Stages of Career Development

Career development is a process that takes place over the life span and on the assumption that biological, psychological, sociological, and cultural factors influence career choice, changes, and withdrawal across the stages of development. All these are based on development theories.

The career life span is of three stages in an individual’s lifetime. They are..

– The fantasy state involves role playing and imagination.
– The tentative stage reflects a person’s growing awareness of interests and abilities.
– The realistic state entails the identification of a career choice.

Furthermore, the theory is identified four factors that shape an individual’s career decisions. The factors that have an impact on your development are as follows:

– Individual values.
– Emotional factors.
– Amount and kind of education.
– Effect of reality through environmental pressures.

Lifespan Theory

Lifespan theory is developmental and humanistic in nature has been extremely influential in the field.

Lifespan: Development is lifelong and occurs throughout five major life stages. They are infancy, childhood, student life, adulthood, old age and death. Each stage has a unique set of tasks and accounts for the changes and decisions that people make from work entry to retirement.

Life-space: People have skills and talents developed through different life roles, making them capable of a variety of tasks and numerous occupations.

Self-concept: Understanding one’s interests and skills is key to the right career choice and satisfaction. People seek career satisfaction through work roles in which they can express themselves and implement and develop their self-concepts.

Career Counseling

As the process unfolds, so does the client counselor relationship. The following five stages describe a general approach to the career counseling relationship:

– Dealing with change.
– Developing career focus.
– Exploring career options.
– Preparing for job research.
– Obtaining employment.

Like any counseling process that proposes stages of development, those described for the career counseling process also must be viewed as recursive. In each stage of career counseling, there are three areas of focus: exploration, task, and developmental outcomes relevant to the stage.

Dealing With Change: During this first stage, the counselor builds the relationship by providing unconditional positive regard, listening to the client’s expressed needs, exploring the personal emotional issues related to the process, and uncovering possible resistances to career exploration.

Developing Career Focus: When some of the outcomes of the first stage are achieved, the counselor begins to help the client develop career focus. The counselor guides the client in selecting and completing assessments and activities that help the client to pinpoint choices for career exploration.

Exploring Career Options: At the third stage, the counselor takes on the added role of educator and helps the client gain a realistic understanding of the tasks involved in career exploration. This includes personal instruction and directing clients to other resources such as books, websites, or job search groups and clubs.

Preparing for Job Search

While helping the client prepare to a job search, the career counselor continues in the role described in the third stage; however, it becomes important again for the counselor to support the client in interpreting career exploration experiences, gaining additional insight into his or her career identity, and fine-tuning career goals. The counselor also continues to provide practical assistance to develop the client’s job search skills. As well, the counselor begins to shift focus to necessary skills development that will aid the client in preparing for and obtaining employment.

Career Counseling

Individuals have a wide choice when it comes to choosing the career of their choice. At the same time, a wide choice leads to confusion and people need help in choosing the right occupation that fits their interests, skills, and personality. You can take the advice of a career counselor to understand which field or domain you may choose based on your skills and personality.

Career counseling is a vast niche field that involves helping individuals choose the right vocation based on their individual interests, personality, skills, and values. Counseling comprises career placement, planning, learning strategies, and student development.

Personality Evaluation

Some preliminary tests are conducted by career counselors to understand the psyche or personality of an individual. These tests comprise various questions that will help the counselor understand your area of interest, skills, values, and what kind of occupation excites you. There is no right or wrong answer in such tests; it is only a method of expressing your individuality.

Various types of tests that determine your interests, personality, motivational factors, and your aptitude help the counselor gain a better understanding of your professional interests that may not be explicit. Each test is designed to provide them with the appropriate information, so that they can give feedback that ensures you choose the ideal career and achieve success.

Personality tests are the most common test used to specifically determine your inclination for a certain type of occupation. Such tests focus on the psychological aspects of an individual and measure their personal characteristics, emotional makeup, and stability. It can also help you self-evaluate yourself and understand where you stand in the career planning process.

Intelligence Quotient

Depending on the choice of career you make, you also need to evaluate your IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Intelligence tests determine how smart you are, which is a prime indicator of your analytical skills, logical thinking, and of course intelligence! Every organization looks for a smart worker rather than a hard worker as an employee. A smart or intelligent employee adds a lot of value to the organization by channelizing his/her individual objective towards the larger interests of the organization.

The Best Fit!

Career counseling primarily involves identifying the potential of an individual and mapping the same to an appropriate occupation in order to leverage the individual’s skills towards building a successful career. To put it simply, it is the process of finding the best fit to make an informed professional choice that suits an individual’s personality and skills. For example, an extrovert who can get along with people very easily can excel at a job that involves meeting and interacting with people. S/he can work very well in a team/ group. Alternately, an individual with an analytical mind who is good with numbers can excel in a banking job or any job that involves analysis and interpretation of financial data.

If you are someone who loves meeting different kinds of people and are good at analyzing and judging a person to a certain extent, and more importantly, can provide unbiased feedback and advice to individuals, then you can become a career counselor. Additionally, it is essential that you have a deep understanding of the dynamics of various domains and the current requirements in every industry in order to help aspiring freshmen to shape themselves accordingly.

It is generally observed that individuals excel at something when they do it with passion. It is vital that you enjoy what you do on a daily basis to perform well. The best way to choose your vocation is to speak to a career counselor to understand your strong points and to continue in that direction. An informed decision is the best decision.