The 6 Stages of Modern Career Development
By Michelle L. Casto, M.Ed.
Career experts say that people will
(not jobs) 5-7 times in a lifetime.
This being true,
career management is an important life
develop and cultivate.
There are six
stages of modern
career development: Assessment, Investigation,
Preparation, Commitment, Retention, and Transition.
Learning the characteristics of each stage will
empower you to navigate through each stage easily and
with more confidence.
In the Assessment Stage, you are getting ready for
your life’s work. This stage is characterized by
unawareness, in that you are not sure what your
values, strengths, and weaknesses are. You start to
feel like you want to know more about yourself and
make a conscious effort to get in touch with who you
|Taking assessment instruments|
|Working with a career counselor or career coach|
In the Investigation Stage, you are researching what
work exists in the world. This stage is characterized
by feelings of confusion, in that you are not sure
what career options exist for you. You may feel
overwhelmed with all of the different jobs and
opportunities that exist as you begin the process of
researching the modern world of work. But if you
approach this stage with a positive frame of mind, you
will find that you will learn about many possibilities
you may have never considered.
|Researching the world of work|
|Conducting informational interviews with people in
your chosen field|
In the Preparation Stage, you are still getting ready
to do your life’s work. This stage is characterized
by feelings of excitement, as you think of how
wonderful it will be to perform meaningful work.
However, there is still much work to be done, and in
order to be successful, you have to be prepared.
|Gaining knowledge and experience|
|Setting goals and adopting a success-oriented
In the Commitment Stage, you will feel confident, in
that you have figured out what you are meant to do.
Sometimes people have known all along what they were
meant to do, but were not able to commit to the
process of making it happen, for whatever reason. At
this stage, more than ever, you must focus your energy
and keep your eye on the target.
|Conducting a job search|
|Negotiating and accepting a job offer|
In the Retention Stage, you will feel comfortable in
your career field, as you will now have figured out
how things work in your industry. You will want to
remain committed to your career by continually
updating your skill set and staying current with
|Providing first-class customer service skills|
|Building a professional network|
The Transition Stage is characterized by feelings of
discomfort, in that you are unsure of what you will be
doing next (and/or if you will be happy). In this
stage, you will learn to make conscious changes in
your career direction.
|Making career changes|
No matter what career stage you find yourself in now,
you can be sure that you will enter and re-enter
through these six stages many times though out your
This article is adapted from the book, Get Smart!
About Modern Career Development: A Personal Guide to
Creating Your Life’s Work by Michelle L. Casto, M.Ed.
Michelle L. Casto, M.Ed. is a Whole Life Coach,
Speaker, and Author of the Get Smart! Learning Book
Series: Get Smart! About Modern Romantic
Relationships, Get Smart! About Modern Career
Development, and Get Smart! About Modern Stress
Visit virtually: www.brightlightcoach.com