Career Development – What’s it All About?

Business Concept. Career development text words or typography written over virtual screen

In a time of rapid global changes and future of work, how many people are relying on 20th century industrial revolution thinking, information and approach to their lifelong career development? On this page, I’ll be sharing the evidence based understandings that underpin my holistic approach to career development as a professional qualified career development practitioner

A professional qualified career development practitioner can help you at different stages of your career. National Careers Week Australia / Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) shared this short clip explaining what is a career development practitioner.

I’m proud to be recognised as a Registered Professional Career Development Practitioner (RPCDP) by CICA, and am on the National Register. Link to the register included on this page

What Do We Mean by the Term Career?
The term career over recent times has broadened from the traditional concept of paid work, to viewing career as involving the whole person and how people balance their paid and unpaid work including personal life roles e.g. family, community, voluntary work. All individuals have a career. Or in other words: Career – Is more than just a job

Career Development – What’s It All About?
Career Development is the holistic lifelong process that involves managing learning, work, leisure and transitions. Each person’s Career Development is unique to their individual determined needs and influences, which evolves over time. This has been highlighted for so many people since the beginning of the pandemic. In my opinion, there should be no ‘one size fits all’ or ‘cookie cutter’ approach to career development.

Career Development Theory – Why it is Important
There are many varied career theories which look at different areas in the field of career development. Traditional theories are being refined with new ones emerging with increasing emphasis on holistic approach, meaning making and self-agency. Career development cannot be effective without understanding the context of an individual. A sound theoretical foundation and how to apply this to the needs of the individual, is what makes the practice of career development a highly skilled process.

The Career Development Practitioner’s understanding of career development theory should guide their practice by informing how they structure the client sessions, interpret ‘issues’, and choose the most appropriate strategies and tools for the specific needs of the client.

The Changing World of Work
The world of work is in constant change which can be stressful for individuals. COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the rapid acceleration of changes to the future of work. Lifelong learning and developed career management skills assist individuals to navigate the evolving world of work and society, assisting them to remain employable and competitive in the future job market.

Learning Across the Lifespan
Learning is recognised as occurring both formally and informally throughout an individuals life through a variety of contexts and experiences. Through lifelong learning, individuals develop the transferable skills, experiences and knowledge to remain employable across a variety of different roles and industries. People of all ages engage in learning, sometimes without realising this.

Career Decison-Making
People make decisions involving their careers in ways that are dependent on different influences e.g., circumstances, resources available, decisions made in the past and how they made the decision, how important the decision is perceived to be, time restrictions. Career decision-making isn’t solely a rational / factual process, but it is important to recognise that career decision-making also involves the emotional and subjective experiences of the people involved in the decision-making process. Having a greater understanding of self-clarity and self-identity assists in the decision making process.

Career Management
As the world of work becomes increasingly globalised and with technical advancements, the responsibility for career development has become more focused on individuals. The days of ‘a job for life’ for most people are over, and it is anticipated that individuals will have several career pivots across various industries throughout their career.

Career Development Practitioners can assist the individual to develop the skills, knowledge and competencies to successfully navigate and manage their careers. According to the Australian Blueprint for Career Development, career management competencies can be placed under three broad umbrellas, these being:

  • Personal Management;
  • Learning and Work Exploration;
  • Career Building.

Career Guidance
Career Guidance is the term traditionally used to describe Career Development services for individuals, provided by a Professional Career Development Practitioner. You may hear it described as career development or career management, although I like to think of what we do as ‘career crafting’. When selecting the services of a Career Development Practitioner, it is important to ensure that they have appropriate skills and qualifications,  and in Australia is a registered member of CICA (Career Industry Council of Australia) Career and/or a Professional Member of a CICA Member Association. Some organisations can be found below.

AustraliaCareer Industry Council of Australia (CICA)
AustraliaCareer Industry Council of Australia (CICA) – National Register
AustraliaCareer Development Association of Australia (CDAA)
New ZealandCareer Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ)
United KingdomCareer Development Institute
United States of AmericaNational Careers Development Association

Career Development & Social Justice
Since the beginning of career development work in 1909, social justice has underpinned this. The field of career development and the world of work needs to be more responsive to increasing diversity in the workplace which globalisation and rapid societal changes has contributed to, in order to meet the needs of all individuals and diverse groups.

Career Development – The Big Picture
Career development services contribute to lifelong learning, labour market efficiency and social equity goals. With the rapidly changing world of work which has been accelerated globally by COVID-19, this is critical to the wellbeing of the economy and people’s overall wellbeing. Career development is critical to current and future workforce development including:

  • Workforce preparation;
  • Workforce adaptability and sustainability;
  • Workforce integration

Provision of Career Information
Career Development Practitioners need to carefully consider the accuracy, relevance & specificity of career information to the context of the client. Information should also be understandable, unbiased, comprehensive and comparable. There is a lot of available career information available, yet how often do people stop to question the reliability of the source, or whether it is contextualised for different needs e.g.

  • Labour market information varies from regions in Australia, let alone compared to other countries.
  • Resumé requirements, styles/ formats can vary from not only different industries, but also different countries
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