Career Planning & Development
In this lesson, you’re expected to learn about:
– the importance of career development
– the career planning process
What is Career Development?
Career development is the process of improving an individual’s abilities in anticipation of future opportunities for achieving career objectives.
It is a formal approach taken by an organization to help its employees acquire the skills and experience needed to perform current and future jobs.
In simple terms, it means ‘Providing employees an opportunity to grow’, especially to those employees who deliver performance.
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.
A company’s policies especially those relating to promotion, counseling the employees, and opportunities to excel in the 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.
This shift has changed the way that organizations handle career development. Career development is viewed today as a kind of partnership with employees. It is also a key component of a company’s attraction and retention strategy. Many candidates will not consider employment with an organization unless it offers career development as a basic component of its culture.
Now, organizations see career development as a way of:
– preventing job burnout
– providing career information to employees
– improving the quality of work lives
– meeting affirmative action goals
Thus, career development must be seen as a key business strategy if an organization wants to survive in an increasingly competitive and global business environment.
Career development needs to be considered from the perspectives of both the organization and the employee.
Organization: What skills and knowledge do we require to achieve our business goals?
Employee: What are the skills and knowledge I think critical to my current and future career plans?
Employees should have a career plan that has been discussed with their manager. Generally, this would take place during the performance review process.
The career plan includes an assessment of the “gaps” or training requirements and should be reviewed on an ongoing basis. This ensures that both the employee’s and the organization’s needs and objectives are adjusted over time.
Current job: Does the employee have the skills to meet the responsibilities of their current job?
Gaps: Assess the person’s current levels of competency and their future requirements. This will reveal what gaps need to be addressed to develop their skills so they can meet future job requirements.
Future aspirations: Where does the employee see themselves in the future? What business results do they hope to achieve?
Career planning is the process through which individuals identify and implement steps to attain their career goals. There are five basic steps in the career planning process:
(2) investigating career opportunities
(3) goal setting
(4) action planning
In this phase, the individual begins by examining his or her own assets, characteristics, interests, and current level of skill development. Although self-assessment is often done informally, many formal tests and inventories are also available.
Measures of aptitudes, interests, personality, values, and preferences can prove to be quite useful in developing a profile. Two of the most widely used inventories are the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) and the Myers–Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI).
The second phase of career planning involves investigating a range of career opportunities to determine which skills, interests, and abilities are required.
Basically, this is an information-gathering step, and many sources may be used, including friends, family members, and business associates as well as written sources.
Goal setting is the process of using what has been learned through self-assessment and the investigation of career opportunities to decide where one wants to go, at least in the short run.
It is necessary to set one’s sights on opportunities that match not only personal interests, but also demonstrated abilities and skills. To be most helpful, the goals set should be specific and measurable as well as reasonably attainable within a specified time frame.
Next, the action plan details specific steps required to accomplish one’s goals.
An action plan may include seeking additional required training or formal education; developing particular management, interpersonal, job search, or other needed skills either on or off the job; or even seeking an internship or temporary work assignment to gain experience. Whatever is needed to attain the goal must be addressed in the action plan.
Finally, career planning involves ongoing evaluation of progress toward one’s career goals. Evaluation keeps planning on track and can also help identify strengths and weaknesses in a career plan.
Since people’s career needs are likely to change over their lifetime, self-assessment and career planning should be a continuous process, not a one-time activity.
With the growing importance of working in teams, it becomes difficult to define an individual’s job in terms of its specific tasks and duties, or skill utilization, because any of these components are likely to change as a function of the team or project assignment.
When the specific skills to be utilized are poorly defined or changing, how is one to set individual developmental objectives for particular skill acquisition? A solution offered by Cianni and Wnuck is to focus on generic, yet important, collaborative skills that working on a team can provide.