When we were kids, every one of us where thinking of being something or having specific job in the future. Many of us were thinking to be doctors, teachers, policeman, pilot etc… But reaching these positions or got these jobs will not be easy without knowing what are we good at and what are the ears that we want to improve ourselves in. Also if we want to get these jobs or positions we should have goals and we have to work as hard as we can to accomplish these goals.
Every one of us should have a career plan in mind when we graduate from universities or collage or even before that when we graduate from high school because having plan is always motivate us to study, work and develop ourselves in order to achieve and accomplish our plan.
When we get our first job we should ask for career development plan and it will be much better if we could draw this plan ourselves because we know what our strengths and weakness and we know what are the best trainings and programs we should take in order to improve ourselves.
Career development is very important aspect in our working life and personal life. In our working life its important because no one of us wants or wishes to stay and the same job and the same position for ever, without developing or having the career development plan we will not be able to improve ourselves and get promoted. In our personal life it is important to have career development plan we will be able to make our families and friends happy and proud of us because by having the career development plan we will be able to reach our goals that we have always dream of.
This paper is talking about the career development and career development plan and how it is important for the employees and the organizations.
Now days there are many people change their careers more than one time in their lives. For these people who change their career for more than three times, they should know and understand the important of the career development. (John Groth)
The career development is the formal approach used by the organization to help people acquire the skills and experiences needed to perform current and future jobs. (R. Wayne Mondy)
The career development process is the exploring of your skills and what are your strengths and weakness. Career development is also like a plan you design it yourself to help you in advance through your career. (John Groth)
The Roles of the Managers and the Employees in the Career Development
(R. Wayne Mondy)
- Appraising the Performance
- Coaching and Supporting
- Guiding and Counseling
- Providing Feedback
- Supplying Information
- Self Assessment
- Gathering Data
- Setting Goals
- Working with Supervisor
- Developing Plan
THE THREE STAGES OF THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT:
The First Stage is the “Bring It on Stage”: this is the first stage in the career life. The age of the people in this stage is from the mid 20’s to the early 30’s. People in this stage of their career development are very active, strong and powerful. They determine to make their mark in the world of work. Most of the people in this stage feel that they are very strong and able to do everything they asked for also they can make what they want to happen. Success and possibilities are unlimited during this stage. (Dan Strakal)
The Second Stage is the “Realistic Stage”: the age of the people in this stage is from the early 30’s to mid 40’s. During this stage specific values and career realities begin to come out. At the point of the career development, people of this stage feel that the values could create a conflict between choosing priorities in their work life and their home lives. After spending 10 to 15 years in the workforce, people in this stage feel that they might not being able to do what they were planning to at all, because some of them are feeling that they are not controlling their own career destines. (Dan Strakal)
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The Third Stage is the “Reinvention Stage”: this is the last stage in the career development. The age of the people in this stage is from the mid 40’s to retirement. This stage starts when people began to redefining and reconciling their work life and personal life. People during this stage have learned from many challenges that they were facing in the last pervious stages and this is the best time to be focus in creating a legacy of specific contributions to be remembered for in their careers, their families and their communities. (Dan Strakal)
They have to find ways to match people’s values, beliefs, and behaviors to projects and tasks. For example it will be great if they assignee people who are in the Bring it on Stage to the tasks or projects which need and required lots of energy. Get the people who are in the Realistic Stage to value added projects or tasks so they can feel engaged and a part of something big and important. For the people who are in the Reinvention Stage, leaders and manager should get them in projects such as monitoring programs, company history initiatives or leadership development programs. (Dan Strakal)
Managers and leader should understand the and knowledge the three stages in order to be able to prevent and solve problems and conflicts that may be occur due to career development differences in values and perspectives. (Dan Strakal)
The Assessment Phase:
Those who think about successful and satisfying career need to understand themselves first. They also need to know how in which way they can perform best at workplace. One of the key factors in career development is job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is at its highest when the job engages the strongest personality qualities of an individual and when the job is in line with individual’s values and attitudes. The fit between employee and organization, in terms of organization nature and culture, directly affects employee’s career development, performance and chances to succeed. Leadership skills are one of the key factors in career development, too. Ability to cope with stress effectively is another important factor in career success. Assessments can help individuals understand their preferred activities, work style, learn best ways of working with others, and manage conflicts. Facilitates the improvement, alignment, and integration of overall organizational effectiveness and capabilities . Monitors progress over time .
The assessment evaluates organizational approaches (processes), the extent to which they are deployed, evaluated/improved, aligned, and integrated throughout the organization, and their effectiveness at driving organizational results.
Organization assessments are used for learning and improvement. Much like an annual health physical, this tool helps managers better understand what is working well and on what they should be focusing their improvement efforts.
But the real value of an assessment is its ability to improve performance – to improve outcomes and drive tangible organizational results. And a few studies have proven the value of an assessment and systemic management framework.
Public and private organizations are complex systems of interacting components. In order to properly gauge the organization’s performance and its readiness for change, it is critical to engage in an assessment for immediate feedback and understanding of issues such as:
- Roles and responsibilities
- Work climate
- Group dynamics
- Training needs
- Culture and norms
- Team behavior
- Work processes
Organizational Assessment Sequence
Organizational Assessment is a systematic procedure to gather information about an organization, diagnose specific challenges, and develop ways to address them. Effective assessment should be seen as a window into the organization, providing insight into critical issues. It is the cornerstone of any transformation process, and provides the basis for determining how an organization will achieve its vision. Readiness for change is a proven and critical measure of success. Assessment is the first step in understanding the complexity of organizations and essential in measuring the conditions that are necessary for successful change. A thorough assessment will assist in developing an effective transformation plan. The information gathered provides the organization with an understanding of its readiness for change, as well as the actions that will be necessary for successful transformation.
Organizational Assessments are an excellent first step towards taking action to initiate positive organizational change. Managing organizational change is an important challenge for leaders at all levels today. In assessing the effectiveness of an organization, it is important to first understand its functional purpose .
Self assessment is the first step of the career planning process. During a self assessment you gather information about yourself in order to make an informed career decision. A self assessment should include a look at the following:
Values: the things that are important to you, like achievement, status, and autonomy
Interests: what you enjoy doing, i.e. playing golf, taking long walks, hanging out with friends
Personality: a person’s individual traits, motivational drives, needs, and attitudes
In addition to determining what you’re good at, a skills assessment also helps figure out what we enjoy doing.
The direction phase:
One of the most critical and important phase in the process of career development for employees in any organization is the direction phase that acts as a golden link between the assessment and development phases since it has two main roles by driving the identified employee to the appropriate path in the career life and provide a chance to improve the quality and options of this path in the future as a development mission.
Only specialists have the ability to design the career direction of any employee based on their experience with taking in their consideration different aspects related to the organization and employee needs; in order to satisfy all the needs. At the same time, you as an employee must be honest in order to ensure the successful of the assessment phase and get the right information about yourself, so counselor will be able to select the right career path. The most important tasks carried out by them are:
- Choosing a major
- Developing a career plans
- Planning a job search
- Changing careers
Counselor will have some discussions and meetings in order to show you different options available and suitable for your future. In case if you are not interested in those options for any reasons, other alternatives will be taken in considerations by designing a job research planning.
Sometimes employees are working for a long time in the wrong field, but they accept this situation just to get salary and survive in this life. Actually this mistake must be solved by changing the whole career which is the most difficult step because counselor must focus on the behavioral and mentality side of individual.
Nowadays, there are many career counseling centers and offices all over the world that provide a service for those who are confused and don’t know what kind of career major to select.
Today, the most valuable asset for everyone is the information that must be given for those who are looking for career development and job search. It is a complementary activity for setting up the direction process. Different methods and tools can be used to offer this information and training sessions for employees, such as seminars presented by professionals on a broad range of topics of interest to job seekers like (Starting Your Own Business, Working for a Charity).
Also, job workshops can be carried out in order to gather the maximum number of people with different culture and knowledge and then divide them into groups to share ideas and points with each other besides learning from other mistakes and experiences.
THE DEVELOPMENT PHASE:
The development phase in the career growth of an employee is a significant milestone to move in an organization.
An employee who meets the requirements of career development is more likely to be catapulted to the higher position. This improvement however could not be done overnight because the skills, concepts, and capabilities are enhanced through processes.
The promotion of a certain individual depends on the success of the development phase. This stage in his life is crucial depending on people and organization that are responsible in preparing him for higher opportunities. These people and organizations that play key roles in shaping the employee to prepare for the new challenging tasks awaiting him on his new position, are either his managers, supervisors or even peer group and affiliated associations.
Some of these common development programs offered by organizations are mentoring, coaching, job rotation and tuition assistance. The terms may change interchangeably but the desired objective to develop and mould the employee to the next higher position will help tremendously for the career development of the employee.
Famous among the development programs is mentoring. To mentor as Psychology book says is to “walk along with the other person.” It could happen between a senior and a junior officer, manager and supervisor or supervisor and employee. It can happen also between a person and his peers, his organizations or affiliated association.
Mentoring can simply be called advising, role modeling, sharing contacts and giving general support. Mentoring can happen any time during office hours or even outside of the official time. Moreover, it can happen in any levels in the organization.
Empirical evidence proves that effective mentoring can improve outcomes such as performance levels, promotion rate, upward mobility, and income and job satisfaction. It can even re-ignite enthusiasm and motivation for those mentees who are about to retire.
The most effective mentoring is matching the mentee’s skills and interests. Furthermore, another study reveals that employees with mentors have achieved greater level of career development.
Another concept that is link to mentoring is job shadowing wherein a junior employee observes a more senior employee for a set duration.
There are concerns to address in mentoring. Employees who belong to small organizations or individuals who are self employed may find a hard time finding a mentor. However, the solution is for them to affiliate in any organizations or associations that will serve as support system.
The next development program is coaching which involves spontaneous meeting between employer and employee to discuss the latter career goals and development. This will enhance productivity and more likely to the manager’s own advancement.
Another program is job rotation which could be an answer for company’s downsizing. It gives the employee the opportunity to broaden his knowledge and increase marketability.
Job rotation allows employee to work on another jobs and be trained to add more skills on his CV. However, one advantage is the fact that there are employees who by discretion do not want to broaden their horizons for the purpose of mastering own skills and potentials.
The tuition assistance Program is another offering in the development program of the organization for his employees. This takes in the form of workshops, seminars, conventions and the like. It could also be in a form of scholarship grant to an individual which is the support of the organization to further the individual’s knowledge.
All these career development programs may happen simultaneously or it may be conducted one at a time. Not necessarily than an employees undertakes the four programs, but to avail of either one of these, as long as the program is effectively done will ensure promotion for the employee.
The career development system is an everyday activity shows how is the organization’s needs are linked with the individual’s needs so when the employees are satisfy with their career, the organization will achieve its goals and objectives. (Thomas H. Jakel)
What are the organization’s major strategic issues over the next two or three years?
Critical needs challenges to be faced?
Critical skills, knowledge and experiences needed to meet these challenges?
Staffing levels required?
Does the organization have the strength necessary to meet the critical challenges?
Are employees developing themselves in a way that links personal effectiveness and satisfaction with the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives?
How do I find career chances within the organization that will do the following?
- Use my strength
- Address my developmental needs
- Provide challenges
- Match my interests
- Match my values
- Match my personal style
(Thomas H. Jakel)
HOW CAN MANAGERS SUPPORT THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT
There are many way that the managers can use to make their employees to take advantage of career development opportunities. Below are some ways that the managers can use to encourage and support their employees:
- The managers have to set time to meet with their employees and ask them about their career goals and how they would like to achieve these goals. The conversations should be un formal and friendly and the managers have to show their employees that they are not only supporting their development, but also show them that they are interested on their career goals. (Career Development The Manager’s Role)
- The managers have to evaluate their employees’ performance annually. Also they have to give then feedback and suggestions in how they can develop themselves. (Career Development The Manager’s Role)
- Make sure that the job descriptions change based on the talents that people bring to their jobs and projects. (Career Development The Manager’s Role)
- Recognize and reward the employees who are doing a good work. (Career Development The Manager’s Role)
- Managers have to focus on the development of the person more that improving his/her job performance. (Career Development The Manager’s Role)
- Start the employees’ development programs in a way that help them to establish their goals for their professional development. (Career Development The Manager’s Role)
- Make them feel that there are always enough budgets for the trainings programs. (Career Development The Manager’s Role)
THE IMPACT OF THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT
The career development could impact of the employees, staff, managers and departments.
Impact on the employees: the career development will be very helpful for the employees because they will be able to see the path from one job to another, including the skills and knowledge needed. (Career Development: Impact)
Impact on the Managers and the staff: career development will let the staff and managers to have the information and the tools to plan for career development and support succession planning. (Career Development: Impact)
Impact on the Department: career development will get the department to have an access to more prepared internal candidates who are prepared for advancement. (Career Development: Impact)
CAREER DEVELOPMENT PLAN
What is Career Development Plan?
Career Development Plan is the most important part of the performance review, and it is identify your strengths and weakness and the area that you need to develop in order to meet you career goals. Creating a career development plan will be very helpful to develop your strategies to take advantage of your chances for your future work. (Career Development Plan)
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Career Development Plan: it is like a map that shows you where do you have to move in your current career and where or what you want to work in the future. This map will show you how to develop yourself and how you want to provide yourself with the right and the important skills and experiences. It will also help you to find the right ways to achieve your goals and the organization goals and interests at the same time enjoy your work and try to balance between your career and your life. It is very important for the career development plan is to be fixable and it may be changed during your current job. (Career Development)
An Individual Development Plan (IDP): it is a progress tool which discovers activities that will help you to improve your knowledge, skills and abilities. The IDP process gives you a chance to share with your supervisor or manager your objectives as well as talk about your strengths and development needs. (Career Development Tool: Career Planning)
Since the career development plan includes and talk about your work experiences and your career goals and it could includes the development that needed for your current job, it is always good idea that you use this for moving to a new job as well. When you will start working on your career development plan you have to focus on your current job. Once you feel that you are meeting your current role’s expectations then you can start develop plan for you future career. (Career Development Plan)
The career development plan includes materials that allow you to think about your personal career development. By creating you personal career development you will be sure that you have all the skills, knowledge and the ability you need to successfully achieve your career goals. (Career Development Plan)
You have to share your completed career development plan with your manager to make him/her aware of your career goals and plans. (Career Development Plan)
First of all you have to write about your background information. This could be done by doing the self assessment, because by doing the self assessment you will be able to know your strengths and weakness. (Career Development Plan)
The First Step:
I think that the self assessment is the best thing that everyone has to do before starting to look for a new job or even to move from the current job to another.
The most common question that you have to ask yourself about before searching for a job for the first time or moving into a new job is: I don’t know what I want to do? The only and the right way to answer your question is to do self assessment this is the tool which can guide you toward the kind of job that is suited you. Self assessment is the way or the process which can you use to gather information about yourself to make the career decision easy for you. (Dawn Rosenberg McKay)
The Self Assessment should include the following:
The values are the things that are very important to you such as the achievements. Values are the most important thing to think about very carefully when you are planning to work for the first time or thinking of moving to a new job, because if you didn’t care about your values you will lead yourself to a not good results such as you may doing like your job therefore you will not be able to achieve what you are looking for. (Dawn Rosenberg McKay)
The interests mean the things that you like to do and the things that you don’t like to do. Asking yourself this question will help you to see or to know what kinds of works or tasks that you like to do and enjoy working or doing them. (Dawn Rosenberg McKay)
The personality is when you ask yourself about what type of person are you? Do you like thinking, feeling, jugging and perceptive? Do you like to work alone or with a team? These kinds of questions will help you to be successful in your job because you will know what kinds of jobs or tasks that suited your personality. For example if you have an introvert personality you are going to face a lot of problems if you work in a job that requires presentations or public speaking. (Dawn Rosenberg McKay)
You have to look at what are you good at and what are the skills that you have to improve. This is a very important question that you have to ask yourself about in order to find a job that meets all your skills otherwise you will have face obstacles. For example if you get a job that requires using the computer as a major tool and you are not good enough to use it. (Dawn Rosenberg McKay)
The most important goals of the Self Assessment are:
- To enhance the self awareness and confidence of your decisions
- To know what is your strengths and weakness (The Steps for Self Assessment)
Set your development goals: there are three main reasons of why it’s important to write or setting you development goals. These reasons are:
- Setting your development goals cold help to get organized, make big decisions and realize your dreams.
- Setting your development goals gives you long term vision and short term motivation.
This step will help you to understand the direction of your career.
When you start writing your development goals you have to start with identifying your development needs. To do this you have to look at the feedback information that you have from your resources such as your manager, team leader and supervisor.
Also you have to be aware of the organization’s goals and directions and you have to consider the objectives of the team or group that you work with.
Writing your development goals will help you to consider your short team goals (1 to 3 year) and your future or long term (3+ years). The short term goals could be much related to your current job or to a position that you are planning to get or reach.
Write SMART Goals
S: your goals have to be Specific so you know exactly what are you striving and looking for.
M: your goals should be Measurable so you can exactly know when the goals have been reached.
A: Action oriented to indicate an activity that create and produce results.
R: your goals have to be Realistic and can be achieved.
T: you have to consider the Time because you have to define the timeline and the availability of the resources. (Career Development Plan)
Write Your Action Steps: once you are done with writing your development goals you need some directions to follow in order to get, reach and achieve these goals. The creating of the action steps will give you a list of the most important things that you have to do and this list will help you track your progress toward your goals.
The Action Step should have three main parts:
ACTION: a verb that describe what action you will be taken
CONTEXT: when and where will it take place?
RESULTS: what will be the result of this action? (Career Development Plan)
List your Obstacles and Solutions:
This step is important to make sure that your career development goals are not sidetracked. It is good to know and consider what are the problems and the obstacles which may stand as barriers in reaching your goals. Also this step will help you to identify and find possible ways to overcome these obstacles and problems.
The common problems and obstacles that you may face:
- Limited time
- Lack of financial support
- Lack of feedback, encouragement and motivation
- Manager is unsupportive of development
Some of the potential solutions for such obstacles are:
- If you can’t take more training courses because of your workload, the potential solution for this would be cross training with another team member.
- If the budget of the trainings is limited, the potential solution for this would be choosing low cost trainings, online learning or reading a book.
- If your manager does not provide you with feedback, the potential solution would be looking for feedback from other sources such as mentors. (Career Development Plan)
Identify your Resources:
You have to identify what resources are available to successfully achieving your career development goals. You should think about what kinds or types of resources you may need and where they come from.
Resources could be anything that supports your development such as:
- Getting the approval on the trainings and development programs
- Encouragement and motivation from your manager coach or mentor
- Support from you manager to work on new projects and tasks
- Get the time to work on your development
- Get feedback and advice from people who are skilled on the area you are seeking to develop (Career Development Plan)
Evaluate your Progress:
- When you are successful in achieving and meeting your career development goals, you will be able to evaluate your progress.
- By setting S.M.A.R.T goals will make sure that their achievement can be evaluated. If you thing that it’s hard to evaluate the goals, it is probably is not meeting one of the S.M.A.R.T guidelines.
- You have to keep in mind that the career development plan is not a onetime activity, but you have to revises and change your career development plan annually, because your roles and responsibilities are changing you are getting more experiences every year.
(Career Development Plan)
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