Career Development: (See Definition And Importance)

The growth of every organization is of utmost priority. The aim and objective of every firm are to be better and improve their standard of offering services.

As such, doing the same thing at all times would only yield minimal results and with time the essence of such a firm would be lost. In order to stay relevant, every organization must intentionally strive to acquire more skills and knowledge.

Furthermore, individually, we want to be better at what we do and also progress career-wise. Hence, as a career person, this can only be possible by learning on the job and undergoing different training and seminars.

This article seeks to give a well-detailed meaning of career development, the different stages of career development, the factors that influence it, and its importance. Kindly read along.

Meaning of Career Development

Career development is a lifelong process of developing one’s career by defining new goals regularly and acquiring skills to achieve these goals. It’s also a process of managing one’s career which may involve training on new skills, moving to higher responsibilities, starting one’s business, or making a career change.

It is concerned with individual and organizational growth. Furthermore, it involves the process of successfully navigating your occupational options to choose and train for jobs that best suit your skills, personality, and interest.

Majorly, career development seeks to ensure competency and effectiveness in every job. If in an organization, each and all personnel are as competent and effective as they should be, such an organization would thrive and bloom.

Finally, it involves paying careful attention to your strengths and weaknesses as an individual and an organization, working to improve, and seeking every opportunity to become better at what you do.

Stages Of Career Development

There are six major stages involved in career development. These stages are;

1. Self-Assessment

The first step in career development is self-assessment. As an individual, you have to know some things about yourself such as what you enjoy doing, your skill sets, what you have to offer in the workforce, the kind of career you want, and your interests.

At this stage, you need the help of people to help you in assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Speak with people and get feedback. Also, you can seek the service of a career coach who can help you move through this phase with ease.

2. Exploration

You start to become more aware of all the options available to you at this stage. As an individual, you explore different career paths which align with your self-assessment result.

During this stage, you start networking and talking to professionals in line with the career path you intend to choose. This would offer a guide as to what would work for you and how you can gain identity in your sphere.

It is important that you keep an open mind and a positive attitude during the exploration stage as this would help you maximize every opportunity present before you.

3. Preparation

This is the most important stage in career development because this is where you define clear short-term and long-term goals that would meet the career path you must have chosen. In this stage, you must have gained some clarity.

Furthermore, as you work in your chosen profession, you begin to gain more knowledge and skills and also think about the future of your career. This stage is all about building the experience you need to move to the next point in your career.

4. Commitment

At this stage, you must have narrowed in on the type of work you want to do and have a specific action plan for moving forward. Also, you focus on finding new opportunities and taking on additional responsibilities.

Moreso, it is important not to become distracted or lose focus at this stage. You implement all that you have learned in various stages at this point and take your career life more seriously.

5. Retention

This is not a stage where you get to relax or feel comfortable. At this stage, you shouldn’t stop trying to grow or gain knowledge. Rather, you improve your skill sets, stay current with industry standards, continue looking ahead, and anticipate future career milestones.

The main essence of this stage is for you to retain the knowledge acquired in other stages and to become a better version of what you were initially in your field.

6. Transition

Once you’ve become an expert in your field, you may get to a point at which you conclude you’ve gotten to the peak of your career. You may also feel unsure of what your next step should be.

At this point, it is time to move to the next phase of your career. This may feel uncomfortable for you because the transition stage feels like starting all over from scratch.

Fortunately, you’ve built the resiliency and self-awareness you need to figure out what your next move should be.

The transitioning process looks different for everyone. It could involve moving to a higher position in an industry, starting a new business, acquiring new skills, or changing industries altogether.

Factors That Influence Career Development

An individual or organization’s career development can be affected by multiple factors, some of which may be beyond their control. These factors must be considered during the process of developing a career.

Some of the factors to consider are;

1. Personality

One’s interests, passion, aptitudes, and work-related values play significant roles in career development because they influence which occupation, we find satisfying and appropriate. It also determines the type of work environment in which you will succeed.

It is important that the personal characteristics of a person are considered in the process of choosing a career and this can be done through self-assessment.

2. Financial resources

Pursuing a certain career path can be costly. For instance, if you choose a career option that requires expertise, you would have to attend college or undergo training in a large firm.

The financial resources available to you might limit your ability to pay for acquiring such qualifications. As such, while choosing a career option, you would have to consider your qualifications.

3. Financial Obligations

Financial obligations such as a mortgage, rent, student loans, or even a child’s college tuition may limit a person from switching jobs or careers.

To tackle this, you can try to put money aside to use later during a career change, or you can try to change your lifestyle to lessen your financial burden.

4. Social and family responsibilities

Social and family responsibilities are also major determinants of career development. At every stage of career development, it requires that you’re able to constantly avail yourself.

If you are a family person, you might be hindered from pursuing certain career opportunities because it might involve you leaving or deserting your family members.

5. Age

Your age, or your perception of it, can hinder you in your career development.

You may worry about being too young or too old to pursue a particular path, advance in your career, or make a career change.

Instead of focusing on your age, concentrate on your abilities and develop such abilities.

Importance Of Career Development

Career development comes with a lot of importance as it is imperative to achieving success and it leads to a progression of organization and individual.

As an organization and as individuals, we must constantly improve our skills and competencies to satisfy current demands.

Here is the importance of career development;

1. Higher productivity

When employees are skilled within the industry, they can give more of their efforts and intelligence for achieving the desired objective of the company.

Career development motivates individuals to use the skills acquired by them to become more efficient in the industry and this leads to higher productivity of a company.

2. More growth opportunities

Career development produces visible and noticeable growth in an individual, be it the skills or the personality. Exploring themselves deeply and understanding their abilities help to improve their growth.

Career development provides growth opportunities for those always available and eager to learn and develop themselves.

3. Increase employee skills

Asides from your basic skill, you can acquire more skills such as management skills, organizing skills, soft skills, etc. Different aspects of a worker’s life are improved through career development. Career development makes it possible for employees to work on their weaknesses.

4. Improves the organization altogether

Through career development, employees gain a better understanding of the firm’s different operations. As a result, information is properly passed within the organization and there emerges better work ethics.

Career development makes it possible for employees to share common goals and ideas towards the organization and equip them with the necessary skills for achieving the goals. This would in turn improve the organization’s productivity.

5. IT innovations

Recent involvement in technology has made it a point of concern to channel career development toward equipping employees with soft and digital skills. This has made it possible for companies to keep up with technological advancement.

Career development has made it possible for individuals to embrace the changes in the globe and also mold themselves in response to the changes.

6. Healthy work environment

Better communication and good relations amongst colleagues help to build a dedicated work environment for everyone.

A work environment where employees are confident enough to contribute their ideas while working passionately to meet targets and goals gives rise to a successful firm.

Hence, career development fosters a healthy environment where the employees know the importance of communicating effectively and relating well with one another.

7. Reduces attritions of employees

Career development programs help to improve employee satisfaction and as a result, reduce the number of individuals who plan to leave the organization.

Hence, this makes the organization stable as there wouldn’t be a need to always change staff which might, in turn, give rise to re-orientating a new worker and this would also allow the firm to avoid the cost of publicizing the vacancy of a position.

8. Builds cost reduction strategies in organizations

Employees constantly update themselves on how to effectively reduce costs in the organization. Through career development employees can learn effective strategies on how to cut unnecessary costs in the organization.

Companies most times seek to reduce their operating expenses and this can only be achieved when the appropriate body in the company is properly orientated on how to go about it. Also, the necessary skill for reducing cost is acquired through career development.


How effective is career development?

Career development helps employees to improve their skills which reflects positively on organizational performance.

When do you start developing yourself career-wise?

At any point in time, you can develop your career interest. It cannot be too early or too late. As soon as you understand what a career entails, you can start developing yourself.

Is there a limit to career development?

No, there isn’t a limit to career development. But do not overdo things or overwhelm yourself rather take things one step at a time.


Career development has brought about many improvements in the economic sector across the globe. It has also yielded more effectiveness in organizations.

That said, individuals and organizations should strive to take up career development with utmost priority regardless of the circumstances that surround them.

Finally, you may check the article on important training for employees to know what type of training you can take to develop your career.

I hope you got value.

Thanks for reading.