Career Development

Career development

Career development is the support an organization provides to employee professional growth, especially to employees’ movement to a new position or project within the organization. This support often includes coaching, mentoring, skills development, networking and career pathing.

Career Development or Career Development Planning refers to the process an individual may undergo to evolve their occupational status. It is the process of making decisions for long term learning, to align personal needs of physical or psychological fulfillment with career advancement opportunities.

What are the 4 types of career development?


There are four types of career paths—knowledge-based, skill-based, entrepreneur-based, and freelance. Every kind of career path caters to a specific set of qualifications that help you perform your job.

Career development is the process of choosing a career, improving your skills, and advancing along a career path. It’s a lifelong process of learning and decision-making that brings you closer to your ideal job, skillset, and lifestyle.

Find out more about the factors and obstacles that affect a person’s career development.

What Is Career Development?

Career development is the process of self-knowledge, exploration, and decision-making that shapes your career. It requires successfully navigating your occupational options to choose and train for jobs that suit your personality, skills, and interests.

When someone pays careful attention to their career development, they identify their own strengths and blind spots, then work hard to improve their skills. It also involved learning about different roles and industries to find a match to their abilities, seeking out opportunities to advance, and maybe even changing careers altogether if they find a more suitable one.

How Does Career Development Work?

Career development can start when someone is quite young and just learning about different ways to make a living. It is a part of human development, and the process can span a lifetime.

For example, when a child notices that some people are doctors, firefighters, or mail carriers, it signals the start of this process. It continues on through elementary school as they begin to explore occupations and later into adulthood as people ultimately decide what career to pursue.

Career development doesn’t end after you choose an occupation. You must then get the required education and training, apply for and find employment, and ultimately advance in your career. For most people, it will also include changing careers and jobs at least once (and probably more often) during their work lives. Many people find themselves in need of professional advice as they encounter problems or must make decisions about their careers—for instance, when they are thinking of looking for a new job or changing occupations.

5 Steps to Create a Career Development Plan for Yourself

Setting specific, measurable career development goals

We can help you get to the next level in your career. While developing a career plan can entail a significant amount of work, it will pay off in helping you to understand where you want to go with your career next and what you need to do to get there.

Creating and implementing an employee career development plan allows you to feel motivated at work, even if you haven’t found your dream job just yet, because it helps you to make concrete plans to get there.

Here, we define a career development plan template and outline five steps to easily and efficiently make an individual development plan for yourself.

What is a career development plan?

A career development plan is a personal action plan that you can use to create a roadmap for your career. The typical career development plan example outlines:

  • The starting point: Where you are now in your career
  • The destination: Where you want to go in your career
  • The gap: The obstacles you must overcome to reach the destination
  • The route: How to close the gap to reach your intended destination

Your personalized development plan will help you to identify specific, achievable career goals and then design and implement strategies to reach your goals.

How to create a career development plan

Follow these steps to create a career development plan for yourself:

  1. Identify your current position.
  2. Identify your destination.
  3. Do a gap analysis.
  4. Create your career development plan.
  5. Measure your progress and be ready to re-evaluate. 

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