Choosing a career and determining what you want to accomplish with your life is a daunting trip. Experts say that people usually change careers 5 to 7 times in their lifetime! That’s a lot of, isn’t it! No wonder career management is a sought-after life skill that most of us tend to neglect.
Whether you recognize it or not, you’re always progressing through the six stages of career development. These stages have been revised over the years just like talent acquisition strategy but they are essentially the same. What are these stages you ask? Let’s explore them:
Stage 1: The Assessment Phase
You might have guessed what this stage means. It usually begins after a person has graduated from college. At this time, you might have a few hobbies and some idea of what you want to become but you aren’t entirely aware of your skill sets.
Most grads at this point aren’t much self-aware. They think they know what they want but they don’t. Hence, experts suggest candidates must take the time and concentrate on self-awareness. A good idea is to gather feedback on your strengths and weakness from your college professors. If you are able to engage with a career coach, you can easily pass this stage and the rest with flying colors.
Stage 2: The Investigation Phase
After a thorough analysis of self, at this point, you are more self-aware. There are good chances you have listed down 3 to 5 career paths for yourself. If you’re overwhelmed, it’s a sign you’re on the right track.
Once you know what you want to become, start talking to others. Expand your network to connect with others who chose the same career to learn more about their path. This stage is all about figuring out who to get to your destination. While you are at it, it’s critical to maintain a good attitude and an open mind. The kind of opportunities you might encounter can be surprising.
Stage 3: The Preparation Phase
Once you have passed the preparatory stages, at this point, you’re employed and you are learning new skills. This is where you will get ambitious about your career.
This is one of the most thrilling stages because you have finally gained some clarity and are starting to make progress. Many people realize at this point that they are still not working in their dream position, which is understandable. This stage is all about gaining the experience you’ll need to advance in your career.
Stage 4: The Commitment Phase
Either you’re happy with your job or not. In either case, you are in the commitment phase, you normally have an action plan for going forward.
If you are happy with your job, you are likely focused on pursuing new opportunities and taking on more responsibility. At this point in your journey, don’t lose your focus or you can easily distract. If you’re unhappy with where you are, keep on building your network and seeking new job opportunities.
Stage 5: The Retention Phase
By this time, you are a well-respected professional in your field. Others might look up to you as a leader. Your knowledge and experience have established you as an authority in your industry.
There are some drawbacks to this phase. Many become complacent at this point. They think it’s ok to rest and hence put a pause to growth. This is scary because your competitors can outrun you.
To keep up with the ever-progressive world, continue learning, strengthening your skills, and remaining up to date with industry standards. You should also keep your eyes out for upcoming career opportunities.
Stage 6: The Transition Phase
There will come a time in your career where you will believe you’ve gone as far as you can. People who reach this stage think that’s it, there’s nothing more left for me to do.
No! This is a sign that it is time to move on to the next stage of your profession. The transition stage is an unsettling time since it can feel like you’re starting from scratch. Fortunately, you’ve already developed the resiliency and self-awareness required to determine your next course of action.
It’s common for people to go back and go between these stages. I started my career in sales but ended up as a recruiter for a mortgage staffing firm. No matter what career stage you are in, you will pass through these stages several times throughout your lifetime.
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