What is Career Development?

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Career development can be defined as a continuous developmental process that is spanned throughout one’s life which is aimed at receiving, attaining and processing data and information about one self and includes role options, educational alternatives and life styles. In other words, career development can be said as the way an individual can recognise themselves and relate their experience to the world of work and their duties in it. One of the biggest benefits of the provision of career planning and development opportunities is that the members or employees of an organization can be retained or recruited by identifying their skills and knowledge.

Career Development Theories

The theories that I believe, help individuals to build and move forward in their careers are the trait and factor theory and development theory. Trait and factor theory would help me to measure both my talents and the attributes required in the jobs I am seeking. Also, by the time we conclude the process it will become clear what are my values with regards to my life and how these values will impact and influence the level of motivation in me, how it will help to realize my goals and assist me in setting them, how can I evaluate myself to reach my ultimate goals and satisfaction which also will help me to evaluate the people around me. Developmental theories help to understand the jobs that would be applicable to my requirement and which I should eliminate based on those.

Trait and Factor Theories

From the name we can clearly understand what the theory comprises which is nothing but the traits of a person in collaboration with other related elements that will help in making contribution for the development and growth of a career.

These traits are made up of elements such as personality, aptitude, values and interest of an individual who wants to build his or her career. One of the vital elements here is the environment which the individual chooses to work, as it becomes very important to see that the environment matches the work, they one does.

The different types of Trait and Factor Theories are as follows

Holland’s Theory of Vocational Choice – (Talks about choosing a career)

The theory of Vocational Choice by Holland speaks about the famous Proverb “Birds of same feather Flocks together’’ where birds who share the common nature tends to move together. Similarly, as per Holland’s theory, individuals choose jobs of such kind where other people have same kind of nature as them in order to blend easily. They look for working environment where they can fully utilize their capabilities and talents and show out their values and attitudes while tackling problems and roles with ease.

Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA) – (Talks about adjusting to work)

The next theory which is abbreviated as TWA (theory of work adjustment) depicts how and why an individual adapts and makes adjustment to their working environment. It refers to the interaction of an individual(P) with the working environment as (E). Interaction is seen as P and environment as E and clearly shows how each of them reacts to each other on given situations.

Brown’s Value Based Theory – (Talks about Values in opting for a Career)

As per the theory of Brown which is the Value Based Theory, there is an emphasis put on the vitality of values on an individual’s career counselling and choice of occupation. Values here are defined as cognitive structures that forms the foundation of self-evaluation and for evaluations of others (Johnson, 2016).

Developmental Theories

These theories speak and emphasizes more on elements such as cultural, social, biological and psychological that impacts the role of development of an individual’s career, by effecting the choice of career, alteration of career paths and adapting to career associated changes.
The two developmental theories are

Super’s Life Span, Life Space Theory

Vocational development can be said as a system which involved the implementation and development of a self-concept. With time as the self-concept becomes more stabilized and real in nature, the vocational choice and behaviour too tends to become realistic and stable. Individuals often try to enter such occupations where they feel free to express their self-concepts. Work satisfaction here defines the level of freedom that they enjoyed in implementing and practicing their self-concept. It also depicts how personal experiences impacts and effects occupational choices in building one’s self concept.

These elements such as life stage, life roles and self-concept (e.g. worker, mother, spouse, student) are vital to Super’s theory as are developmental phases of work (Decline, establishment, maintenance, growth, exploration). individuals always look for careers or jobs that ensures them to express themselves and their self-concepts. As the self-concept of an individual starts showing stability, their career moves to be more stabilized too. Individuals carries with them many types of abilities, self-concepts and personality traits and are seen to be qualified for many types of jobs and occupations which are based on these and other features, which again have tendency to change and re mould with experience and time (Johnson, 2016).

Gottfredson’s Theory of Circumscription and Compromise

As per this theory, career choice can be said as a process of circumscription and elimination where an individual tends to eliminate and remove some occupational preferences after making ample consideration. This happens because it has been affected by the development of self-concept and many other developmental life phases. Compromise can be said as a difficult process where the compatibility of a person to their interest is often showed a blind eye or compromised so as one can align himself to the requirement for prestige or outside realities such as cultural expectations, labour market or gender expectations. Although it is difficult to examine, it is seen as a very important framework to identify the impact of gender and prestige on career selection in diverse cultural contexts. Gottfredson’s theory can be used to research and study Super’s growth stage (Johnson, 2016).

Career Intervention

Career intervention can be said to be a set of activities that are created to explore and improve the career development of an individual by allowing the individual to create, utilize and take advantage from most of the career related decisions. The interventions that I believe will help me to make exploration and improve my career development are as follows:

Job Rotation

Job rotation can be said as an strategy by Human Resource Deathwish moves employees from one job to another within the organization and sometimes within the same department in order to attain various human resource goals such as employee training and development, improving career development, orientation of new employees, job flexibility within the department and the organization as well, elimination of job burn out or job boredom.

Job Rotation is an all-around arranged practice to diminish the weariness of doing same sort of occupation regular and investigate the shrouded capability of a representative. The procedure fills the need of both the administration and the workers. It helps administration in finding the ability of representatives and figuring out what he or she is best at. Then again, it allows a person to investigate his or her own advantages and gain involvement in various fields or tasks.


In this strategy, managers and supervisors of various department make sores to provide coaching and training for better performance and development of career and as a result strengthen and increase employee’s knowledge, skill and abilities. This results in employees performing self sufficiently and efficiently and higher levels.


Self-assessment can be said as an examination of one self-indoor to understand the relationship between various jobs and one’s personality type, interest, values, career, skill and work style. A self-assessment must consist of one’s interests, aptitude (tasks that one is good at such as computer programming, writing etc), personality and values

Job Enrichment

Job enrichment provides an employee’s feedback about how they are performing and whether they need to develop themselves or eliminate any loop holes. Employees of any organization are appraised from time to time. This allows them to keep a check on their performance and stay on track and further identify their weakness and strength. The management sets a standard for each employee and their performances can be matched against these standards.

Job Enlargement

Job enlargement can be defined as a job design strategy where tasks related to one’s specific job are increased. In a simple manner it can be said that it’s a way in which one’s duties and responsibilities are increased. This increase in the scope of work is totally quantitative and not qualitative in nature and at same level.

Job enlargement can be said as a horizontal restructuring method that focusses to increase in the flexibility of workforce and simultaneously reducing monotony that may arise over a period. It is also seen that it’s a horizontal loading where the responsibilities grow at the same level and not vertically.

Cite this paper

What is Career Development?. (2020, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/what-is-career-development/

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