Career development, a significant part of human development, is the process that forms a person's work identity. It spans over his or her entire lifetime, beginning when the individual first becomes aware of how people make a living. For example, when a child notices that some people are doctors, others are firefighters and some are carpenters, it signals the start of this process. It continues as that person begins to explore occupations and ultimately decides what career to pursue him or herself.

A good definition of career development is the proactive planning and implementation of action steps towards your career goals. Although this definition of career development is related to career planning, it's a definition that can be applied to any area we want to succeed in. But what is career development likely to achieve in the average persons career and is it really worthwhile? A Career development either created on your own or with the help of a professional career development consultant, will more often than not take you to that place in your career you would otherwise not get to. 

What is career development planning likely to accomplish? 

1. Career development planning will force you to regularly perform a self-assessment on where you are now in your career, where you would like to be and to assess the inbo job skills you enjoy using. 

2. This will usually lead to you acquiring work that is a good fit for you and that you are particularly suitable for. This results in a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in your career. 

3. If points one and two above are accomplished, this inevitably leads to you eaing more money because employees who work on tasks they enjoy and are good at, invariably get paid more. 

Career development doesn't end there. After you choose a profession, you must then get the required education and training, apply for and find employment, and ultimately advance in your career. For most people, it will also include changing careers and jobs at least once during their work lives, but probably more often than that.

It is important to note that, for most individuals, career development occurs without any intervention from other people. There also isn't a set age for when it will begin. Some people will start to think about occupational choices very early in life, while others won't give this subject much thought until they are relatively close to having to decide how they will ea money.

While many individuals go through this process independently, almost everyone can benefit greatly from getting expert Career Guidance. Getting help from a Career Counselor or other similarly trained specialist, or taking a class in school that helps with career development, allows you forge a more Satisfying and successful career path.

This type of intervention can begin as early as elementary school, and it should continue throughout adulthood. Many people find themselves in need of professional advice as they encounter problems or must make decisions about their careers, for instance when they are thinking of looking for a new job or changing occupations.