Today, more and more people are becoming aware of the crucial role that career development plays in achieving success in the workplace.
At the same time, however, there are also many people who are groping in the dark, not knowing the way forward or the next step to take with regards to their career.
In organizational behavior, a career is viewed as “a sequence of work-related positions occupied by a person during his or her life time.”
This implies the continuous honing of one’s skills in job-related tasks and experiences as well as feeding into the notion of climbing the corporate ladder on the basis of promotion or progression through the ranks of a company.
Career development as a dimension of one’s career is assuming greater significance and more so at a time when opportunities within companies are limited and one’s competence is constantly being evaluated against the competition, not only locally but also globally.
It therefore means that making timely decisions, planning strategically, and engaging in activities pertaining to one’s life, learning, and work are now an integral part of the career development process.
That said, the shape and direction of one’s career development over time are influenced by several different intervening factors. These include:
• Personality Traits
People are different, have unique personalities, and therefore display behavior patterns that are dissimilar to those of others. Knowing one’s unique personality traits will help, to a large extent, determine one’s interest in or preference for a particular field or area of study.
• Socio-Economic Factors
This covers a wide range of areas that may impact a person’s career development. The degree to which these factors influence one’s career development rest with the resources available to the individuals, families, communities, and schools. Clearly, the more resources available, the better the options and the greater the opportunities.
• Investment in Human Capital
Knowledge, skills, and capabilities (KSAs) are considered to be one’s human capital and the more investment made in it, ultimately, the greater will be the outcome. Human Capital involves not only money but also time, energy, and commitment in achieving one’s goals.
• Core Values
This refers not only to the principles and standards that govern one’s behavior but also to what one holds as important, useful, and worth doing. One’s core value plays an important role in the way that one focuses and selects his or her career and by extension one’s approach to career development and measurement of career success.
• Goal Setting
This is an essential and motivational tool in guiding and directing behavior towards the desired outcomes that one seeks to achieve. It may also form the basis or framework for planning and coordinating activities that guide one’s career development.
• Self Competency
This involves taking responsibility for managing oneself and one’s career over time. It also entails the navigation of life events or work-related issues which may be beyond one’s control but must be addressed by one’s willingness to adopt new thinking, skills, and behavior.
By Yvad Billings, Staff Reporter