Career Advice

The idea of “career development” where you grow by leveraging your abilities

What is career development/career design?

The idea of “career development” where you grow by leveraging your abilities

In today’s world where work styles are diversifying and there are an increasing number of different ways to approach work, career development is essential for improving skills and advancing to the next level.
In this column, we will explain the definition of career development, the background to which it is emphasized, and the key points.


What is career development/career design?

Career development refers to planning how you will progress in your business career and acquiring knowledge, skills, and experience according to that plan. In order to develop your career, you need to independently plan and plan how you want to spend your life. This life planning is called career design.

The point of career design is that it is a plan that considers not only your job but also your future life.

The essence of career development is “to feel the value in working and living, and to carve your own path.” However, in recent years, as work styles have changed, it has become difficult to develop career prospects through the efforts of companies alone. Therefore, modern business people need to hone their career design skills.

Career formation and career design are emphasized by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and if you meet the conditions such as “performing vocational training etc. according to the plan”, you can receive subsidies for training costs. The country also places emphasis on career development and career design in order to develop human resources for companies.


Background to the emphasis on career development

(1) Changes in employment patterns such as lifetime employment
Until about 10 years ago, if you joined a powerful company, you were guaranteed a stable career until retirement. Many companies offer lifetime employment, and the goal of job hunting is to join a stable company. I didn’t have to seriously ask myself what kind of job I wanted.

However, in modern times, economic stagnation and globalization are progressing, and corporate structures based on lifetime employment and seniority are collapsing. In 2010, the Economic and Social Research Institute of the Cabinet Office announced that it would be difficult to maintain lifelong employment, so the situation can be said to be difficult.

It is no exaggeration to say that there is no educational background, title, or qualification that will guarantee you a lifetime just by having it. That’s why career design and career development, such as what kind of work you find rewarding and how you need to hone your skills, are important.

(2) Increase in the number of people changing jobs
With the collapse of the lifetime employment system, an increasing number of people are looking to change jobs in order to work in a better industry or workplace. In addition, in the past, the mainstream was to work as a generalist who could handle a wide range of tasks, but in recent years there has been an increase in work styles that specialize in specialized skills. As the skills required of individuals are diversifying, it is important for each individual to build a career that leverages their strengths.

Considering that AI will continue to change the way work is done, there are more points to consider, such as whether to aim for a job or industry that cannot be replaced by AI, or to build a career that will make you an indispensable human resource for society.

(3) Diversification of work styles
The increasing number of flexible working styles is also a factor in the emphasis on career development. Flextime systems and telework are being promoted by the government, and the range of work styles is diversifying. In order to respond flexibly to requests from companies, it is essential to have a sense of purpose and action that goes beyond just doing what you are told. This is where the concepts of career design and career development are put to use.


How to build your career
New employees may not know what to think about career development. For those who want to reconsider their career development, it is effective to visualize their ideal work style and life based on these four points.

(1) Think “Will-Can-Must”
There is a framework for thinking about career development called “Will-Can-Must.” It’s a simple thing where you write down what you want to do (Will), what you can do (Can), and what you should do (Must). For example, if you want to be promoted to manager within three years, make a list of what kind of knowledge and skills you need to acquire. By dividing it into Will, Can, and Must, you can see what you should start working on in the future and how you should shape your career.

Also, from a career design perspective, the areas where these three overlap are the areas with the highest satisfaction. When your Will is satisfied, your motivation increases, when your Can is satisfied, you are able to demonstrate your abilities, and when your Must is satisfied, you get a sense of fulfillment from fulfilling your expectations and role. Based on this idea, if you place the right people in the right jobs, you will be able to expand the scope of your employees’ activities.

(2) Find a role model
An effective method if you can’t find what you want to do is to find a role model. It can be someone close to you or someone famous. Find someone you admire or think is cool, and research their career. This should be a hint for your career development.

(3) Make a list of things you don’t want to do
Another effective way to think about things when you can’t find what you want to do is to make a list of things you don’t want to do. Some people may think of something they want to avoid rather than something they want to actively work on. Think about what kind of work style is ideal based on what you don’t want to do.

Career design concepts and examples
There are different ways of thinking about career design. It is necessary to determine the approach to career development that should be presented depending on the work situation at the time and the environment surrounding each individual. There are two types of big ideas: “downstream career” and “mountain climbing career.”

(1) Downstream carrier
This is how you think about career development when you are just starting out. Because I am not used to my job and cannot see the big picture, I am forced to be influenced by the company and those around me. At this point, it is important to have a career-building mindset of “overcoming the challenges in front of you one by one and accumulating experience,” rather than moving forward with a goal in mind.

It is called a downstream career because you progress while being caught up in the rapids of work and relationships with those around you. Rather than making detailed plans, the key is to reflect after the experience and keep taking on challenges. Let’s work enthusiastically to improve our abilities.

(2) Mountain-climbing carrier
This is a way of thinking about career development when you want to take on the next step after building up a certain level of career. It is called a mountain-climbing career because it involves clarifying your goals and plans and steadily building up your goals step by step. The important thing is to “determine the field in which you want to become a professional” based on your own will. Be determined and build your career based on your values and motivation for work.

Abilities necessary for career development
There are some commonalities in the skills necessary for career development, and the following four skills are representative. Design your career with an eye toward not only developing specialized knowledge and skills, but also honing the basic abilities needed to advance in your work.

(1) Ability to build human and social relationships
At work, you will always have to interact with people, and if it is a big project, you will often work as a team. Companies don’t want people who have bad interpersonal and social relationships. This is because it will lead to a decline in the company’s reputation. Also, the results you can get by working with friends are twice or three times as much as when you work alone. Since you need to build good relationships with clients in your work, this is an essential skill for career development.

(2) The ability to understand and grow yourself
When considering a career plan for growth, it is important to correctly understand your current location. From there, calculate the gap between your target location and create a plan to fill the gap. Understand what you can and cannot do, what you find rewarding, and what you are good at. Based on this, we take action and encourage our own growth.

(3) Ability to discover and solve problems
The ability to identify and solve problems is essential for growth. Companies generate profits by addressing social issues, so the higher your position, the more you are required to have the perspective to identify and solve issues. Find problems every day, no matter how small, and take action to improve them. Through repetition, you will gradually acquire skills.

(4)Ability to make and execute plans
Accumulating a career blindly cannot be called career development. A career can only be built by understanding where you are, setting your ideal goal as a goal, and acting in accordance with that goal. The ability to make plans and execute them is also essential. It is important to not only complete your plan in your head, but to verbalize it by writing it out on paper or on your computer. Clarifying your action plan at the planning stage will increase your ability to execute it.

In today’s world where work styles are diversifying, it is important to build your career by envisioning who you want to be, rather than simply doing what you are told. No matter what kind of work you do, career development and career design skills are the foundation. Even when you are trying to step up, you may be asked to think about what kind of career plan you want to create.

In the career design training provided by Learning Agency, you can learn the definition and way of thinking about career design. By exchanging opinions with others during training, you will also have the opportunity to recognize habits and biases in your thinking that are difficult to notice on your own, and to understand your own strengths as seen by others. Please take advantage of the career design training so that you can clarify the path you want to take and work with fulfillment.

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