Guide to Learning Career Development, incl Free Tutorials • Discoverology
31 items | 303m read

Ultimate Guide To Successful Career Development

7m read | Introduction
Ultimate Guide To Successful Career Development

According to some experts, Human Resource Management (HRM) comprises numerous components: organizational design, planning your human resources, evaluation & control and, the highlight of our article, career development. Effective management of all of these components contributes to the achievement of a firm’s overall objectives and goals.

One of these components that are dealt with by both the employee and the employer is Career Development. 

What exactly is Career Development?

Generally, and putting it out rather simply, career development can be easily defined as a process that continues throughout an individual’s lifetime, molding and shaping up their work identity. The exact starting point of this lifelong, evolutionary process cannot be clearly defined or pointed out for an individual as it begins as soon as they become aware of and acknowledge the different ways of earning a living. This awareness is usually followed by explorations carried out in different fields until the individual has made their final decision about the career they want to pursue.

It still doesn’t end here. After choosing a profession, you’ve got to work towards it; acquire the necessary qualifications, receive appropriate training, find employment and finally, advance in your chosen career. For the already employed and working population, career development also includes switching jobs or changing careers during their lifetime. To make career decisions easier and broaden their perspective, people may opt for hiring external career development services or even go for self-career development independently.

Looking at the subject more technically and in-depth brings us towards how organizations and individuals share the responsibility of career development; the process is viewed slightly differently by the employee and the employer.

An individual (employee) attaches significance to their career’s development because it serves them as a handy tool or even as a head-start during their journey towards achieving their personal goals-pay raises, job satisfaction, bonuses, etcetera. On the other hand, form an organization’s (employer) viewpoint, assisting their employees in managing their careers effectively ultimately works in the firm’s favor. Career development allows firms to match the best people to the best job available, results in productive human resource management and hence, aids firms in achieving their objectives efficiently.

Influencing Factors for Career Development

There exist several factors that may affect career development and may act as barriers as well. Below, we will be discussing some major and basic ones.

The Individual’s Personal Characteristics

Every person out there is an ‘individual’, meaning that there are certain differences between every person’s personal traits, aptitude, work-related preferences, interests, etcetera.

Personal characteristics play an important part in career development as they will essentially affect our idea of an ‘ideal’ job and working environment. For example, people who are more socially active and interactive tend to work better in environments that require extensive communication, such as marketing fields, in comparison to people who are shy and socially awkward.

Physical and Mental Capabilities

Physical and intellectual restrictions may impact a person’s career choices and development. Your passion and career preference may just simply not match your intellectual as well as physical competencies. For example, you may wish to be a doctor but may just not meet a medical school’s intellectual criterion. Moreover, there is, in some occupations, a criteria set regarding physical abilities in a job specification. For example, a specific minimum height set for pilots.

In case a person doesn’t meet these requirements, this factor may act as a barrier for them, restricting advancement in that career and coax them into exploring other career paths more suitable and in-line with their strengths. 

Financial Resources

This is rising concern for a large number of students out there who are looking to attain a college degree in order to work in an industry which requires them to be qualified to that level. Pursuing such career options and paths can prove to be costly as college tuition is not affordable by all. Restricted financial resources may end up with you switching your career path to settle for one that you aren’t completely satisfied with.

It is worth mentioning here that modern ways have been introduced to help students counter financially restrictive barriers and aid their career development; financial aid, merit scholarships, student loans, subsidies, etcetera.

Financial Obligations

This is a factor that affects career development for thousands of working men and women out there as they have certain financial obligations to meet with their monthly/weekly paycheck. You may be unsatisfied with the career path you have chosen and may wish to explore other options until you have found ‘the’ career for yourself.

However, this is where the burden and pressure of meeting unavoidable financial obligations timely-bills, rent payments, mortgages, tuition, etcetera-heavily affects and restricts career development for that individual.

Notable 5 Stages of Career Development

These five career stages have been allocated to a specific age range in Super’s ‘Career Development Theory’ but that does not mean that a person cannot (re)experience any of the stages under another age bracket. This simply implies that the biological ages of individuals are not necessarily bound to achieve correspondence with the development stage.

GROWTH (0-14 years old)

During this stage, the development of self-concept comes into play and results in the child experiencing growth by recognizing their personal characteristics, gaining a general view of the working world and relating to it according to their preferences, facing limitations and acknowledging & accepting their flaws.

EXPLORATION (15-24 years old)

As this stage proceeds, the individual takes their initial steps towards career development by identifying their areas of interest and gaining skills in that area in college or through other means. Eagerly exploring options and opportunities will be paramount here, with lucky individuals even going forward with an offer that is too good to refuse.

ESTABLISHMENT (25-44 years old)

This is a crucial stage during which the individual will be more focused and serious about their career development and skill-set. They will look for opportunities that will help them in refining their skills and achieving their personal objectives. Securing their career’s present and future will be paramount here in the concerned individual’s career development.

MAINTENACE (45-64 years old)

The goal during this stage will primarily be to stick to the current position while making necessary, mild amendments. However, people may enter a mid-life crisis situation and start questioning their past career choices and the options they let go-they just start being more anxious about the progress and development of their career. A decision regarding securing the current spot or changing the career path will have to be made in such situations.

Hence, the individual may be in need of career development services or may just resort to his own experience and expertise to make use of self-career development methods.

DECLINE (64+ years old)

When an individual enters this stage, they are mostly preparing themselves for retirement. Not much effort is invested in self-career development as their working years are nearing the inevitable end. The entire focus will now be on leaving work after tending to necessary tasks.

About This Career Development Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about career development from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

11 items | 105m read
18m read | Basics

What is Career Development?

Thomas G. Gutteridge defines career development as the “outcomes of actions on career plans as viewed from both individual and organizational perspectives”. Breaking that down, career development is viewed from two points of view: the employer (the organization) and the employee (the individual).
16m read | Basics

History of Career Theory

This article outlines the main schools within the broad area of career theory, which here have been defined as (a) a sociological perspective focusing on the structural influences over one’s working life and the interplay between individuals and institutions, (b) an “individual differences” or vocational perspective concentrating on fitting round pegs into round career holes, and (c) a developmental or life cycle perspective examining the way people develop and change over the course of their lives.
8m read | Basics

Holland's Theory of Career Choice

The Holland theory is the best known and most widely researched theory on this topic. It is widely used by professionals. Understanding the theory and using an accurate Holland assessment will help you identify careers and education programs that fit who you are and put you on a path to career well-being.
9m read | Basics

How to Create a Career Development Plan

It’s time for companies to stop holding their employees back for fear that they’ll leave for a competitor. Investing in your employees’ career development will not only keep them around longer, it will make them better at their jobs. Creating a career development plan isn’t as daunting as you might think. We’ve put together an easy 5 step plan to help get you on your way to creating your very own career development plan.
10m read | Basics

The Career Development Process

Children and youth progress through a career development process as they mature. It consists of four stages: Career Awareness, Career Exploration, Career Preparation, and Career Placement. Adults also continue to grow and develop in their careers as they age, albeit at a slower rate than children.
10m read | Basics

Career Development of Different Cultures

Cultural diversity is a fact of life in the U.S. population and work force, and career development practitioners must be prepared to work with clients in culturally sensitive and appropriate ways. Although individuals and specific groups have different experiences, there are some common career-related issues faced by diverse populations. Their career choices may be constrained by socialization, access to guidance and assessment, tracking into certain fields, societal and self-stereotypes, isolation from networks, and early schooling experiences.
5m read | Basics

Importance of Career Development

The process of organizational career development is important for both employees and employers. There may be several unintended and undesired changes as well as consequences that can change the entire scenario. In such a situation both employees and employers must be ready to keep with the changing environment and act accordingly. Employees continuously need to upgrade their skills and competencies to meet the current demands whereas organizations must be ready with those employees who can handle the pressure efficiently and cease the risk of falling prey to the changed scenario.
8m read | Basics

Using Career Development to Increase Employee Engagement

Identifying individual talents and providing career development opportunities for employees to further their abilities is a critical component in a robust talent management strategy. A focus on career development does wonders in engaging the current workforce while also recruiting and retaining future employees. When you empower and engage employees, you’ll find that your company may excel and reach heights you didn’t think possible.
8m read | Basics

The Career Development Gap

When it comes to advancing their careers, employees aren’t feeling the love. That’s a key finding from a recent white paper produced by TINYPulse, a firm that specializes in gathering data on employee engagement and satisfaction. Only 26% of employees surveyed felt they had adequate opportunities for career growth. The managers of these same employees were far more optimistic: 50% of managers surveyed felt there was adequate opportunity for professional development at their organizations. Talk about a major disconnect in perceptions!
7m read | Basics

Components of Employee Retention & Career Development Processes

Employers sometimes struggle to retain employees who make valuable contributions to business goals. Through certain processes, however, employers may be able to resolve turnover and continually improve employment performance. These processes include fairly appraising employee work, assessing your company’s benefits and building your workforce’s capability to provide in-house employee development.
6m read | Basics

Creating A Career Path To Retain Employees

Creating career paths for employees can be a challenging but worthwhile initiative. In today’s ultra-competitive job market, it’s becoming more and more important to invest in your employees, so you can retain them in the long-term. The problem is, many companies are simply not doing a great job at providing tangible vertical career paths for top-performing employees.
9 items | 81m read
8m read | Advanced

Career Development Issues with Teams

Teams play a very important role in the individual and career development of the team members. If team dynamics are understood and exploited properly, individual and collective development will happen exponentially. For example, one simple way of development of team members would be through benchmarking with team members who exhibit better competencies and skills. Teams can use these member skills and competencies to develop the same in other members who lag behind in certain areas where others excel.
10m read | Advanced

The GROW Model of Coaching and Mentoring

A good way of thinking about the GROW Model is to think about how you’d plan a journey. First, you decide where you are going (the goal), and establish where you currently are (your current reality). You then explore various routes (the options) to your destination. In the final step, establishing the will, you ensure that you’re committed to making the journey, and are prepared for the obstacles that you could meet on the way.
7m read | Advanced

How to Create SMART Career Development Plans

A SMART career development plan differentiates itself by being a living document.

Say your employee hasn’t had time to register for and take classes for her notary public certification. In a monthly conversation, you might identify why and make suggestions for projects that can be delayed or moved to another employee so that she can accomplish this goal.
7m read | Advanced

What Is Career Counseling?

Career counseling, also known as career guidance, is counseling designed to help with choosing, changing, or leaving a career and is available at any stage in life. One’s career is often one of the most important aspects of adulthood, and embarking on a new career, whether for the first time, the second time, or any time thereafter, can be a stressful event, especially when economic difficulties such as recession are a factor. A career counselor can help by outlining and discussing one’s potential career options.
14m read | Advanced

The History of Career Counseling

Career counseling was born in the United States in the latter 19th century out of societal upheaval, transition, and change. This new profession was described by historians as a progressive social reform movement aimed at eradicating poverty and substandard living conditions that had been created by the rapid industrialization and consequent migration of people to major urban centers at the turn of the 20th century.
9m read | Advanced

Career Counseling: Definitions, Theories, and Assessments

Career counselors use theories and assessments to help others make career choices, think through career problems, find jobs, and explore opportunities. Just like therapists, there are many different types of career counselors who use different theories, intervensions, and assessments. One counselor might focus more on helping someone pick a career while another might help someone with job satisfaction or career development.
5m read | Advanced

Steps in a Successful Succession Planning Process

While management may make the mistake of deprioritizing succession planning in favor of other important tasks, failure to do so could severely jeopardize a company’s future should a leader depart. However, putting a successful plan into action may involve more work than simply cross-training employees on multiple roles. Here are a few steps executive leadership should consider when developing future plans.
14m read | Advanced

Succession Planning Roadmap

The only way to reduce the effect of lost leadership is through a strong succession planning program that identifies and fosters the next generation of leaders through mentoring, training and stretch assignments, so they are ready to take the helm when the time comes. Research supports sound succession planning. A study some years ago from consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton concluded that “over their entire tenures, CEOs appointed from the inside tend to outperform outsiders” when it comes to returns to shareholders. Yet many organizations struggle to take their succession planning programs beyond a static list of names slotted for a few top spots.
7m read | Advanced

Managing Succession Plans and Career Paths

When a succession is fractured, it becomes front-page news. When succession planning achieves the intended or desired result, the transition is smooth and not necessarily newsworthy.

When evaluating best practices for succession planning, organizations often associate successful succession management with Jack Welch’s tenure at General Electric (GE) and how his leadership shaped and elevated GE’s philosophy, practice and legacy of growing leaders by grooming talent from within the organization.
10 items | 110m read
8m read | Expert

Career Development Programs

Has your organization seriously considered implementing a career development program? If not, perhaps this is a good time to do so. The following description of several, widely used career development interventions and case studies can be used to stimulate discussion on various career development practices.
3m read | Expert

The Pros & Cons of Employee Development

Every job will involve some level of staff training and development, and typically training is given at the start of new employment. All new recruits to any team will need some form of initial training. It may be that full training is required, for example for industry novices or apprentices, or perhaps experienced, yet new, employees just need to be shown the ropes.
5m read | Expert

Best Practices for Creating a Career Development Program

Career development programs today are no longer optional. Employees want development, and they want it through their workplace. Providing a great career development program is a gateway for improving employee engagement, increasing employee retention, and creating good company culture. This makes a formal program crucial to the employee experience.

However, not all career development programs are created equal. There are different approaches and ways to implement them. So, how do you decide? The key is to adhere to some best practices to create the optimal program for your organization.
5m read | Expert

How to Choose the Right Career

With thousands of occupations to pick from, to increase the odds of career satisfaction, find one that is a good fit for your interests, aptitudes, work-related values, and personality type. It is also essential that you enjoy the majority of the job duties, the earnings are acceptable, and the job outlook is good. Here’s how to go about making a good match.
14m watch | Expert

Your Career Development Cycle

As someone who never used his career center in undergrad, it’s ironic that I’m a career consultant and proponent of all things career and professional development. Join me as I discuss the career development cycle and why you’re always revisiting your growth and development.
9m read | Expert

How to Choose the Right Career Development Technique?

Choosing the right career development technique is important. There are many considerations.

To make it easy for you I have narrowed it down to three key considerations as you think about the career development methods that will best suit you.

They are:
— Learning style
— Type of gap, and
— Nature of career change
6m read | Expert

Career Pathing Case Study

Campbell Soup Company is a globally recognized brand with annual sales of more than $8B. With an award-winning focus on environmental sustainability, strategic business practices and a community orientation, Campbell’s has found its greatest success by focusing on, and nurturing, the prosperity of each person the company touches.
40m read | Expert

Career Test: Work Personality Analysis

Take the Career Test trusted by Companies, Universities, and Human Resource Departments around the world. Answer all 60 questions as they pertain to you in a fulfilling work environment. There are no wrong answers. If you are undecided, choose the answer that describes you more often.
10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Books About Career Development

Activate Your Agile Career: How Responding to Change Will Inspire Your Life’s Work. The agile careerist consistently iterates ideas that answer the questions, “What do I want that I currently don’t have in my life’s work?” or “What do I want to do next?” The agile mindset embraces the principles of responsive career design and navigation while moving forward with an intentional flair. Employers want to hire them, bosses want them on their team, and many agile thinkers write the ticket to their career choices and entrepreneurial efforts.

The Career Architect Development Planner. A systematic approach to development including 103 research-based and experience-tested development plans and coaching tips: for learners, managers, mentors, and feedback givers.

Applying Career Development Theory to Counseling. This book shows you how to apply the principles of career development to a variety of counseling settings. This book is clearly written, filled with useful case examples, and includes integrated diversity coverage to give you the advantage in your course and your career. You’ll find information about websites on internships, education, counseling organizations, and jobs.

Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want. Study after study confirms that career development is the single most powerful tool managers have for driving retention, engagement, productivity, and results. But most managers feel they just don’t have time for it. This book offers a better way: frequent, short conversations with employees about themselves, their goals, and the business that can be integrated seamlessly into the normal course of business.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Courses About Career Development

Project Management & Other Tools for Career Development. This intensive and hands-on series of courses gives you a blend of skills from project management. Successful projects require careful upfront planning. In this specialization, you will gain a strong working knowledge of the basics of project management. You’ll learn the key roles and responsibilities of the project manager and project team and to answer some key questions upfront to help you meet project objectives, as well as managing project risk.

Successful Career Development. Through industry expert support and resources, this course is designed to prepare you for success in any chosen career. You will develop the habits and attitudes you need to perform effectively in the job market. You will identify a mentor to add value to your career. You will analyze your relationships and develop a practical approach for engaging your LinkedIn network. You will differentiate between networking and networking with intention.

The Complete Job, Interview, Resume/LinkedIn & Network Guide. This comprehensive complete career course is 12 hours, contains more than 250 lectures, 67 easy to complete exercises and 29 templates/other downloads to help you get your dream job.

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