Choosing one’s field of profession, or career, is perhaps the most difficult decision that one makes in life. It takes years for people to realise what they wish to do with their lives, while some seem to know all along what they want to do with their lives. Some realise that they weren’t as correct about the choice they have made, while some take to a field of profession as fish take to water. Whatever may be the possibility, choosing and settling into a career is never an easy task. Every human being, when it comes to choosing his or her field of work, struggles with the initial confusion, the volley of information that people throw at him or her, both in favour of and against it. Then, when they finally settle for what they wish to pursue, they find out what they need to do in order to pursue it. In short, every person goes through a few stages while they are developing their career path and most end up going through a wave like situation; first the graph goes up, then goes down and then up again. Everyone’s career path follows certain stages. Here are the stages for career development.
Different Stages Of Career Development
Here are the various stages in one’s career development:
Stage Of Assessment
When you are at this stage in your career, you are getting ready for your life's work. At this stage, a person exhibits unawareness, in that he or she is not sure what his or her values, strengths, and weaknesses are. In this stage, every day that goes by teaches you something new about yourself, compounded by the fact that each person makes a conscious effort to know their strengths and weaknesses better, so as to be prepared for entering the professional field. The key characteristics that define this stage and by which this stage is distinguished by are taking assessment instruments and working in consultancy with a career counselor or a career guide, who knows how to spot strengths and weaknesses and will teach you how to recognise yours on your own.
Stage Of Investigation
When in the investigation stage, you are researching and observing various job opportunities that the world offers to a person. Feelings of confusion override any other kind of feeling, since you are not sure which career option is open to you and which suits you best. You will also be guided by many other people around you, who will never know as much as you do about the modern world of work, which will only add more confusion. You are likely to feel rather overwhelmed and scared as you get to know about the various job opportunities open for you in the job market. Most people make the mistake of getting too carried away with the feelings of confusion; if this stage is approached with positivity and a calm mind, you will learn a lot about the field you may be considering as well as other options open to you, many of which you may not have considered at all. The key defining characteristics of this stage are researching and gathering as much information as possible about the professional field and world of work, and interviews, formal or informal, with people who work in the field that you have chosen, about the nature of work and so on.
Stage Of Preparation
In the stage of preparation, you are still getting ready to do your life's work or follow the career path of your choice. This stage is characterized by feelings of excitement, wonder and enthusiasm since you are aware that you will finally be able to do meaningful work, in a field that you have always wanted to work in. You do realise, however, that there is still a lot that you will need to accomplish, and that to be successful, you have to be prepared. The key characteristics of this stage are gaining knowledge and experience on the one hand and setting goals and adopting a success-oriented mind-set.
Stage Of Commitment
In the Commitment Stage, you will experience a stage of supreme confidence at being able to figure out what you would like to do with your life. This is the time to meet targets and prove your worth in the professional world. There are people who, for reasons best known to them, cannot commit to what they know they are meant to do; you will feel luckier than all of them! The key characteristics of this stage are conducting a job search through word of mouth, through the newspapers or electronically, and negotiating and accepting a job offer.
Stage Of Retention
In the stage of retention, you will begin to feel comfortable in the field of career that you have chosen, as you will now have figured out how things work in your industry. You will want to maintain this commitment and consistency towards your career by continually updating your skill set and keeping yourself constantly updated about the industry standards. The key characteristics of this stage are providing first-class customer-service skills and building a professional network.
Stage Of Transition
The stage of transition is characterized by feelings of discomfort in that you are unsure of what you will be doing next since you recognise that you are feeling stagnant in what you are currently involved in. It is in this stage that you will learn to make conscious changes in your career direction. The key characteristics of this stage are ‘making career changes and developing resilience’.