Stages of Career Development – Changes in the Career Cycle Throughout One’s Lifespan

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Career development cycle is a process by which employees’ progress through a series of stages. In each stage there are different set of developmental tasks, activities and relationships.  Basically, there are three types of career development models among which the Life-Cycle models is the first one which focuses upon an individual’s growth in different stages by going through different developmental tasks throughout his/her career span.

The organisational based model stretches upon different set of activities which are attached with the different career stages. And, the Direction-pattern model focuses on the different perspectives of employees about their careers and their plans to progress.

Apart from certain specific models, there are significantly four different stages generally which every individual goes through as their career development cycle. Each of the stage has different set of tasks, activities and relationships attached with them. In the Exploration Stage, the individual tries to identify their likes and dislikes and explores their inclination towards different jobs. This stage is mostly covered within the age bracket of late 20s. During this stage an inexperienced individual explores various jobs, careers and occupations. Thus, in this stage the new employee tries to align the job with his/her own aptitude/aspirations.

The next is the Establishment Stage, now the employee after analysing his/her specific preferences about the job tries to settle down. Now the employee is keen for taking more responsibilities, interested in making independent contributions to the organisation, achieves financial success and tries to establish desirable lifestyles. In the Maintenance Stage, the employee is well settled, has enough job experience and also has enough understanding about organisation and how businesses are conducted. At this stage the employee can be a good trainer or mentor for the organisation. Even the organisation can gain from the experience and expertise of such employees.

The last is the Disengagement Stage now the individual equip himself/herself for a change in order to balance work and non-work activities. Disengagement is normally the retirement of the employee but in some cases individual chooses to change career tracks and occupations or can even start working as consultants.

Hence, through these four stages of career development cycle an individual progresses and achieves their personal and financial goals and at the same time the organisational vision is achieved.