Key Stages of Career Development

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Career development can refer to a set of programs identified to match personal needs, abilities, and career growth with current and future engagements in the organization. Career development is an ongoing process in an individual’s life that entails long-term orientation and personal improvements. To achieve a personal career plan as an employee, you need to be well-developed before promotion to the next hierarchy. Career development focuses on futuristic opportunities; hence its main aim is ensuring people with relevant experiences, and appropriate qualifications are available when opportunities arise.

A career can be defined as the jobs that are held during ones working life. Various organizations like offer career development opportunities as an integral aspect of career management. The development chances absorb potential individuals, intending to emphasize enhancing employee career which commensurates as per organization preferences and requirements. Career development entails;

Exploration stage: This is the transition period immediately before employment, usually from college to work. It involves making preliminary choices. This period ranges in between the early 20s and mid-20s. During this phase, people develop unrealistic expectations. Dominant social stands and attitudes towards work are formed in this stage. For a successful exploration, you should try out lots of potential fields.

Establishment Stage: The stage begins when one starts to seek work and get one’s first job. There are higher chances of committing mistakes and learning from them. You can assume greater responsibilities, accept job challenges and develop competence in the speculating area. While in this stage, there is a possibility to rotate into a new area after some years of work.

Mid-Career stage: During this stage, you may upgrade technically and develop skills in coaching others. The performance in this stage is usually shown by increased performance, leveling off, and then a decrease in performance depending on achievements. The employee may rotate into a new job requiring a new set of skills.

Late-Career stage: The employee now plays the role of an elderly state person as he takes advantage of his reputation. In this stage, the employee doesn’t bother to improve performance or try to learn new things. The employee reaps from previous years’ experiences as new successors are identified and developed. Mainly the roles shift from power to consultation.

Decline stage: The career ends in retirement. The employee’s decades of service and continuous performance turn into success stories. It’s a hard stage, especially for successful individuals who may find it discouraging to come out of the limelight. For some, they may opt for different avenues such as voluntary.

Career growth and development tips

  • To achieve, set goals, create a plan, and seek opportunities
  • Develop a timeline, including milestones
  • Utilize company programs
  • Be firm on owning your career path
  • Write down a career path and set goals to measure your progress.


To promote success and effective career development, employee training and orientation should be compatible with individual career development. For maximum success and happiness from work, have a concrete career management plan. Organizations offering career development use a well-laid career development system to incorporate actionable and practical long-term careers.


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