire new ones as well, one can opt for cost-effective training solutions and courses that specifically focus on professional career development. Career development training can be undertaken for numerous fields including accounting, medicines, arts and photography, business applications, legal studies, software programs, technology and writing and communication skills improvement.
It is important to understand the career pathing plan in order to determine and achieve the desired life direction, both personally and professionally. Taking control of your career needs to follow certain steps that challenges and help to make plans accordingly. The career pathing process involves understanding the knowledge, skills, personal traits and experience that is needed in a candidate to progress in his or her career. Taking an honest look at the career goals will aid to take a realistic career plan and successfully accomplish the career goal. Career pathing is the journey to improvement in your career by certain processes such as promotional examinations, appraisal testing and analysis and applying proven career development activities.
In my 40+ years of experience as both a business owner, entrepreneur and corporate executive, I have seen too many potentially successful employees and managers fall short. They either do not work through a real career plan, don’t understand the importance or just assume they have it all together. My best recommendation is to not make these mistakes. Pursue building your plan for success, seek help but most important…Take Action!
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