Career Development

Career development is the series of activities or the on-going/lifelong process of developing one’s career. Career development usually refers to managing one’s career in an intra-organizational or inter-organizational scenario. It involves training on new skills, moving to higher job responsibilities, making a career change within the same organization, moving to a different organization or starting one’s own business.

Career development is directly linked to the goals and objectives set by an individual. It starts with self-actualization and self-assessment of one’s interests and capabilities. The interests are then matched with the available options. The individual needs to train himself to acquire the skills needed for the option or career path chosen by him. Finally, after acquiring the desired competency, he has to perform to achieve the goals and targets set by him.

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Importance of Career Development

Every employee working in an organization is looking for a career development which moves in the right direction. Career path taken by an employee determines the growth. Career should be planned in a way that it moves forward. Career development provides the framework with Skills, goals, awareness, assessment and performance which helps an individual to move in the right direction and achieve the goals one has in one’s career.


There are several factors that are play when it comes to career development. We will try to look at each of them.

(i) Personal traits and characteristics of the individual

People have varying personalities, and it is these differences that make others more responsive to career development than others. It is possible that someone who is too shy will end up advancing slower in his career in the field of marketing, as compared to someone who is outgoing and a go-getter.

Knowing your quirks and personality traits early on will give you a head start in your career planning and development. Today, self-assessment tests for purposes of career planning are being conducted for high school students so that, early on, they will have an idea what workplaces they are interested in, and what line of work would be a good fit for them.

(ii) Skills and knowledge

People who are skilled and knowledgeable about a job are the ones who are most likely to be hired by a company, while those who don’t may not even make it past the second round of screening.

This means that, for those who made it, their mental abilities aided their advancement in their career. For those who did not, their lack of skills and know-how served as a barrier to their career development.

(iii) Physical abilities

Physical limitations may also be hindrances to getting further up the career ladder. There are jobs that have specific requirements with respect to the physical abilities of the person who will perform the involved tasks.

Those who are able will have great chances for advancement; those who are not should look for other career paths that will match their physical abilities and accommodate their limitations.

(iv) Social and economic factors

An individual may have grown up wanting to become a physician. However, financial constraints and other socio-economic issues may have kept him from going to med school and getting the career that he originally wanted. Family situations and other similar circumstances are also factors that may impact an individual’s development in his desired career.

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