Why Career Development Matters

‘Career development is the lifelong process of managing learning and work. The quality of this process significantly determines the nature and quality of individuals’ lives: the kind of people they become, the sense of purpose they have, the income at their disposal. It also determines the social and economic contribution they make to their employer and communities of which they are part. Career decisions are becoming more complex and central in people’s lives as workplaces become increasingly fluid and constantly exposed to change. Traditional career concepts of ordered progression are no longer valid with both employees and employers less willing to make long-term commitments.

Individuals who want to maintain their employability have to be willing to regularly learn new skills and make a series of choices throughout their lives about learning and work. Hence careers are now increasingly seen not as being ‘chosen’ but as being constructed. People with career management skills are able to move confidently in and out of good jobs, training and education to suit their family commitments and their talents and needs. Organisations that promote a strong career development culture benefit from higher employee satisfaction, enhanced retention and increased productivity. This is also a key factor in attracting quality staff’.

This is a comment from the CDAA of which I’m a professional member. Employer organisations would benefit enormously from supporting their staff having regular “career development check-ups” in the form of a career counselling session. The reality is that it’s up to every individual to monitor their own career development and to seek independent advice to help them shape their future career needs.