Importance of career planning and development

Published 9:20 pm Friday, June 29, 2018

Career planning and development is the continual process of managing your training, learning, leisure and work progress as you progress through life. It includes gaining and using skills and knowledge needed to make a plan and make informed decisions about training, education and work. It is an ongoing process.

Engaged employees invest in career planning and development on their own in addition to any offered by an employer. Some employers do not offer planning and development so it is up to the individual to ensure growth needs are a priority. Career development is a win-win focusing on the employee’s needs for growth along with providing benefits tot he business.

There are several steps to take in an action plan.

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1. Do a self-assessment.

2. Set goals.

3. Discuss with your manager.

4. Attain resources needed.

5. Measure your progress.

6. Build a network.

7. Revise goals and make adjustments as necessary.

A career is made up of networking that can follow a person for many years. Career oriented employees don’t just “punch the clock” but also seek out new opportunities to learn new jobs by offering to assist others and volunteering for projects or extra work. Don’t be tied to just what is included in your job description. All jobs deserve a person’s best efforts, and the conscientious employee will reap benefits from doing their best. Some people only do the minimum required and wonder why they are not promoted, paid more or given new opportunities.

Companies who offer in-house training, cross-training, project management and internal transfers/promotions can utilize their own people resources and retain their best talent. When people are appreciated and offered opportunities they will become more engaged and will be more likely to stay and not look for employment outside the organization.

When companies invest in career development and planning for their staff members the results are very positive. Included in the benefits to the company are the following.

• Increased retention rates.

• Higher employee engagement.

• Strengthening of their succession planning.

• Stronger knowledge base.

• Transfer of knowledge to others.

• Filling of internal job openings.

• Positive employee brand recognition.

• Higher employee morale and motivation.

• Favorable public relations.

A company’s strategic plan that includes goals to attain the benefits listed above will result in the recognition by employees and potential employees that the business is interested in their future growth and development. Ultimately, each individual employee is responsible for his or her own development and career plan. The company and individuals will both benefit from the synchronization of individual and organizational career planning and development. It is a win-win.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing