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Stages of Career Development

  • Page ID
    146677
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    Learning Objectives

    Identify Stages of Career Development.

    Analyze each Stage of Career Development.

    Apply information of Stages of Career development into students’ experiences.

    Stages of Career Development

    There are five main stages of career development (developed by American Psychologist Donald Super).

    Each stage correlates with attitudes, behaviors, and relationships we all tend to have at that point and age.

    As we progress through each stage and reach the milestones identified, we prepare to move on to the next one.

    # STAGE DESCRIPTION
    1 GROWING This is a time in early years (4–13 years old) when you begin to have a sense about the future. You begin to realize that your participation in the world is related to being able to do certain tasks and accomplish certain goals.
    2 EXPLORING This period begins when you are a teenager, extends into your mid-twenties, and may extend later. In this stage you find that you have specific interests and aptitudes. You are aware of your inclinations to perform and learn about some subjects more than others. You may try out jobs in your community or at your school. You may begin to explore a specific career. At this stage, you have some detailed “data points” about careers, which will guide you in certain directions.
    3 ESTABLISHING This period covers your mid-twenties through mid-forties. By now you are selecting or entering a field you consider suitable, and you are exploring job opportunities that will be stable. You are also looking for upward growth, so you may be thinking about an advanced degree.
    4 MAINTAINING This stage is typical for people in their mid-forties to mid-sixties. You may be in an upward pattern of learning new skills and staying engaged. But you might also be merely “coasting and cruising” or even feeling stagnant. You may be taking stock of what you’ve accomplished and where you still want to go.
    5 REINVENTING In your mid-sixties, you are likely transitioning into retirement. But retirement in our technologically advanced world can be just the beginning of a new career or pursuit—a time when you can reinvent yourself. There are many new interests to pursue, including teaching others what you’ve learned, volunteering, starting online businesses, consulting, etc.

    Keep in mind that your career development path is personal to you, and you may not fit neatly into the categories described above. It’s more common than it has been in the past for people to change careers in their thirties, forties, fifties, and even sixties.

    Perhaps your socioeconomic background changes how you fit into the schema. Perhaps your physical and mental abilities affect how you define the idea of a “career.” And for everyone, too, there are factors of chance that can’t be predicted or anticipated. You are unique, and your career path can only be developed by you.

    Let’s Practice!

    • Which stage of career development do you feel you are in currently?
    • Think about each stage. What challenges are you facing now? Where are you headed?

    Licenses and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Shared previously

    • Stages of Career Development. Authored by: Susan Kendall. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution

    This page titled Stages of Career Development is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gloria San Jose Daims.

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