The importance of career development tends to vary by individual, but for many people, a successful career is, among other things, a significant contributor to personal happiness and financial security. When a person takes the time to set career goals and a plan for meeting them, she will often find that her job responsibilities and compensation progress steadily. When workers ignore their career development, they may find themselves stuck in dead-end jobs that are at best unfulfilling. In such cases, other areas of a worker's life may suffer.
For many young people, getting their first real job is a significant achievement. Yet they do not typically have a goal of simply remaining in the position for which they are hired forever. Instead, the young person may aspire to advancing within his current company or field. In some cases, he may also plan to use his current job as a stepping stone into a new career or occupation. The importance of career development for new workers is to make them aware of the opportunities open to them and how they can best achieve their work goals.
In the case of those who have been in the work force for a while or those who have left the work force for a period of time, the importance of career development may be a bit different. Job skills and even entire occupations can become obsolete. Even a worker who does not aspire to upper management or owning his own business can benefit from career counseling and vocational planning. By doing this, he can be aware of industry trends that may compromise the security of his job and take steps to sharpen his current skills or acquire training in other areas so as to secure his future employment. For those who have been out of the work force, assistance may be available through social service agencies as well as public employment services.
Many employers also place a great deal of emphasis on the importance of career development. These employers typically want their employees to succeed and progress in their employment and may provide services to employees who wish to remain with the company while also advancing in their field. These services may be provided through the human resources department, and those employees who demonstrate a strong interest in developing their career options may be more likely to be considered for promotion within the company as well as choice job assignments.